Bus karne ke liye
Indore | February 4, 2014
EMBARQ India co-hosted with Atal Indore City Transport Services Limited (AICTSL, the fifth edition of Talking Transit: A two-day Workshop on Branding, Marketing, and Communication of Public Transport at Sarovar Portico, Indore.
The workshop looked at the strategies adopted for branding, marketing, and communicating the public transport services. Over 60 local and international experts from Bangalore, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Pimpri Chinchwad, Chennai, Delhi, Chandigarh and Mumbai spoke on the subject, and the workshop focussed on AICTSL’s experience of branding and outreach related to the iBus. This workshop and the Talking Transit workshop series are supported by a grant from the FedEx Corporation. Traditionally EMBARQ India has partnered with state transport corporations on various themes related to urban public transport. The first workshop was in partnership with BMTC on using land banks to improving city bus operations; the second workshop was with APSRTC on driving training and fuel efficiency; the third was with BEST on feeder service design; and the fourth was with KSRTC on use of telematics in improving public transport.
In the first session, the Mayor of Indore, Mr. Krishna Murari Moghe, spoke about the iBus in Indore and its effective leveraging private sector land for the iBus project. He emphasized the importance of communicating with larger audiences in ensuring public transit agencies to have greater buy-in from the community.
Amit Bhatt of EMBARQ India provided a background to EMBARQ's Bus Karo Plus program. Amit highlighted the importance of advertising and branding for public transport by telling the audience how the automobile industry spends close to USD 21 billion, annually on advertising.
The second session was an introduction to Branding, Marketing and Communication with three panelists. Varsha Chawda of Lowe Lintas Mumbai, spoke about the importance of creating a specific target group while launching an advertising campaign. Specifically showcasing the Balbir Pasha Campaign as well as the Lifebuoy campaign, Ms. Chawda, emphasized the need to have an in-depth understanding of the target audience in order to create a successful campaign. Jasbeer Singh of Jam & Ketchup presented on the phenomenal success of Raahgiri Day in Gurgaon. From sensitizing people to leveraging the current upsurge of public sentiment towards the event, Mr. Singh spoke about the need to change mindsets about non-motorized transport and its importance in Indian cities. Ramya Swayamprakash of EMBARQ India presented on the eight building blocks of Branding, Marketing and Communications that public transit agencies need to effectively use in order to change mindsets and increase their presence. Through her presentation Ms. Swayamprakash gave examples of well run campaigns that successfully used principles of branding, communications and marketing.
After lunch, there was a group activity for the participants. Divided into 6 groups of 7 people each, the activity revolved around giving one group a situtation in which a city agency had to come up with a strategy to develop a city bus service using either a branding, marketing or communication principle. Some of the interesting outputs of the presentations made by groups was the concept 'Sab Karo' for a bus service incorporaing two concepts of Sujal Bus and a fun play on the hindi usage of the word bas (i.e. sab- meaning everyone).
The fourth and fifth session were centered on branding and marketing. In the session on branding, Mr. Chandramauli Shukla, the CEO of BCLL (Bhopal City Link Limited) talked about the the effective branding of MyBus, Bhopal. Ashwin Prabhu of EMBARQ India presented on the branding strategy of the BMTC, concentrating on the BIG Bus branding in Bangalore providing a background to the branding strategy.
The last session of the day was on Marketing of Public Transit services. In this session, Mr. Kumar Manish of the Centre for Green Mobility Ahmedabad spoke of the marketing strategy of Janmarg, Ahmedabad. Concentrating on the effectiveness of trial runs as a marketing strategy, Mr. Manish showcased the overall outreach activities that had begun in 2000 (although the service was inaugurated in 2009) in order to create awareness and interest in the project. Mr. Arnab Roy of EMBARQ India, presented on the marketing strategies of the iBus service in Indore. Specifically, he spoke about the branding of iBus and the internal and external outreach exercises undertaken.
The second day began with a field visit to the iBus. Delegates spent the morning using the field visit to understand the branding and communication strategies of the iBus as well as the physical infrastructure of the corridor. Their observations were useful later in the day, when they took part in another group activity. Through the group activity, delegates were able to give constructive feedback to AICTSL to improve the service as well branding.
Moderated by Mr. Govindraj Ethiraj, a renowned media person, the second session had presentations on the effective use of communications strategies for Public Transport. Abhijit Lokre of CEPT Ahmedabad talked the audience through the Ahmedabad experience, in engaging with different strata of society in Ahmedabad, especially while construction of Janmarg was still ongoing. According to Mr. Lokre, creating public buy in is rooted in effectively communicating the benefits of a project/service through sustained engagement. For instance in Ahmedbad, there were on 'drivers' on the Janmarg. Instead there were 'system operators'- giving a sense of ownership to both operators and users. In the second presentation of the day, Mr. Prashanth Bachu of EMBARQ India, spoke about communicating the iBus service in Indore, specifically talking about the challenges and sharing his experience in working in Indore and the deep resonance that iBus has been able to achieve. Mr. Kapil Gupta of Omlogic, New Delhi showcased how effective use of social media can help public transit agencies in attracting and retaining passengers. In the final presentation of the day, Nikhil Chaudhary of EMBARQ India spoke about the importance of usable, relatable infographics in making a public transit system more user friendly. Emphasizing on the examples from Latin America, Mr. Chaudhary, raised important points about the need for contextual and lucid signage and infographics in order to increase the reach of public transit. Closing remarks were made by Mr. Amit Bhatt of EMBARQ India.
The workshop ended with an extended networking lunch where delegates from various agencies and not for profits were able to exchange knowledge and reflect on the workshop.