The Indian railways have sized up a perfectly efficient plan to brand trains and stations. The initiative has been taken with an aspiration to increase revenues without having to affect passenger or freight fares. Proposal for the same has already reached the desk of higher authorities of the railway board office and is expected to receive a go-ahead very soon.
The new policy empowers companies to buy media rights for branding not just a few bogies but the entire train. The company buying the rights is then free to advertise both inside as well as outside all the bogies. The plan was a result of vigorous brainstorming by railway officials after a recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi who instructed the team to come up with innovative ideas of generating revenues with special emphasis on targeting potential of advertisements.
The target is to tap approximately 2000 crore in revenue without having to affect fares. The decision was warmly welcomed by the railways as it was already facing financial crunch and it was not gaining much from the usual advertisements. This new concept is expected to catalyze the otherwise stagnant revenue generation of Indian railways. Also, the initiative is a reflection of Narendra Modi’s dream of world-class stations with the best of amenities; all this, without levying additional charges on passenger fares.
A senior rail official quoted, “The railways has shunned the earlier approach of selling advertisement rights on a piece-meal basis and is ready with plans to award media rights for the entire train (both inside and outside) and stations on a long-term basis to big corporate players.”