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Ambient Media Newsletter
Volume1 Issue 5

Ambient Media Newsletter - Issue 5

We have the pleasure of bringing you the fifth issue of our Newsletter. This
is our second monthly issue after we had changed the periodicity from
fortnightly to monthly.

Continuing our initiative to know more about ambient property owners and
their views on future , in this issue we are presenting Country's leading
metro transport corporation - Delhi Transport Corporation , known widely as
DTC.DTC is the lifeline of Delhi in terms of Public Transport .We had
covered in our earlier issue about Indian Railways .

Secondly , in this issue we are embedding the image of 'The largest Window
Advert in the World' , which we had attached with our last issue. As readers
have informed that they could not get the attachment, we are putting in the
main body of this newsletter itself, but with far less pixel .

To summarize ,our contents are :

* An Interview with CMD of Delhi Transport Corporation - Snapshot of
the Future

* What 3M has done - 'The Largest Window Advert in the World' ?

Happy Reading

Manoj K Das

September 30, 2000

Interview with CMD of Delhi Transport Corporation - Snapshot of the Future

>From ambient media point of view , the importance of transport corporation
lies not only in ownership of the buses , but also bus shelters(BQS) , bus
terminals and Depots - and most of these are located in central locations -
where traffic is ordinarily high .DTC has around 1600 own buses currently
plying and another 3000 buses operating under kilometer scheme . With
average display space in old buses of 35 and quarter square feet, 4600 buses
give us 1.6lacs sq ft of mobile display opportunities . It is a massive
advertising opportunity we are talking of .

To manage such a quantum of mobile display opportunities ( not to mention of
the terminals and depots), there require huge planning , monitoring and
control. It also calls for keeping the space quality ( in a bus generally
quality will be directly proportionate to the age of the buses) of high
standard for better rates from the advertisers .

To know about DTC , we decided to speak to Mr. Rakesh Mehta , IAS , the
Chairman and Managing Director of Delhi Transport Corporation.Mr.Mehta is of
1975 batch and has a PG in Economics .He is with DTC since May 1, 2000.Some
of his earlier assignments include Secy, Finance of Goa , Chairman of Delhi
Subordinate Staff Selection Board etc .What we liked is his vision and
clarity on DTC .

We had put the following questions :

1. What is the role of ambient advertising in DTC's revenue plan. What
are the different advertising options that DTC offer and what is the
importance of these options in total ad revenue generation ?

2. Could you give us some details of these advertising options and
DTC's future plan for these?

3. What are the linkages DTC has with other bodies in Delhi like PWD,
MCD, NDMC etc in creating ambient advertising options? Please elaborate.

4. There have been complaints from advertisers that condition of the
buses are a big obstacle in using high profile campaigns ? How are you all
addressing the conditions of the buses ?

5. Would you like to share with us some of your thoughts about ambient
advertising opportunities and constraints in Delhi ?

What CMD DTC says ?

We are in the business of providing public transport to the people of Delhi.
Ever since the economic liberalization in 1992, there has been constantly
changing perceptions on role of public sector undertaking providing public
transport .I think DTC is the only organization in the country which had
experimented since 1992 about different methodology of providing public
transport facilities . Different schemes like private operator's scheme ,
Blueline schemes etc have been tested. Now over the years DTC s own fleet
has come down drastically (due to SC judgement of introducing CNG and
putting 8 year old buses in the garage ) .We are looking at ways and means
of how whole of DTC can be restructured .Ambient advertising has to be
looked in that context of changing role of restructured DTC.

All over the world, the public transport agencies can not recover their cost
of operation from the fare structure .DTC covers 72% of their operational
cost from the fares only whereas other international cities like Moscow
recovers only 25%.There is a gap -between cost of operations and how much
one can recover. Fare themselves are competitive fares .If you increase
public transport fare , people switch to personal mode of transport. The
objective is to promote public transport and get people off personal
transport .In developing countries price sensitivity is the key .What
ambient advertising can help us to do is in reducing to some extent and
compete effectively with personalized transport with two wheelers and three
wheelers .More we promote personal transport , more the road gets congested
- buses are posed with impediments .There is competition.We would like to
use ambient media as an agent to enable us to improve quality of public
transport .If we can not improve the quality , we can not make them travel
more on public transport.

Quality of Buses are equally important- we are looking at the possibility of
urban bus .Current bus is essentially a truck chassis with Bus body on it
.Minimum height of the bus from the floor is 450 mm .It's a big problem with
women, children, handicapped and senior citizen .If we have low floor bus ,
wider size, there will be more comfort .Today the driver is sitting on hot
stress point - virtually sitting on the tires .The urban buses have the
benefits which are a technological leap from what we have today .Till we get
those we are trying to improve the quality of other services .

We are roping in private sector to improve quality of bus terminals .We are
giving advertising rights and they will invest Rs. 20-25 lacs each . IIT
Delhi is helping in professional approach to the Bus shelters and their
planning, and design and what kind of advertising space could be given .The
Idea is to promote each terminal with its independent characters .All ten
terminals would not be same - each one will have its own character
.Britannia terminal will be a terminal of its own . Essex firm terminal will
also be an important terminal in its own nature and character . Some of the
parties who has taken these terminals are Intellicon , Critique
communications , Bill Board ( MNC) - principals are MNC s. They are quite
keen to put money here .There will be an annual maintenance cost .DTC will
also conduct lot of surveys to understand the benefits derived from these .

Currently our advertising policy depends on advertising on bus Q shelters
,buses and Tickets .For BQS we have policy of BOT .Every three years we give
contract. Our ambient ad revenue was less than even 1% of the total DTC
revenue. DTC revenue was Rs. 474 crore for the last year .Advertising income
is around Rs 6 cr.

Our strategy is not to earn income out of these media properties . Strategy
is to use advertising income Directly to improve and provide quality public
services. We have already spoken of terminals .Secondly we are looking at
changing the look and quality of the buses -Buses with pollution check and
environment check on a regular basis .We want to change the concept of bus
advertising entirely .There is a company talking to us through Delhi Urban
Arts Commission for improving quality of the buses .The company takes
responsibility of upkeep and maintenance of the buses to a certain standard
in lieu of advertising rights .We use advertising income to clean up the
buses and keep up to all environmental standards.

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