In 1988 a large fraternity of research suppliers and users spread across India formed The Market Research Society of India (MRSI) is a unique, dynamic and a not-for-profit autonomous market research body.
MRSI aims to guide, encourage, and uphold the highest quality standards of professionalism for all those who use, need, generate, or analyse and interpret insights/data in the research & insight industry. It is a platform that brings marketing professionals and insight professionals together and instils a code of conduct that should be followed in the research & insight industry in India and showcases the developments and innovations that take place.
Marketing and social research users, pure play analytics, KPOs, technology providers, consulting firms and anyone in the space of providing, using or buying consumer insights are members of MRSI along with organizations which provide support services to the industry, thus, it holistically represents the interests of the industry rather than specific sections.
Sandeep Arora, President, Market Research Society of India (MRSI) in an exclusive chat with Medianews4U talks to us about the report, the research scenario in India and more.
What made MRSI come out with this report now?
This report has been long overdue, especially given the changes in industry composition and dynamics. This report would serve as the baseline to future reports, looking at the entire Research & Insights industry in a holistic way. We had intended to get this report done in 2019, but due to the pandemic situation, it has been delayed. The Research & Insights Industry is growing rapidly and is highly dynamic, hence needs to be monitored accurately on a regular basis.
Why was the Indian research & insights sector chosen?
MRSI is focused on the upliftment and visibility of the Research & Insights sector. This sector services both Domestic and International demand. There is an appetite for the depth and width of information this report provides to understand the trends in the Indian Research & Insight sector as a whole, and the sum of its parts (sub-segments).
There are many research/surveys done. Would really want to understand how this is conducted and who are the people who are normally selected to answer these endeavours?
We have deployed the best practices in our methodological framework for coming up with a sectoral report. It relies on lots of available secondary data coupled with opinions and insights from industry experts. The Research & Insights landscape has changed from the ‘surveys’ you mentioned which was MR 1.0 in our definition to MR 3.0 which is tech-enabled, real-time and multi-source and connected data including analytics and Reporting. This is a conversation of the hour – for the Research & Insight industry’s investors, vendors, buyers, and start-ups.
Today though Data is the new oil, there is a huge concern over data privacy, what are the new challenges faced in this scenario?
Ensuring that the PII of the respondents is protected to prevent any identity reconstruction, this industry has always been in the forefront of data privacy related governance. MRSI has its own code of ethics that all member companies have to abide by. We also have a separate and neutral MRSI’s Professional Standards Committee to resolve any specific or industry concerns pertaining to this matter.
As per the report the R&I industry is to grow at 12-14% CAGR, can you elaborate on this?
The growth is like to come because of two primary demand factors: (1) The Analytics & Tech-enabled segment is poised to grow much faster at 15-17%; coupled with (2) demand from international buyers of these services. Basis this, we are confident of doubling our industry size by 2026.
When it comes to the R&I industry what are the trends you are witnessing in this new normal in India & globally?
The new normal has a few ramifications for the R&I industry in India. The positives are that Work-from-Anywhere increases the opportunity for Indian players. The move to AI/ML plays to India’s proven skills in the IT space and consolidates India as a value-add supplier, rather than a cost arbitrage market. The challenges are skilled manpower to induct into the sector to match the growth, and talent retention.
An interesting trend in the traditional MR space is the partial return to Face-to-face interviewing after the swing to online during the lockdowns. It will be interesting to watch where this settles, as there were many learning’s on the use of tech and online, which are likely to be integrated into on-going workflows
What would be your area of Focus for 2022?
Key Focus for 2022 would largely be around strengthening the skilled resource supply base to match the demand of this evolving industry. Today, the R&I industry banks heavily on data scientists, AI/ML programmers, Visualizers and Storytellers. All of these are short in supply, and therefore are one of the best-remunerated positions within this growing industry. Encouraged by this demand, a number of academic institutions, with the help of MRSI, have started to update their pedagogy and training materials to fill the skill gaps.
Another area of focus is around improving the quality of data collection and assimilation. Given that actionable insights come from connected data from multiple sources, the challenges around data scrubbing and integrating before analysis is a big gap that needs to be covered. While the immense data storage and processing power is becoming commonplace, the ability to connect various such data points to arrive at insights is still quite a rare and unique skill. Connecting various such data dots, from clean, relevant and integrated data is where we wish to be moving towards.