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CONTENT COURTESY : THE ECONOMIC TIMES, July 07, 2014

With a change in the government, media owners are expecting better RoI

Three years ago trader Mukund Shrivastava made an unusual investment as he had some spare cash -he bought two billboard sites in Noida. It was a smart move -the return has been 25-30%.
“Back in 2011, I bought two unipoles (billboards mounted on a single pole), one in Spice Mall Noida and another on NH8. Today , I have almost recovered the cost of these hoardings and earning decent returns,“ Shriavastava said.The kind of unipoles Shrivastava owns would cost ` . 10 lakh each and earn around ` . 2 lakh every month.Outdoor advertising industry experts say hoardings and billboards are becoming an increasingly popular mode of investment for individuals with a few lakhs at their disposal. The entry cost is not as steep as real estate and the money can be recovered in a shorter duration, they said.“Most of the media owners are individuals and small-time proprietorship companies who take it as an in vestment,“ said Atul Shrivastava, chief operating officer at Laqshya Media. To be sure, the sector took a hit after the economic slowdown in 200809. Also, some sites are better located and, therefore, more prized than others. However, with the change in the government, media owners expect better returns on investments.Sites can be government or privately-owned. Bids are invited for government-owned ones and the highest wins the rights for a specified duration. Private owners need to seek municipal or corporation permission to erect hoardings and billboards. An individual who wants to invest can participate in tenders floated by the government, airports, railways and other government agencies or get them from private individuals such as owners of malls or buildings that have erected hoardings after getting permission. The individual, now media owner, can then get customers with the help of outdoor advertising agencies. The media owner needs to pay rentals and taxes.
“The government-owned assets sometimes turn out to be the best of investments. You get the tenders at today’s rates and then earn profits according to market rates of after 20 years,“ said an expert in outdoor media advertising.Shrivastava added, “The profit margin depends on the cost of acquisition.
For some assets, rentals can be as low . 5,000 per month while they might as ` earn advertising revenue of ` . 50,000.“Many , who spotted the opportunity early on have gone on to start their own outdoor advertising agencies. Yogesh Lakhani first invested in a billboard at Malad railway station in Mumbai in 1987. The billboard cost him ` . 1,000 a month and earned more than 200% every month as advertising revenue.He continued to invest in hoardings and billboards, eventually making it a full-time vocation, and started an outdoor media agency, Bright Outdoor Media, which has 600 clients from various sectors.
Advertisers can now book billboards online with ease through www.planmyad.com

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  • Pratik SARAOGI

    Lovely read…..