Monday, November 15, 2010

Cost of development is paid heavily by environment but those who gain from development, do they pay as much as a second thought to this?

A study done by us a couple of years back showed that an average Indian Household emits 2382 kgs of CO2 annually - this is 3010 in the Indian metros while it is only 1313 in rural India. In the lowest income segment of < Rs. 3000 monthly income segment, annual CO2 emission is only 1169 kg per household. This is as much as 5433 kg in the highest income segment ie., Rs. 30,000 monthly income. This amply demonstrates that the cost for development is paid by the environment. CO2 emission comes from usage of electricity, petrol, diesel, cooking fuel etc. Apart from these, there are other items like disposal of polythene, electronic items, batteries, cell phones etc which also contribute significantly to eco hazards caused as an aftermath of economic development as we understand it.

This development will be difficult to afford over the long run. That sustainabledevelopment needs to eco friendly is a well accepted fact. But those who benefit from the rewards of development,  are they aware of the costs and more importantly, are they willing to pay for the cost rather than making environmemnt pay for it.

To check this out we took the category of mobile phones to check the consciousness of the eco impact of mobile phones. Cell-phones contain elements like cadmium, lead, lithium, arsenic, mercury and beryllium, which are a potential threat to the eco system if not discarded properly. Lots of cell phones are discarded by just throwing away, wherein these hazardous elements in the cell phones come into direct contact with earth’s eco system. Some of their elements become toxic over time or when they are in contact with water over long time. The immediate impact is contamination of the earth and any water source that may come in contact with the cell phone waste. Then comes the issue of EMRs ie the dangerous radiations emitted by usage of phones.

Does the common user realizes the eco hazards of cell phones. And if so, what aspects of these, is the user aware of and is he willing to pay a premium for a more eco friendly phone. To check this, we at AZ Research Partners conducted a survey to understand salience of eco hazards amongst cell phone users. 1100 respondents participated in this survey that was done primarily online and on phone calls.

Very interesting findings came from this research. 87% of respondents mentioned that they are very concerned about environment related issues. Key issues, they are concerned about, as shown below in the chart, are related to pollution by vehicles and pollution of rivers and oceans by industrial waste.

Eco hazards of cell phones
When specifically asked if they consider cell phones to be an eco hazard, 30% of the respondents said that they did consider cell phones to be an eco hazard and another 54% said that 'may be' cell phones are an eco hazard. The key concern that the respondents have with cell phone are related to radiations which are considered as eco hazards - 55% of the respondents mentioned EMRs as the key eco hazards of cell phones. That cell phones have toxic metals and other compounds which poison soil and water disposal was mentioned as an eco hazard by 34%.

Benefits sought from Eco friendly phones
33% of participants felt that low radiation handset is the most important eco benefit for them and close to this, 31% felt that ‘made from eco friendly materials’ is the most important eco benefit in cell phone. These two are closely followed by ‘easy to recycle’ which in essence is same as made from ‘eco friendly materials’. These users are interestingly willing to pay a premium of upto 20% over normal phones for these 3 benefit propositions.

Therefore, our key takeout from this exercise was that urban consumers are concerned about environmental issues. They are aware of eco hazards of a category like cell phones which has a very high penetration in urban India and most importantly, are willing to pay a premium for more eco friendly phones.

Are manufacturing companies listening?

For detailed report on this research click on the link

Monday, July 19, 2010

Top 5 mistakes that people make with MR

1) Over sampling or under sampling – This is the biggest mistake people make with research ie., have sample sizes which are not robust enough or are hugely inefficient. While 2 FGDs are not enough to conclude on anything, usually beyond 20 FGDs, you cannot add value to any single question. More than 20 FGDs would be required only if you are researching a portfolio of questions. It might be better to split the research into separate projects, for better focus. Similarly in quantitative research, those prone to over-sampling do not understand that sample sizes depend on variability and not universe size.

2) Not giving due importance to translations – this can create a complete hara-kiri for the best designed questionnaires. Researchers spent hours / days in designing questionnaires – all the ‘to and fro’ with the client and all that included. Incorrect translations take away the complete essence. Sometimes, the issue is not even incorrect translation but language incompatibility. It is so easy to reel off ‘neither important nor unimportant’ in English. Try translating this into Hindi ! The questionnaire can become complete garbage going through the translation process.

3) Not pre-piloting questionnaire – simplest of questions should be piloted. No new questions should be put into any research without at least a small / simple pilot. People have multifarious ways of interpreting questions and unless piloted, the response might be different from what we are interpreting it

4) Selection of methodology – Usually, there is not much issue in selection of quantitative vs. qualitative. But the issues usually creep in DI vs. Group OR CLT vs. In Home. Categories where people might have any concern with sharing data in public forums, should be handled as DIs / or In home. Or whenever the research needs to understand, knowledge levels, it should be done as one-on-one.

5) In case of data not fitting pre-conceived notions, assuming that there is a problem in fieldwork. While, there are cases of fieldwork goof-ups, mostly, fieldwork is ok. Try looking at the data again, are there patterns / reasons you do not know / think of. If not, try looking at data prep, did something go wrong there? Or in data analysis? If nothing explains, call back the respondents and ask them to explain the data. Usually, this solves most of the problems.

