Outsourcing Market research to India: The way forward.
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Outsourcing Market research to India: The way forward.

David Ogilvy, founder of Ogilvy and Mather, is hailed as the father of advertising. With his perspicacity to read and predict customer habits with precision, he could lay the foundation of an empire that brought everlasting success to brands. Behind this success was his meticulous research! He captures the essence of research in this line “Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals.”

The Indian Growth story triggering market research

Brands, businesses, corporations, big or small, rely heavily on market research. With globalization, old order was razed, and economies world over were resuscitated. It gave birth to a more closely knit world. A resurgence in currency in US had the potential to deliver far reaching effects on some island nation! Nations flung open its door, giving way to a more homogenized world, bringing gains to all players, notwithstanding with varying effects. India reaped rich dividends post liberalization. Companies sprung up, to ride the giant waves of change. And since then, it has been a sustained journey, if not euphoric! Recently, India cruised past France to become the 6th largest economy. It climbed 30 points in Ease of doing Business index this year, a welcome change from drab 130th rank last year. With FDI in multiple sectors, avenues are more than ever! And to feed the appetite of burgeoning companies, eager to gauge market behavior, articulate customer response, win base, and gain loyalty, the path for market research was paved. With more than three decades into existence, market research in India has over time evolved into an industry, unto itself, commanding respect nationally and internationally,! And the growth potential, given India’s demographic advantage, competiveness and alacrity to integrate itself into the mercurial technological space, despite hitches, is immense. Starting with revenue at 596 Million USD in 2010, it has come a long way, cementing its claim, to command an estimated revenue of 1178 Million USD in present times (2018).

 

Calibrating Market Research in India: Key features

Market research started with FMCG industries, the media measurement, and finally increasing its presence in telecommunication, health care, finance, services, automobile,durable goods industry, to name a few. With the advent of MRO and KPO, the overall market got split between the two, registering a  CAGR of 18%. During 2012- 2016 alone, the revenue growth in market research industry was estimated at 40% CAGR. India has been a bright spot in the growth story. It has come a long way from the traditional methods of data collection (pen and paper method) to new ones, thanks to spurt in mobile technology and penetration. The number of smartphone users will swell to 530 millions in 2018, second only to China! At the same time, internet users is expected to reach 450-465 million, according to Internet and Mobile association of India (IAMAI) and IMRB international.  This has led to a paradigm shift in collation of market intelligence and analysis. Now, numerous differentiated surveys are being undertaken through social media tools, ultimately feeding big data, considering the enormity of respondents. In a survey undertaken, 65 per cent of the companies sampled are using big data to analyse customer behavior while 59 per cent rely on big data to improve customer personalisation. Using the best practices, indigenous firms have come up with unique models in shopper behavior, mystery audits, customer satisfaction measurement, loyalty assessment etc.  In the nascent years, it had a monopolistic outlook, with only one or two names in each segment. As for example, Nielsen in FMCG, GfK in consumer durables, IDC and GfK in mobile phones, but quite recently numerous firms and start ups have made their mark and given it a broader picture. Many of them have earned their place in ESOMAR. According to Market Research Society of India, a dynamic, not for profit autonomous, market research body formed in 1988, acting as a large consortium of research suppliers and users pan India of more than 200, suggests an optimistic growth of 7% which is healthy. Low attrition rate suggests a stable and confident manpower base. Industry best practices are also incorporated from time to time. 29th AGM of MRSI held in 2017, endorsed the newly released ICC/ESOMAR International Code of Conduct on Market, Opinion and Social Research and Data Analytics. Already many home grown market research teams, boasting of a large clientele, are busy with complex market search projects from global firms in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France and Australia. This is transforming India into an outsourcing hub.

 

Market research services in India:

With a pool of best in the field, Indian firms and industry as a whole is keen to have a share in the MR pie, offering a host of services, comparable with the best. Have a look.

  • Data analysis
  • Verbatim analysis
  • Web survey analysis
  • Multivariate/bivariate analysis
  • Data monitoring, reporting and processing
  • Primary/ secondary market research
  • Quantitative/qualitative market research
  • Business market research
  • International market research
  • Online research
  • Media research
  • Market research surveys

 

Advantage India: Talent pool

When it comes to quality of researches, which is key to delivering products and services to niche markets and clients, India seems to sitting pretty, with a pool of young, dynamic and talented professionals from premier institutes, drawn from an array of segments.  With master/doctorate degree and years of experience in marketing research, business research and analytics, customer satisfaction, investment banking, mass communication and others, they form the strength of the industry. Industry exposure in Retail, Pharmaceuticals, Telecom, automotives, IT/ITES, FMCG, Real Estate, beside others is also rich.  Statistical analyses such as Cluster analysis, Correspondence Analysis, Multiple Regression, ARIMA and Factor Analysis are carried out with alongwith standard research tools like SPSS, SAS and MS Excel for data analytics, data processing, tabulations and coding. All this is done, adhering to scientific and value-based approach.

 

Choosing India for outsourcing market research: Why?

It has been made abundantly clear why India stands out as a growing and evolving market for market research. No surprise that, MNCs are rooting for India and putting their trust. Still, it would be in consonance of discussion for readers to bring out the finer points.

  • India being diverse in its population and cultural segmentation, offers a lucrative market for different industry due to its differentiated consumer base. Often dealing with Indian market, the sheer size of data is overwhelming. Indian researchers have been juggling with such enormous size, developing keen insight into customer behavior. With advent of Artificial Intelligence(AI), big data and automation, often the transition is both smooth and productive. The market stands to gain from such ambience.
  • No one likes their cost to overshoot! Companies all over the globe prefer a cost effective research. They will comfortably move to markets that offer a fine balance of cost and quality. Indian offers the most competitive pricing models for market research. Exactly the reason why it has become the most sought after destination for outsourcing.
  • By outsourcing, companies are coming in contact with perhaps the best minds. Year after year, India’s premier institutes are churning out talented professionals. A ready pool of analysts, researches, managers, offer customized solution likely to be found in few countries across the globe.
  • Shoring up skills to meet the demands of market research, most companies have research experts that work with the latest Six Sigma research tools, methodologies and models.

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