Companies

When advertising takes wing

V. Rishi Kumar | Updated on March 23, 2013 Published on March 23, 2013

Atin Gupta, Founder-promoter and Chairman, Atin OOH

A Hyderabad-based start-up Atin OOH has made transit advertising its exclusive domain. Of advertising on and in aircraft, airports and point of display and anything that moves at airports – conveyor belts or luggage trolleys.

Its promoter Atin Gupta is a 35-year-old Hyderabadi, who is among the first to introduce advertising in and on airplanes. One of the recent ads was that of Nokia Lumia wherein an entire aircraft was wrapped in display material of the latest mobile phone.

The company has big plans but believes that small steps help achieve larger goals without stress.

“Even though some investors have evinced interest to be part of the company, we have consciously resisted the temptation. We do not need any funds. Once investors are there, we become accountable to them and are always under their pressure,” says Atin Gupta, Founder-promoter and Chairman of Atin OOH and Atin Promotions.

The company has grown steadily over the five years making money right from the first year of inception.

Having completed his school education in Hyderabad, Atin went to the US for a Bachelor’s in finance. After returning home, Atin was scouting for a business opportunity and hit upon the idea of entering the calling card business. By partnering with Airtel and Tata Teleservices, he took to telecom discount cards for corporate customers.

That was when a call from India to the US was about Rs 100 a minute and Hyderabad-Delhi call about Rs 30, he says. Atin and his small group had a good run till the entry of Reliance into the telecom business. They began offering steep discounts for long distance calls. “Our business modelled on small margin was no longer viable. We had to exit ,” he said.

“Then, the strong links we had with a company like Airtel allowed us to explore new opportunities such as transit media”, he said.

“It took me about two years to finalise the entry into transit media. I began with a corpus of Rs 5 lakh. We did not want to handle traditional billboards and hoardings and began to talk to the aviation sector players, a sector which is extremely security-sensitive,” he explains. “I managed to convince Jet Airways to take up to new forms of advertising within their aircraft. Now, we work for Jet, SpiceJet and Indigo,” he said.

Airtel, Vodafone, Suzlon, Skoda, The Park Hotels, Pernod-Ricard are among his clients.

“Very few know that we were the first to initiate setting up of mobile chargers in airport lounges. The first ones were very simple. They have evolved into good looking units and provide transit media placement avenue,” he says.

“I believe we have a clear edge over others and the right tie-ups, including with a US company to handle this transit media. It will take others at least a couple of years to enter,” he says. As Atin Promotions entered airports, every possible option for transit media was explored to promote a product or service. For instance, in Goa, the conveyor belt was designed like a casino with red and black interplay.

About 70 per cent of the company business is from aviation-related space. “We have made a mark in India and are now looking at aviation companies in Singapore, Bangkok and the Philippines,” he says.

Atin has a 50-member team spread across Hyderabad and Mumbai, Delhi and Pune. Its turnover is about Rs 35 crore and the firm expects to hit the Rs 100-crore mark in two years.

All through, the company has been content handling only what it can take up. “That is, we complete a task and then embark on new ones. This has helped keep our expectations and execution within limits,” he says.

The general theme governing them is to be within limits while aiming high. “We are looking at opportunities in metro transit business which is similar to aircraft. The metro business will be a huge opportunity,” he says.

Published on March 23, 2013
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