Written by: Shubhra Misra

Monday, June 21, 2010

Changing Face of Women in India…is it real?

She is an important part of everybody’s life. She functions on all kind of food, she is able to embrace several kids at the same time, gives a hug that can heal anything, she cures herself when sick and works for more than 18 hrs a day, she gives herself , so that her family can thrive and ‘SHE’ is the ‘WOMAN’. Woman has strength that amazes man. Woman THEN and Woman NOW!!!
There are many women who have made India proud….be it Indira Nooyi or Kiran Bedi or Chanda Kochar or Kalpana Chawla, the list would be endless…..As history bears the witness, there have been many famous and successful women… it India or any other part of this world..

The status of women has undergone a major change in the past few decades…and surely for the better. But this is not the happy ending of the changing story that began few decades ago. There are various issues that still need so much attention….No doubt that the position of women is definitely better than what it was then but women are not liberated completely. A majority of women end up as homemakers and they end up being referred to as Mrs X. Parents want their daughters to get modern education and at the same time they want them to follow the orthodox values. There are still so many cases pending on sexual harassment on women. Can justice be done to a woman who has undergone such a painful trauma?

Women have conquered all possible arenas in the world, be it being a bus conductor or an astronaut, women of today have been there and done that. Still somewhere down the line, there are many men who do not permit women to walk along with them. The age old tradition still persists, women changing their last name after the marriage, women going to husband’s house after marriage and many women bearing the burnt of the male dominated society. We all say dowry is illegal but there are innumerable people who take gifts informally from the girl’s side giving some other name to “dowry”. Strange but true….that is what is Indian tradition and culture.

Reservation for women, equal rights to women, providing women equal opportunity etc, the Indian government is doing every possible thing for the empowerment of women but that is not enough. The society also has to accept that any woman today is no less than a man. As Gandhiji has rightly said we must be the change we want to see. Wake Up, We are the “WE”.

Written by : Shruti Wadavi

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mumbai Indians most favourite team in IPL 2010

In an online research conducted by AZ Research, Mumbai Indians was the most favourite team in IPL 2010. It was the most favourite team for 54% of the followers. Its appeal, however was a little lower amongst women at 41% as compared to men at 58%. A significant percentage of women liked Chennai Super Kings most. In conjunction with this, Sachin Tendulkar was the most favourite cricket in IPL 2010 – liked most by 52% of the viewers. Like Mumbai Indians, appeal of Sachin is also higher amongst men at 56% and comparatively lower amongst women at 38%. Sachin is followed by MS Dhoni who is liked most in IPL 2010 by 14% of viewers – only 8% amongst men and 33% amongst women.
AZ research did an online research to assess viewer-ship and feedback to IPL 2010. This research was done amongst cricket followers, males and females in the age band of 15 to 50 years. Sample size of 1550 interviews was achieved in this research. This research brings forward some interesting findings about viewership and preferences of viewers regarding IPL 2010.

Appeal of Mumbai Indians is over powering and is impacting perceptions of all dimensions of appeal. It is also seen as the most stylish and most aggressive team. After MI, RCB has a clear lead on being the most stylish team. These are followed by CSK and KKR on being most stylish teams. MI leads on being the most aggressive team also. However, after MI, CSK has a clear lead on being the most aggressive team.

Since IPL is expected to be an amalgamation of cricket and glamour this research also asked the IPL 2010 followers on who was the most stylish team ambassador in IPL 2010. Expectedly Shahrukh Khan emerges as the most stylish ambassador for an IPL team. He is followed by Preity Zinta who leads over Shilpa Shetty and Deepika Padokone. Katrina Kaif also emerges almost at par with Preity Zinta. Nita Ambani and Vijay Mallya feature at position 5 on this – just ahead of Deepika Padukone.

Amongst the viewers of IPL 2010, DLF is the most recalled brand. Being the main sponsor for 3 consecutive years has given DLF a significant recall. On the top 10 recall positions, there are 7 brands which are either cell phone handsets or mobile operators. Recall of brands on top ten positions is detailed herewith.
Rank 1  -  DLF (78% recall)
Rank 2  -  Kingfisher (71% recall)
Rank 3  -  Aircel & Royal Challenge (both at 65% recall)
Rank 4  -  Idea (59% recall)
Rank 5  -  Vodafone (56% recall)
Rank 6  -  Nokia (51% recall)
Rank 7  -  UltraTech Cement (48% recall)
Rank 8  -  Hero Honda, Karbonn, Maxx (all at 45% recall)
Rank 9  -  Deccan Chronicle (43% recall)
Rank 10 - Videocon mobile (39% recall)
This research was conducted online and feedback was received from about 18 cities of India. 33% of the sample size was students while 67% was working class, mostly were middle level executives.

Contributed by : AZR Online

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Back to the future

We all hear it too often – how ‘advanced’ the next generation is! How ‘different’ they would be

Am sure most of us have heard our mother say “we didn’t have the guts to speak in this way with our parents… you do not respect elders”. Our parents thought that way about us, mothers today would think the same way about the next gen.

