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Pawan Bansal

COO | 30 Jun 2010

The OOH business in India is quite fragmented and there is enough for all to partake. Also, the outdoor business is seeing newer categories increasing their spends and whoever presents the best go-to-market strategy wins the pitch. At the end of the day, it’s all about good planning and timely execution. Jagran Engage’s USP has always been on two levels – we cater to clients as media owners as well as a specialist agency with the wherewithals to provide great planning and timely execution.

Pawan Bansal has over 15 years’ experience in sales and marketing functions with Castrol, Bausch and Lomb. As Head of business of Jagran Engage, Bansal is responsible for overall functioning of various operations of the outdoor division. His major responsibilities include strategising for growth and expansion of business/ media, deliveries of top line as well as bottom line, tie-ups with strategic partners.

Bansal was earlier CEO of Rave Mall and Multiplex chain of Jagran Group, where he was handling operations, sales and marketing and expansion of business. He was instrumental in forming the strategic tie-up with Adlabs Films for their exhibition business across four states.

At Bausch and Lomb, Bansal was Business Head for the surgical division and had handled the geographies of west and south, including Sri Lanka. He was involved in the sales and marketing of the company’s products through the B2B model. He had also been Sales Head with Castrol India Ltd, responsible for delivering revenues through channel sales.

Bansal is also a founder member of the Indian Outdoor Advertising Association.

Jagran Engage specialises in outdoor advertising activities that primarily include understanding the client’s requirements, identifying the emotional connection points and promptly delivering the right course of action. Jagran Engage provides total out of home solutions starting from media planning, buying and monitoring of campaigns across the country. Besides this, it also provides creative adaptations, scientific planning tools and post campaign results to ensure smooth handling of all out of home advertising needs.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Ashish Pratap Singh, Bansal speaks about Jagran Engage’s journey so far, the outdoor industry in India and future growth.

Q. With what vision was Jagran Engage conceptualised? How has the journey been so far?

Our parent company Jagran Prakashan Ltd (JPL) has been in existence for a long time now and was one of the first in the media business to be listed on the stock exchange. The flagship brand Dainik Jagran has consistently been the leader in the print business with a very strong footprint in the north. Besides print, the group expanded into BTL and radio. It made perfect sense to bring OOH in its umbrella so that clients could be offered 360 degree solutions (end to end). This arrangement is a win-win for both JPL as well as the clients. The journey thus far has been very eventful and in the last couple of years, there have been concerted efforts to pitch to clients for all encompassing media solutions.

Q. What are the various OOH solutions that Jagran Engage provides?

Jagran Engage is one of India’s leading OOH players and has successfully ramped up media properties across the country since its inception. So, as a very active OOH player, we offer traditional as well as emerging media options to clients and agency alike.

Q. Tell us a little bit about tying up with APN Outdoor in Australia/ New Zealand and CCI in South Africa? How is it in line with Jagran Engage’s vision? How is the Indian market different from the global market?

International News & Media (INM) is a strategic investor in Jagran Prakashan, and INM also has stakes in APN outdoors and owns CCI South Africa. (Very recently this business was hived off to a PE player). Jagran Engage greatly benefits from this association since it allows our clients to look at international markets (another first in the business). Conversely, it also presents an opportunity to clients abroad to look at the Indian market. For starters, the global markets are well regulated and there is some data to corroborate the effectiveness of the outdoor media.

Q. What are the technological advances OOH advertising witnessing today?
What are the major trends one sees today?

We have been talking of various possibilities to increase interactivity with the brand, for example, through Bluecasting to prove the effectiveness of a campaign. However, we feel that for clients to start looking at it very seriously, there is still time. But at least a host of clients are today looking at innovation (not necessarily the cut-out types), but some really great concepts, which have successfully cut through the clutter. This has resulted in word of mouth buzz as well as great appreciation for the outdoor business.

Q. How big is the OOH industry in India and what percentage is it slated to grow?

In our estimation, the OOH industry would be about Rs 1,500-1,600 crore and is likely to grow by 10-12 per cent in the next year. This is exclusive of the retail business.

Q. What was the total revenue for Jagran Engage for 2009? What are the projections for 2010? How has the business been since the start of the financial year?

Can’t really divulge the turnover. We are aiming at a growth of 25 per cent for 2010-11. The year has begun on a very encouraging note, we have managed a growth of 50 per cent over the same period.

Q. Who are your direct competitors? Compared to them, what is Jagran Engage’s USP?

Frankly, the OOH business in India is quite fragmented and there is enough for all to partake. Also, the outdoor business is seeing newer categories increasing their spends and whoever presents the best go-to-market strategy wins the pitch. At the end of the day, it’s all about good planning and timely execution. Jagran Engage’s USP has always been on two levels – we cater to clients as media owners as well as a specialist agency with the wherewithals to provide great planning and timely execution.

Q. Where all does Jagran Engage have presence in India? Which are the strong regions?

Jagran Engage has a pan India network in major metros and mini metros. As a strategy, we are now looking to expand into Tier II locations, where growth in consumption is expected. Our execution capability has reigned supreme with clients across the country. However, given the fact that we can leverage the Group’s strengths across markets in the North, that has now emerged as another strong point for us.

Q. Could you name a few innovations that Jagran Engage has done for its clients?

Some clients for whom we have executed innovation based campaigns are:
1. PepsiCo India - for Brand Pepsi across 22 locations in AP
2. Reckitt Benckiser - in Delhi
3. Castrol - across major metros for their CRB brand
4. Zee (KidZee) - at Hitec city, Hyderabad

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