afaqs! news bureau

Indian Railways, Max New York Life Insurance enter into partnership

Max New York Life has the sole advertising and promotional rights for the Delhi-Bengaluru Rajdhani Express

Beginning July 8, the Delhi-Bengaluru Rajdhani Express is wearing a new look. Max New York Life Insurance has branded the entire train and vinyl wrapped it in its brand colours. Three panels per compartment – 300 panels all along the train – carry the company's displays. The train is like a mobile billboard traversing several regions.

The communication initiative is part of the public-private partnership (PPP) between Max New York Life Insurance, Indian Railways, Peacock Media and CTS Management.

The PPP is the first one of its kind, announced by the railway minister in the recent railway budget. The initiative will utilise the trains as property to generate revenue. Brands taking up this property will improve the passengers' travel experience and create goodwill.

Max New York Life has acquired the rights for the Rajdhani Expresses running on three routes, Delhi-Bengaluru, Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Thiruvananthapuram. The trains' public address systems will carry the brand's messages. Opportunities for brand visibility, such as posters, table top covers and pamphlet/ leaflet dispensers are also a part of the package.

Indian Railways, Max New York Life Insurance enter into partnership
Anisha Motwani
Indian Railways, Max New York Life Insurance enter into partnership
Sandeep Chawla
Anisha Motwani, executive vice-president, marketing, Max New York Life Insurance, says, "Max New York Life Insurance is authorised to place insurance agents in the trains to explain various insurance plans to prospective customers. Along with brand presence, this is an opportunity to solicit leads."

Max New York Life has provided funds to upgrade the trains' services. The trains now have high quality flooring, clean toilets, soap dispensers, tissue paper dispensers, deodorant based toilet flushing systems, automated fragrance dispensers in the compartments and trained housekeeping staff to maintain these services throughout the journey.

The contract is for a period of six months, after which the company will review the return on investment and take a decision on the contract accordingly.

In an official communique, Rakesh Saksena, division regional manager, Northern Railways, says, "We are happy to partner with the private sector to provide better amenities and services in trains, especially the Rajdhanis. This will not only provide an improved travel experience to our passengers, but also improve the profitability of the railways."

Indian Railways, Max New York Life Insurance enter into partnership
Peacock Media, an OOH media company, acquired the rights for five Rajdhani Expresses for two years at Rs 75 lakh per year. It spent around Rs 1.5 crore on the upgrading of each train. It is now selling the rights to these properties to companies such as
and Max New York Life.

Speaking to afaqs!, Sandeep Chawla, managing director, Peacock Media, says that being a pilot venture, the properties were sold to the two brands at a base price. "It's more than advertising. It will improve the passenger experience. We have added services like housekeeping within the trains, a concept alien to Indian Railways," explains Chawla.

The upgrading of services and the execution of branding within and on the train were handled by Peacock Media.

CTS Management, the fourth party in this partnership, is responsible for the cleanliness, hygiene and general maintenance of the trains.