Outdoor advertising ban in B'lore has hit OOH players: Lekshumanan Annamalai, Coral Media

Annamalai, Managing Partner, Coral Media, spoke to exchange4media about the challenges in the sector, Coral Media’s campaigns, game plans and growth targets for 2020

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 30, 2020 9:18 AM
Lekshumanan Annamalai

In today’s scenario the major challenges are with respect to the legality of media and the problems that arise from municipal corporations, says Lekshumanan Annamalai, Business Head, Coral Media. Even though few markets are regulated, the majority of the industry is still unregulated and the uncertain economic conditions has only led to turbulence in the Bangalore outdoor scene, he further said.

Coral Media stared from Bangalore in 2010 and later expanded to Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Kochi. Their USP is their own inventories that help Coral Media leverage the cost for clients while doing an extensive OOH campaign. They have tied up with more than 600 vendors nationally and are flexible to pick up any inventory according to the demands of the campaign.

Annamalai spoke to exchange4media about the challenges in the sector, Coral Media’s campaigns, game plans and growth targets for 2020.

“Post GST, we were made to bear the brunt of increase in working capital as well. Since the payment cycle is long in our industry compared to the organised mainline media, our working capital requirements have increased thrice compared to the pre-GST era.”

As a media owner, Coral Media ensures transparency with their clients and are supportive of their objectives.

“We have our inventory spread across various markets and have a national footprint. As a media owner it is difficult to be spread across as the challenges are hyperlocal in nature. We are a solution provider coupled with our own media inventories across various markets. As an agency, the main challenge that most of the media owners face is the payment terms. So when we deal with vendors for our campaign and act as an agency we ensure that the vendor is taken care in terms of the payment cycle. Because in our experience we have understood that the only worry for media owners is the payment. This worry is mainly because our industry is highly unregulated,” he added.

Speaking on their clientele and campaigns that Coral Media have carried out for big clients, he said: “Our clientele includes TVS Motors, Dairy Day ice creams, Prestige Builders and others. We have been working with TVS for a long time and it's been a fantastic journey. The launch campaign for NTORQ bikes last year was one of our biggest as it had to be executed in tough markets like the North East and J&K as well.”

Prestige Builders is one of the largest real estate companies in the South. We have been working with them for a long time. The biggest differentiator of Prestige Builders is that they work with great professionalism and expect a dipstick study to be done post every campaign. This kind of scientific approach is definitely a benchmark for a reality client.”

According to Lekshumanan, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s ban on outdoor advertising has affected the OOH players in a big way.

“We hope that we get the new bylaw at the earliest and start business quickly. Apart from media owners, even the clients are facing the heat as many retail and small clients who cannot afford other media are finding it difficult to find an alternate medium as effective as OOH.”

“In 2020, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities will gain as ROI is better in those markets. Due to the present economic conditions we are seeing lower occupancy levels in bigger cities whereas in smaller cities and towns occupancy is still better at 75 per cent,” observed Lekshumanan.

Speaking on Coral Media’s game plans and growth targets for 2020, he said: “We will be consolidated and watchful. This year we would be more focused on BTL and retail as it would expand our horizons.”

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