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OOH Interviews

Veerendra Jamdade

CEO & Director - Technical | 01 Mar 2012

In 2012, not just big brands like HUL, even SME and niche area marketers and advertisers will look beyond metros, that is, small towns for all product launches and promotions as the metros are getting saturated. This will happen for all lifestyle, cosmetic products and electronic gadgets. Technology will play a vital role in OOH for monitoring and control.

Veerendra Jamdade is BE-Mechanical engineer and topper from College of Engineering, Pune (COEP). He has over 22 years of experience in IT and media and as an entrepreneur, he has over 15 years of experience. He is the Founder-Director and CEO of Vritti Solutions Ltd and is an active member of Rural Marketing Association of India (RMAI).

Jamdade has been instrumental in designing and developing simple, user-friendly software products and solutions for commission agents at various mandis and software for petrol pumps way back in 1996. Today, there are over 2,500 installations of the commission agent software and 1,000+ installations of software for petrol pumps.

He has put together and executed an award winning and innovative concept called ‘Vritti i-Media’. This is a computer controlled audio-based passenger information and advertisement system, implemented at 80+ MSRTC bus stands and at highway food malls across Maharashtra, which reaches out to all the markets beyond metros.

Jamdade comes from a farmer’s family and as a result has a good understanding of the rural buying behaviour patterns. He believes that “only technology” can help today’s farmer to grow his stature and is considered to be an expert solution provider for small towns and rural markets. He is very passionate about innovating technology enabled solutions to improve the lives of people living in villages.

In conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Nair, Jamdade speaks at length about Vritti i-Media’s various innovative solutions, the positive impact for brands, looking beyond metros to increase brand connect and more…

Q. What are the major services provided by Vritti i-Media?

Vritti i-Media offers 360 degree branding and activations at highway food malls, which includes audio-visual network at highway food malls and stopovers across Maharashtra. Along with this, we have an audio network at 80+ MSRTC bus stands across Maharashtra.

Q. Please highlight about your contract with MSRTC.

The contract with MSRTC is for five years for 80 bus stations for computerised bus departure announcements. We have rights to use part of the air time for audio advertisements.

Q. What kinds of innovations are taken up through your audio and audio-video network?

The audio network has been creatively used by a lot of brands. The content plays a vital role in this medium. Few instances where content has been creatively placed to gain the desired attention are Lokmat conducting an engaging campaign across our audio network in four different locations across Maharashtra at MSRTC bus stands for a period of three months. Daily headlines from the newspaper were recorded and aired everyday along with a simple, catchy message reminding the people to pick up a copy of Lokmat being sold at the venue, while waiting for their buses. The campaign was a success across Maharashtra, directly resulting in increased counter sales for Lokmat at the advertising locations. SBI did a teaser campaign for 20 days using our audio medium for home loan takeover across Maharashtra and they promoted it across 20 district level State Transport bus stands. The campaign involved the local Sarpanch talking about how loan payment on time can help in improving credibility and getting more loans from SBI. The Agriculture Department of Maharashtra runs an audio-based crop advisory for farmers at State Transport bus stations. The unique aspect about the advisory is that it is broadcast according to the regions and crops grown in the particular region. This has been a one-of-its-kind initiative by the Government, which recently fetched them the E-governance Gold Awards.

Q. What is Vritti i-Media’s client portfolio like?

Our clients range from various sectors of business. In the FMCG sector, we have HUL, Parle, and Kirti Gold. In telecom, we have Uninor and Idea. In banking and finance, we have SBI Bank, Muthoot Finance, and ICICI Gold Loan. In the automotive sector, we have Bajaj Auto, Beat dealers, along with this we have agri products and other allied agro-based companies, education, health, lifestyle like jewellers, retail shops and malls, as well as campaigns initiated by the Government.

Q. Audio advertising is still at a nascent stage in India. How do you think this will evolve over the coming years?

Ears will play a vital role than eyes if we integrate ‘public utility value’ for a consumer at a transit place. Hence, at these places audio will be more effective and impactful than visual. We see audio and audio-based visuals getting implemented at all public places like bus stands, railways, mandis, etc., where there is a big crowd (congregation places). Most importantly, this medium will get implemented at public/ transit places where people are seeking important and relevant information from the authorities and thus, it will garner 100 per cent attention.

Q. How is digital OOH helping the industry?

Digital OOH is the way to go. Flexibility and dynamically communicating to the masses is what digital OOH will bring to the industry. It will also help in better management and controls for the advertiser. It will also remove the clutter of hoardings and bring a sense of aesthetics to the OOH world.

Q. What is the most important factor while connecting with the audience through OOH?

There can be no OOH without ‘public utility value’.

Q. What do you think needs to be done to push the Indian OOH industry forward?

OOH is highly unorganised today. The industry needs to consolidate and a strong association of OOH media owners needs to be formed, setting standards for execution. Advertisers need to know what is available at which location from a single place. There is also an urgent need to put together a framework for controls and management of advertisements.

Q. What are major trends you see that will shape 2012?

In 2012, not just big brands like HUL, even SME and niche area marketers and advertisers will look beyond metros, that is, small towns for all product launches and promotions as the metros are getting saturated. This will happen for all lifestyle, cosmetic products and electronic gadgets. Marketers will look for interesting activations at transit hubs around places of congregation. Highway food malls and other transit places on the highways will be the focus for the automotive sector, food and beverages, builders, tours and travels and other lifestyle product companies. Technology will play a vital role in OOH for monitoring and control.

Q. Are there infrastructure or regulatory changes expected in 2012, or that you are hoping for in 2012, which will impact the industry?

In few cities, local authorities are reframing the regulation for outdoor advertisement on hoardings and flex boards. Many cities will go for improved street furniture. We will see digital billboards coming up in more numbers. But the growth will depend on the availability of power and electricity rates.

Q. Which, according to you, have been the most effective OOH campaigns of Vritti?

The Lokmat audio campaign has been one of the most effective campaigns, which boosted the paper’s sales by 25 per cent in sales at bus stands. The campaign also won a Gold at the OAC 2011. 9X-Jhakaas’ launch campaign is a recent successful campaign that brought awareness of 9X Jhakaas to small towns and rural people of Maharashtra through a 360 degree campaign, including media vehicles like the audio network at State Transport bus stands, bus solus branding and other visual branding across 15 districts of Maharashtra. This campaign communicated and engaged with over 1 lakh people in Maharashtra. Crop advisory for farmers done by the Agriculture Department of Maharashtra continues to reach millions of farmers across the state. This unique media has won laurels amongst Government departments, while the campaign has fetched the Maharashtra Government a Gold award at the National level for inter-state e-governance projects. SBI’s teaser campaign for loan takeover from other banks using our medium got them Rs 550 crore worth enquiries. Today, SBI has signed with us an annual campaign for both audio and audio-visual mediums.

Q. What are your future plans for Vritti?

We are looking to expand our audio and audio-visual mediums across India by tying up with State Transport authorities and with food mall owners. Also, establish Vritti as a specialist to market beyond metros.

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