Industry Speak

Rajneesh Bahl

Founder & Director
Grey Parrot Integrated

Its high time to invest beyond media

"Digital & new media will only flourish if backed by research & measurement tools."
July, 2018

Rajneesh Bahl - Founder & Director - Grey Parrot Integrated, has spent over two decades in the outdoor advertising business. In this exclusive interview with allaboutoutdoor.com, Bahl speaks at length about the various areas of outdoor advertising and how it has helped brands leverage these spaces uniquely and more.

Below are his edited excerpts.

What are the real challenges that the OOH industry faces in India? Where does India stand in the global map?

• The real challenge faced by our industry: A) no standardization of formats B) variable norms followed by local municipal bodies in every city C) No standard industry driven scientific tools.

• India on Global Map: The consumption level of India is still very high and ever growing, thus it demands lots of media investment. Indian consumer is still at information stage, post which they will graduate to consideration and then followed by sales.

Give us a sense of the OOH industry - how big and robust is the market, and how has it grown over the years?

Last two years the growth has been approx. 5% to 6 %, and the industry is at INR3200cr

With digital and new media taking priority, how should OOH reinvent itself?

We have been reinventing ourselves since many years, it's time to take this industry to next level. Digital & new media will only flourish if backed by research & measurement tools. Its high time to invest beyond media.

What percentage of marketing spends is allocated to OOH?

On an average it would be around 8% to 12%

Which category of clients is holding on to OOH?

E-commerce, Entertainment, Retail and Real Estate

How can brands connect with people's lifestyles and the environments they engage with when away from home?

By understanding target audience behavioral pattern in outdoor and media consumption habits

When it comes to innovations in the OOH space, what are the key things that clients look at?

• The innovation has to be simple and effective

• It should have a digital connect to reach to maximum Target audience

Technology is a big USP for OOH in developed markets. But India still seems to be caught up in the age of billboards and unipoles...

Technology investments demands long-term commitment from the local authorities, which is not assured in many cities, thus the same old rules lead to same old investments. The local authorities still refer archaic rules & regulations which is not dynamic with changes in the industry.

Is the OOH industry still unstructured?

Yes, its unstructured, but not as much as it was in yester years. Agencies & few national asset owners are bringing in semblance & a structured approach that synergies with this business.

With metrics being a huge challenge, how do you circumvent it?

Every agency has its own tools to justify its approach in planning. One consolidated study/research can take this industry to next level.

Do you think that OOH has been overshadowed by social media?

"NO" every media has a specific role to play, as social media is an emerging platform the growth rate is tremendous. Social media cannot replace Outdoors, great campaigns can be planned through synergizing both these platforms

What are your projections for Grey Parrot?

I always believed that any new player should be able to add value to the industry its exists in, we at Grey Parrot started with this philosophy and have digitalized the outdoor process for the first time in the country. Digitalization is the core of our business, it stiches all the functions of OOH seamlessly i.e. from planning - creative - operations.

Interview by: Aarti Pahwa

Tags :  Rajneesh Bahl Grey Parrot Integrated OOH Innovation DOOH

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