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Rajiv Saxena

Managing Director | 15 Mar 2013

Digital is the way ahead in OOH. Globally, digital is the lifeline of many media formats in the outdoor landscape. India will have to adapt to similar media formats. The concern that needs to be addressed is from the regulatory side. It is high time the media formats in India got into new avatars. All this can fall in place only when all the stakeholders of the industry come together to work towards this positive change for the business.

Rajiv Saxena is a business professional having over 17 years experience in business finance, mergers and acquisition, commercials, and has worked very closely with brands such as Times FM, Times TV, Times Music, Times Multimedia, Times Entertainment, Radio Mirchi, 360 Degrees and Times Out of Home Media. He has held national portfolios and has been entrusted with consistent scaling up of the organisation to exponential levels from starting turnover to Rs 200 crore.

In a conversation with exchange4media’s Priyanka Nair, Saxena speaks at length about the challenges facing the outdoor industry, the trends that will shape the industry in the coming year and more...

Q. How has the Indian outdoor environment changed over the last five years?

If you compare print and television with outdoor media today in India, outdoor stands out to reach a wider range of audiences. Outdoor gives brands mileage even at places other media platforms cannot access. With many structured global players coming into the business, global clients at large are coming on board. The power of outdoor media is taken seriously, which means the overall perceived value of this medium has grown.

But unfortunately, the outdoor industry is extremely fragmented; there are too many media owners and there is no standard platform for regulation.

Q. What, according to you, should new outdoor media players keep in mind before entering this business?

In my opinion, the success of being in the outdoor business is to be limited. If you are limited, you don’t fly too aggressively and if you have control over the inventory, there can be enough focus given to the business undertaken. A slow and ready approach is what the players should adopt.

Q. Do you think going digital is the next big thing in OOH?

Digital is the way ahead in OOH. Globally, digital is the lifeline of many media formats in the outdoor landscape. India will have to adapt to similar media formats. The concern that needs to be addressed is from the regulatory side. It is high time the media formats in India got into new avatars. All this can fall in place only when all the stakeholders of the industry come together to work towards this positive change for the business.

Q. The out of home industry does not have a common currency. How does this worry you?

As mentioned earlier, there is no common platform in outdoor where all stakeholders can come together to address the various issues. There is no common regulatory platform, and every region has its own governed body and issues of each region is tackled by that particular governing body. To start off, the industry should work towards getting out of local municipal corporations and forming a consolidated national body. Measurability issue can be tackled only when investments flow in. There are many agencies working towards that as well.

Having said that, overall the perceived value of outdoor as a media vertical has increased and so has the acceptability by brand owners.

Q. What are the trends that will shape in the outdoor industry in the coming year?

2013 will be definitely a good year because of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Government will create a positive scenario. Infrastructure development is expected. It can also be observed that India is going towards a consumerist society. Buying partners are changing. With this, creativity has to go up. Outdoor media has to be a communication vehicle that can be customised and go beyond recall value.

Q. It is observed that Blue Ocean markets many transit media options across the country. What are the reasons why brands are looking at advertising via transit media options of late?

Transit media will grow speedily as and when public transportation will become more sophisticated; brands have already started ticking transit media in their outdoor media plans in a big way. There are five major reasons for that – one, because it is extremely economically; two, it can be time-lined; three, it can be mass as well as niche; four, it can be engaging; and lastly, it can be highly innovative.

Q. What are the major services provided by Blue Ocean?

We are a young outdoor advertising agency in India, which has been in the business for over three years. Our team at Blue Ocean Media has more than 20 years of experience in the media and entertainment business. Blue Ocean Media has already been marketing billboards or hoardings advertising at fuel stations at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Rajkot; bus queue shelters at Mumbai; on bus advertising in Sholapur, Nagpur and Chandini Chowk bus service. We have also been pioneers in marketing of bus wrap advertising on Hop On Hop Off buses and Delhi Metro Feeder buses in Delhi.

Recently, we have also have started marketing outdoor media options in DLF township areas and digital pods across 10 malls in two cities.

Q. What is your wish list for 2013?

I wish for an overall positive scenario for the industry and wish the advertising industry gets a good boost in the coming year.

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