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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."