Metro Rail invites corporate firms to co-brand stations

A view of Washermenpet Metro Station, Chennai.

A view of Washermenpet Metro Station, Chennai.   | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

Companies keen on tie-up with CMRL.

In a bid to increase revenues, Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) is inviting big names from the corporate world to pick up co-branding rights of stations. According to senior CMRL officials, talks are on with a few companies, including realty developer DLF, World Trade Centre (Bengaluru-based Brigade Group holds licence to build this in five southern cities) and the Ozone Group.

For Phase II project

The official added, “This is for the phase II project. In this project, a company’s name can be prefixed in front of a station’s name. That apart, we are exploring various other options like giving them rights to advertise inside stations and for announcements inside trains as well,” he added.

Auctioning names of stations is not new for Chennai Metro Rail — they have begun implementing it in a few stations such as Thousand Lights, Nandanam and Teynampet. For instance, a few months ago, CMRL said that the Thousand Lights Metro Station would be renamed as Spencer Plaza Thousand Lights Metro Station for three years.

But what is significant in phase II is that they are contemplating giving branding rights even as the station construction is yet to begin.

Sources told The Hindu that they may even consider giving companies the option of designing, building and operating a station. “There are a few options that we have been discussing now; one is that the companies pay us a bulk amount (a few crores) depending on location and space. The rights will be given for a certain period Companies stand to benefit from this as it would give them good visibility and promotion,” an official from CMRL said.

DLF, which has already tied up with Chennai Metro for providing last mile connectivity from Alandur to DLF Cybercity through air-conditioned tempo vans, is in discussions to explore various avenues of the partnership. N.C. Somaiah, vice-president, operations, DLF Cybercity, said, “The detailed design process is under way with CMRL and we will take this up in gradual steps. The alignment of the Metro line as well as the location of the station is yet to be finalised.” Officials from the Brigade Group said that talks were on with CMRL but refused to divulge details, saying it was too early to provide comment.

S. Vasudevan, chairman and managing director of the Ozone Group, said, “We are in discussions with them for the station at Koyambedu because of its proximity to our property. We are looking at exclusive connectivity from our project to the Metro Station.”

“We are also talking to them on a proposed station at Navalur in OMR. We have an SEZ development there. We are looking at whether we can connect our SEZ and the station,” he added.

Corporates feel that the tie-up would give them more brand visibility and ensure that public remember the company name. On an average, over 95,000 people commute through Chennai Metro.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 2:52:32 PM |

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