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BY Anjana Naskar

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Q] Tell us about the launch of India’s first green OOH asset management company. How will going green work for the agency?
Mustafa: We are reconstructing hoardings and at the same time, we are also taking care of the environment. We are generating nearly three times the energy that the hoardings are consuming and the generated electricity is then given to the Indian Railways. And that’s how Railways get the energy that we are producing for free. If a brand books a hoarding, which has got solar energy then they are also contributing to the environment.
We are trying to create green warriors in the market so that the consciousness is there, and at the same time, we create more and more people who are concerned about the green future. Currently, we have 17 hoardings in Mumbai, which is on the western suburbs, from Jogeshwari to Cuffe Parade, and within two months, we will have 17 hoardings more on the central side.

Q] Which are the brands that you already have onboard and how is it going to benefit them?
Rajneesh: There is no brand right now which has come on board, we are yet to start booking for brands. The benefit to brands here is that they get a hoarding which is aesthetically very beautiful. Bombay has never seen such architecture in the hoarding. So, their brand gets that push. Moreover, the company which is running that brand will also contribute to a greener environment and to lesser CO2 emission, which is generated when the coal is burned and electricity is generated for that. So, we give them carbon credit and we are not charging anything extra for that.

Q] Is this a concept that we have seen elsewhere or is it the first in the world? Will it look different than a usual hoarding?
Rajneesh: It’s 12,000 square feet of solar panels, which we have already installed and nobody has worked on such a concept in India and Asia before and that’s why the Asia Book of Records has awarded us with the title for the largest installation of solar panels on a billboard to supply energy. We have also approached the Guinness Book of World Records to see whether it is done anywhere outside Asia. It looks different from traditional billboards and also solves a purpose. Even if it is standing on the road, it serves the environment. Also, we will be generating approximately 12 lakh units of energy, which is humongous when it comes to electricity generation.

Q] In which parts of the country do you have such green hoardings and going forward, what geographies are you looking at?
Rajneesh: We started with Mumbai because it is a Mumbai based agency. We would love to go to many other cities with this but for at least a year or two, the focus is only on Mumbai.

Q] How many installations are you starting with currently
and how many will you expand to by the end of this year?
Rajneesh: We have already finished 17 installations and more 17 are to come within the next two months.

Q] What were the challenges with regards to setting this up and what kind of investments have you made?
Mustafa: There were many challenges as it was a new concept, there’s a lot of to and fro and a lot of learning as well. One of the biggest challenges was how to place a solar panel vertically on a hoarding. Even the solar company said this is an innovation for them to see how vertical solar panels can be installed and how they generate electricity equivalent to placing them horizontally.

Q] Do you think COVID has somewhere boosted the growth and opportunities for green OOH or eco-friendly Outdoor branding and going forward, do you see it as the future?
Mustafa: Absolutely! post COVID, people have realized the importance of life, become more caring. If you are caring for each other, you should also care for the environment. So, this is our way of giving back to the environment. We will be the pioneers in that and this will be the norm in OOH.

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