Hype Integracomm picks up majority stake in Asawari Publicity

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | March 26, 2009
Hype will partner Pune-based Asawari Publicity for advertising on BRT bus shelters in the city

Hype Integracomm -- a fast-growing OOH media company that owns quality media assets in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune -- has picked up a majority stake in Pune-based Asawari Publicity, enabling the company to expand its presence in the city.

Asawari Publicity is a two-year-old OOH company that has been providing innovative outdoor media solutions to a long list of top companies. The company recently bagged the prestigious project of India's first ever BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) 'Q' shelters. The bus shelters offer retailing opportunities, where advertisers can put up telephone booths, ATMs, vending machines and so on.

& #BANNER1 & #BRT in Pune entails a special dedicated lane in the middle of the road for public transport buses. Being in the middle of the road, these shelters will have panels on both the sides.

Discussing the acquisition, Jignesh Sharma, executive director, Hype Integracomm tells afaqs!, "This acquisition was in line with our business philosophy of innovation and our expansion plans. Pune is one of the fastest growing cities in India. It is the IT and automobile hub, as well as a major education hub. The acquisition of Asawari will help Hype strengthen its presence in Pune, while Asawari will get financial and marketing support from Hype."

He further states, "We are looking at more such strategic buys, if they match with Hype's business principles".

Sharma shares that the core reason they chose to only acquire majority stake, instead of buying out the company, was because a lot of local know-how is involved. The promoters of Asawari Publicity will help in adding their local flair to the project.

With BRT, each traffic signal is now supposed to have either one of the two variations of the BRT 'Q' shelters (BQS): a 45-ft long shelter, consisting of four panels, two in the front and two more on the other side, which provide an advertising area of 741 sq ft; or a similar structure that provides an ad space of 510 sq ft with four 30-ft long panels.

In addition to visibility, each BQS offers a space of 400 sq ft, which can be used as an ATM, telecom connect, hot and cold drink dispenser, or snack bar. "People are travelling a lot more now and are spending more time doing so. So, this makes these shelters commuter convenience centres," says Sharma.

Asawari had won the contract for constructing 108 BRT shelters, of which 65 have been constructed. Now, Hype will lead this project and handle construction and maintenance as well. The company hopes to complete construction of the remaining shelters in the next four to six months, but this depends on whether the authorities will complete their tasks of building the separate BRT lanes.

While advertising on regular bus shelters in Pune could cost between Rs 25,000-30,000, advertising on BQS would cost advertisers between Rs 40,000-60,000.

Categories such as telecom, FMCGs, entertainment channels and broadcasters and financial institutions have already leveraged this medium. Some of the advertisers on board include STAR Pravah, 9X, NDTV and Idea Cellular.

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