Delhi Talks OOH: The voice of stakeholders

By Rohit Nautiyal , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News | December 22, 2009
The first panel discussion raised some of the stakeholders' concerns and tried to find solutions

The first panel discussion at Delhi Talks OOH - an event organised by VJ Media Works and sponsored by Pioneer Publicity, on December 18 in the Capital - was titled Delhi Talks Specifics. The discussion was moderated by Praveen Vadhera, country head, 141 Wall Street. The panelists were: Amiya Chandra, additional deputy commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD); Ritesh Vasudeva, promoter, Hindustan Publicity; Pramod Bhandula, managing director, JCDecaux India; Sunil Vasudeva, director, Pioneer Publicity; and Pawan Bansal, vice-president, Jagran Engage.

The panel set out to provide the media owners' perspective on the current OOH scene in the Capital.

Vasudeva of Hindustan Publicity asked why there were stringent regulations for Category 1of OOH formats, including unipoles and hoardings, in Delhi's Outdoor Advertising Policy, which brings maximum revenue for the market.

In response, Chandra explained the importance of keeping these large formats in check, despite the fact that they were revenue churners. "Things have changed in Delhi, and today, MCD makes Rs 100 crore in revenue per annum. Outdoor should be developed by a city's development," Chandra added.

Vadhera put forth the grudge of outdoor concessionaires, who were not consulted during the formulation of outdoor policies. Bhandula of JCDecaux echoed Vadhera's concern, saying that MCD must listen to concessionaires, as they were the ones making huge investments. Chandra assured the panel that MCD was open to viewpoints and ideas from stakeholders.

Vasudeva also pointed out the need for a coordination committee to sort out matters with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and Public Works Department (PWD), for smooth functioning of the industry.

The panel expressed doubts on the efficacy of tender bids for acquiring properties. Bansal of Jagran Engage and Vasudeva asked why MCD could not follow an alternative technical process for giving away properties.

Chandra cleared the air, by informing that now, 70 per cent of weightage during the presentations made for street furniture for the Commonwealth Games would be given to ideas; and this had been approved by the Ministry of Finance as well.

One of the questions thrown at the panel by the audience was whether clients should invest heavily in OOH in Delhi, which is not perceived as an OOH friendly market. Chandra concluded, "This is where the importance of design in OOH comes. If the design is unique and out of the box, it will certainly be backed by the clients."

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