For the last four years, the Delhi Metro has been on a “semi-naming” spree, leasing out its stations to prominent brands and finding it a lucrative source of revenue.
As part of the move, Vishwavidyalaya station has become ‘Honda 2 Wheelers Vishwavidyalaya’, Noida City Centre is now ‘Wave City Centre’. A total of 43 stations across Delhi-NCR — including 14 upcoming ones — have been renamed so far, a Delhi Metro official said.
Delhi Metro Managing Director Mangu Singh told The Indian Express that the property development market is witnessing a slump, impacting Metro’s efforts to generate revenue from non-fare sources. This is where the semi-naming policy fits in: All it requires is a simple call for bidding by brands vying for advertising space in the sprawling stations.
The Metro, however, refused to divulge the money it is earning by leasing out the naming rights. “The Metro stations are awarded for semi-naming rights through an open e-tendering process. The licencee accordingly manages the selection of brands on its own,” a DMRC spokesperson said.
This means Honda 2 Wheelers did not directly bid for Vishwavidyalaya station — it did so through Pioneer Publicity Corporation Pvt Ltd. The brands enjoy a host of rights after bagging a contract, which is given for a period of 10 years.
“The available scope of work differs from station to station. However, in general, outdoor and indoor advertisement space, painting of the station in a brands’ colour, prefix/ suffix to the existing name of the station are the key areas offered to the licensees,” a Metro official said.
However, the renamed station is not made a part of the Metro’s announcement systems inside trains or at stations. Some of the prominent stations that have been renamed are MG Road, Huda City Centre, Noida City Centre, ITO, Janpath among others. On the Magenta and Pink lines, IIT, Panchsheel Park, Bhikaji Cama Place and Moti Bagh are among new stations that will have brand names as prefixes.
Apart from Pioneer, the other agencies involved in the bidding process are: Shalimar Advertisements, Uppal Chadhha High Tech, Jagran Prakashan, Jotindra Steel and Tubes Ltd, Ace Enterprises, Supertech Realtors Pvt Ltd, Signpost India Pvt Ltd, Planet Advertising Pvt Ltd, Explo Media Pvt Ltd, IOCL, Escorts, IGL, Hindustan Publicity Pvt Ltd, and Oriental Insurance Compant Ltd.
Singh, in a recent interview, said the Delhi Metro comes only next to Hong Kong Metro as far as non-fare revenue generation is concerned. “It is just that the market of advertisements is otherwise down, and so is the property development market. So we are looking for the opportune time,” he said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also repeatedly urged the DMRC to look for newer avenues of revenue generation to avoid hike in fares.