BWDisrupt interacted with Shriranga K. Sudhakara, Founder, Vyoma, which serves Intelligent Digital Out of Home Media. Excerpts from the interview:

How has your entrepreneurial journey been till now?

Every entrepreneurship journey is unique, but the one common trait is, like a roller coaster ride it is both exhilarating and excruciating at the same time. It has been over eight years since Vyoma installed its first intelligent digital engagement display and it has been both challenging and exciting creating this new vertical. Today, I can proudly say the expertise and deep rooted understanding we have of this industry is unmatched, which has given us the foundation to redefine this industry, adapt to its continuous changes and grow quickly. We have built a leadership team that understands what it takes to be successful in this industry and we are very excited about leading the next phase of growth for the digital outdoor industry.What is the Funding status of your company?
Funded by a leading Indian Family Fund.What is the USP of your business? What are the factors that pull you back while expanding your business?
The most important USP is the domain expertise and knowledge we have gained to seamlessly scale and manage a large network of intelligent digital touch points. By continuously engaging with brands and providing them a platform to connect with a large audience base in an intelligent and effective manner, we have been able to add value to their communication plans and thereby successfully monetize our platform.Vyoma strongly believes in providing utility at these touch points, engagement with the audience and a measurable campaign impact for the brand. If we feel we cannot add utility and measurable engagement in a particular vertical then we do not expand our reach in that direction.Tell us about your primary markets?
Our primary focus has been in the mass transportation space as the high density of consumers cannot be matched. We would also look to expand into other verticals such as retail where we feel we could add value and engage with customers.

What is the difference between Digital OOH and traditional OOH?

Traditional OOH are static display mediums reaching consumers with a single brand message – the most common ones you see are outdoor billboards. Digital OOH is an intelligent display that can play dynamic content and provide measurable engagement. Content can be displayed based on schedules, pre-defined rules or on a real-time basis and the opportunities to engage with the consumers are limitless. Hyper local communication as well as mass communication across the entire network can be managed seamlessly.How do you see the Indian Digital OOH Industry shaping up in the coming years?
Globally there is high adoption of outdoor digital displays and they account for a substantial portion of the advertiser’s wallet share. For example, in Australia 40% of out of home spends are on digital displays and this is growing rapidly.
In India the adoption has been slow and only about 1-2% of the outdoor advertising spends are in the digital space. India is at a tipping point and the next few years are going to see a major transformation of this industry. Smart city initiatives and upgrading infrastructure across transportation verticals like railways, metros, airports and highways are going to be triggers for exponential growth. As content can be changed dynamically, analytics driven content will reshape the industry and Vyoma has ensured that our technology and operations can support these features.

What efforts are you investing in when it comes to educating Indian media vendors, brands (clientele) and government authorities since they lack the understanding of Digital OOH?
The digital OOH eco-system in India is continuously evolving and all the stakeholders are integral for its development and growth. Media vendors need to invest in creating large scale networks that create impact and engagement and Vyoma with its pan India presence and strong technology and operations capability is playing a key role in meeting this requirement. Vyoma is investing in smart technology that is building confidence in the medium, with brands, by providing real-time monitoring tools and impact assessment reports.

Vyoma has also taken the lead in addressing the need for engagement by brands, by providing customised solutions to allow them to interact with their audience in various ways. Vyoma has conducted multiple outreach programmes with government bodies, understanding their requirements for successful role outs on large scale networks. This has helped them frame policies based on what can be done to help them optimize their messaging.

By virtue of the leadership position that Vyoma commands in the Indian Digital OOH space, it is our responsibility to be the catalyst for the transformation of this industry and we believe the more services we can offer our advertising clients, the more attractive our medium becomes for them.

How much investment does a media owner require to have a good quality digital media network in India?

I don’t know if there is a specific amount that needs to be invested to build a high quality digital media network in India. But a long reach is key – enough displays to connect with a significant portion of a target group. Strong tech-ops expertise is critical to provide a high quality of service so clients are confident in the medium. Rich engaging content, along with impact assessment and measurability tools are integral to building a successful network. And maybe most important, the passion to work in and navigate through the harsh Indian environments.

You have an extensive network due to your collaboration with The Indian Railways, please share your expansion and future plans? 
Vyoma today is present across the country in 350 railway stations and engages with more than 120 million people each month. We plan to increase our footprint and will do so in a well thought out approach as we focus on adding intelligent screens in strategic locations.

Railways in going to be only one of the touch points that we offer our clients and we will expand across all transportation verticals in India such as metros, urban bus transportation networks, highways and also other high density touch points that add value for our advertisers. We will also explore other transaction points in retail where high engagement and scale can be built.

Apart from growing our network, we believe technology is key to adding value for our clients and we will constantly work on improving the functionality of our centrally managed intelligent displays.

Our Real–Time monitoring NOC dashboard enables clients to get ‘Live’ updates of their campaigns. We provide reports at the end of each campaign that will demonstrate the efficacy of the medium. Data Analytics will allow advertisers to customize their campaigns based on multiple parameters and smart phone integration will allow advertisers to stay more engaged with their customers.

We have created a culture of continuously creating a pipeline of innovative products that provide impact assessment tools, monitoring reports and engagment modules that are fast becoming the benchmark in our industry. Read More

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