Yogesh Lakhani on his journey!
It is not an exaggeration to say that Mr. Yogesh Lakhani is the biggest name in the out-of-home advertising market in India. His journey from being a zero to hero may inspire millions of people. Mr. Yogesh laid the foundation of his company Bright Outdoor Media Pvt. Ltd. in 1980 with a billboard at Malad railway station in Mumbai. The company which commenced its operations with one billboard now hosts about 1,000 billboards across the city and has extensive presence outside the city as well. In an exclusive interview with Bollywood & TV Reporter, Mohnish Singh, the chairman and managing director of Bright Outdoor Media, Yogesh Lakhani, opens up about his eventful journey and a lot more. Excerpts…
You are one of the biggest names in your area of expertise. How did your journey begin in out-of-home advertising?
After completing SSC exam in 1980, I tried my hands in a job which would give me Rs. 100 per month. One fine day, when I was heading home from my work, I read ‘Bright Garments’ written on a wall and decided to set up ‘Bright Outdoor Advertising Company’. In initial years, I worked very hard to gain a foothold in the business. I would work hungry stomach for more than 15 hours a day. In 1987, I forayed into hoarding business. I put my first film hoarding in that year. After sometime I sponsored Manikchand Filmfare Award, where I met several people from the industry and liked the experience a lot. The first film which I took up for the whole sole outdoor promotion was Bunty Walia and Vashu Bhagnani’s Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya in 1998 and since then there has been no looking back. Soon, I started doing outdoor advertising almost for every big and small film. I have done the first film of stars like Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Deepika Padukone and Mallika Sherawat, to name just a few. Today, I have 90 out of 100 films in my hands.
You started your journey pretty much from scratch. How do you feel after achieving so much in life?
It feels really great. Had I inherited all this name, fame and wealth from my parents and grandparents, I would have not been so happy. Since I have achieved all this on my own, I really feel very proud of myself.
You have been honored at several national and international platforms. Please, tell us something about that.
I am extremely thankful to all those people and organizations that acknowledged my hard work and awarded me. I have received around 200 awards and have been felicitated 400 times in the last 15 years. Some of the most prominent awards that I have got include India’s No. 1 Brand, The World’s Greatest Brands and Leaders Asia’s GCC Award 2015-Dubai, India’s Most Trusted Brand Award 2015, ETC-Bollywood Business Award, to name just a few. It feels really great when your work is acknowledged and recognized.
You have also started a few more companies. Please, tell us something about that.
I have started ‘Media Wizards’, which is a Bright Group Alliance. It is for PR, Radio, TV, Print Ads, and Celebrity & Event Management. There are some other companies also that I have floated recently.
Which are the upcoming big-budget films which your company is going to promote in coming days?
I am promoting all big budget films which are lined up for release in coming days. Almost 90-95% market share is with me, which means all big filmmakers avail our services when it comes to out-of-home advertising.
You have a long list of clientele of corporate brands also.
Yes, currently I have around 500 corporate clients including Coalgate, Pantaloons, LIC, Viacom, HDFC, ICICI Bank, Kalyan Jewellers, Reliance, etc. Bright is not just into film advertising, it is also into corporate, FMGC, advertising.
Do you think the emergence and rapid proliferation of online marketing has affected outdoor advertising in any manner?
No, I don’t think so.
How are you going to celebrate your birthday this time?
The lavish party that I used to throw on my birthdays will take place in the month of November instead of September. This time I have decided that I will be giving food to 500 poor, orphan children on my birthday.
What is your success mantra?
I am very down-to-earth person, simple and sober. I share very cordial relationship with each and every person I know. I have won the clients’ trust by providing them with value of money services. My cellphone is 24/7 on for my clients. The reason behind my company’s success is that we offer our customers more than what they expect.