Indian Railways (IR) has appointed accounting and consultancy firm EY to help it tap into the Rs 5,000-crore revenue potential from the advertising space. The private firm will identify assets and pricing strategy for putting up advertisements across 7,000 stations to shore up non-fare box revenue for the railways.
“RITES, the consulting wing for Indian Railways, awarded the mandate to EY following a multi-party bid. Initial estimates have indicated an advertising potential on railways in excess of Rs 5,000 crore over the next few years,” the rail ministry stated.
EY and IR plan to hold talks with advertisers for what is being called “effective optimisation of railway assets” through the course of the project.
“In the past, railways has used its assets to earn advertising revenues but limited to train wraps and display spaces in stations. This is the first time in the country that a large-scale project to identify and leverage pan-India advertising opportunities has been initiated,” Railway Board Chairman A K Mittal said.
According to EY Director Bharat Rajamani, railway assets will be beneficial for local and national clients in the advertising space owing to the large expanse of its network and “high measurability of reach”. The ministry said advertising packages will be created to suit specific demographic and geographic needs.
Also, as part of the exercise, a neutral assessment of the return on investments by advertisers will be created for the railway medium. Advertisers are likely to be comforted as eyeballs, quantity of time spent and segmentation of viewers is highly quantifiable in railways as a medium of advertising, the ministry said.