ALSO READBranding is all about perception. A cloud of ambiguity hangs over IPL now: Varun Gupta 'Speed thrills, but kills': Why Indian Railways shouldn't launch high speed trains in haste Prabhu inherits quite a mess as railways minister Seven innovative steps by Suresh Prabhu to transform Railways' security record Brands and branding
The proposal to brand trains and stations would increase the advertising revenue of the Indian Railways by at least four times, marketing experts said.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had proposed this on Thursday while presenting the rail budget in an attempt to transform the entity that runs the world's fourth largest rail network.
Read our full coverage on Union Budget
The railways is estimated to be earning advertising revenue of Rs 400 crore a year, sources said. Branding stations and trains could potentially take this to Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 crore, said Suhel Seth, chief executive officer of Counselage, a New Delhi-based strategic brand management consultancy.
"The real estate on platforms and trains will have to be inventorised for something like this to be carried out," he added.
"This is a mammoth task and something that requires complete transparency. If there is online bidding, it could eliminate the need for middlemen," said Ishan Raina, chief executive officer of Out-of-Home Media, a company that owns 3,000 digital advertising screens in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru.
"If the ministry is open to the prospect of branding its real estate, passenger tickets are one area it should consider," he added.
Sanjeev Gupta, managing director, Global Advertisers, a Mumbai-based outdoor advertising agency, said, "A step like this was overdue. The next step would be a map of areas that can be branded."