Is it really true? Is the next gen going old world norms as we call it or are we heading backwards albeit in our own fashion?

The other day during a casual discussion, someone pointed out how probably in the next few years to come kids would address their parents with their first name and ‘mom’ ‘dad’ would be passé. One of them retorted… How can they! Absolute disrespect… we are going the American way…! Surprise my friend... even my grand mother & her siblings used to call their parents by their first name! And I have heard that there were more like them in their day and age.

The other day I was watching Swami & amp; friends… the classic by RK Narayan... it was interesting that the story set in a small town in pre-independence era had a protagonist who can pass off as a kid of today with changes in his attire. Independent, individualistic (he refused to go to the school because his principal punished him… forced his parents to accept his decision – talk about pester power!), friends meant the world to him; image conscious (borrows a ‘topi’ from a friend because his upper class friend Rajam is visiting him) the list can go on… so are these values really ‘new age’?

Talking about kids... many people believe that today’s kids are smarter than their age… that they are, but mostly due to increased exposure that they have in today’s generation. Just look at the architecture our forefathers have come up with (without the help of technology which the new age architects have), most of today’s discoveries are some where based on and / or are possible because of our forefathers’ inventions.

Realization dawned on quite a few post the cult movie 3 Idiots, that one should follow ones heart / passion & not make a career of what their parents want them to do, the new age gyaani went on to say how its excellence that is to be pursued and not winning over others – and that’s the new gen moto? Well, following your passion or hobby is definitely an “in” thing today… but is it really a “new” thing? Though I wasn’t born then... I am not sure if in 50s and 60s… it was believed you need to be an Engineer to gain respect and status in society. What was revered was excellence in your field of choice – be it a scientist, an administrator, a politician or an artist… you had to be excellent and you would be revered for it. It was “excellence” and not “winning over others” that mattered then – isn’t this what most of us loved about 3 Idiots?

So does it mean times have not changed? It would be wrong to conclude that way… times have changed, and changing too. ‘Idealism’ has made way to ‘being practical’, ‘grey’ is more prominent than ‘black and white’… ‘Materialism’ has replaced ‘simplicity / simple living’. The articulations, definitions of all these terms and values have changed with time… but still this is the age where AOL is making waves (old wine in a new bottle, anyone?). May be that’s why wheel symbolizes time… ‘kaal chakra’ because it comes in a full circle.

So, leaving it open for discussions with a nagging question on my mind… in future will we see more of ‘new age values’… or will the ‘best of old world values’ get recycled?

Written by : Aruna Priyadarshini

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Birth of the Cinema

It is common knowledge that cinema was "invented" in 1895 and that the first cinema shows took place in that year. However, several persons have been credited with having invented the cinema. Edison in America, William Friese-Green in UK, the Lumiere brothers (Louis and August) in Paris, Skladanowsky in Germany. This should alert us to the fact that the concept of the invention of cinema is problematic. If there is no one inventor, was there an invention at all?

There is a story, probably apocryphal, that Louis Lumiere, the French inventor, was working on an apparatus which would take still photographs of phases of a movement at a certain speed and then would show those still photographs at the same speed so that an illusion of continuous movement is created in the mind of the viewer. Lumiere was not successful. Naturally it became a headache of sorts and he went out for a walk. He chanced to see a woman at her sewing machine. Lo and behold! The stop motion mechanism of the sewing machine would drive the cinecamera and the cine-projector. We may assume such anecdotes for Edison in New York and his fellow scientists in England & Germany too. To be precise, several people were working on a device to photograph and reproduce movement in and around 1895. The development of the cinecamera was a breakthrough indeed, but it was also the culmination of a long evolution. The urge to create a living image of reality was implicit in man's earliest magic and earliest art - and we can trace back the ancestors of moving pictures as we know them for more than a century before 1895.
Of course, from a certain approach to history, it is convenient to ascribe inventions to particular persons. This gives the impression of mastering history. Also, equating the "invention" of cinema with the development of the cinecamera makes it possible to assign a birthday to the cinema, an important element in history. This may appear innocent, but it isn't. For if the invention of cinema is limited to the making of a special apparatus to take and show photographs, that is, the cinematograph, then the cinema itself is reduced to a technical apparatus. But when we talk of cinema, we mean much more than just a machine. We do not go to a cinema hall to see a machine, nor primarily to experience optical tricks. We go, mainly, to see a story. And cinema turns out to be an art and a language. Based on an instrument, yet, much larger and complex than the instrument itself. Ask rather, "When was cinema language invented?"

Secondly, the cinema shows of 1895 were not the first shows of moving pictures. They were only more developed shows. From the end of the eighteenth century, and with the spread of the cheap printing, people increasingly came to look at images for their knowledge of life. The rational spirit of the age produced a passion for visual shows and exhibitions of all kinds. The ancient oriental shadow show enjoyed a great revival of popularity all over Europe in the 1770s and the 1780s. There was a great fashion for entertainments which combined painting, theatre, and light.

The association of cinema's birthday with the first film shows emphasizes the fact that, whatever else cinema could have been and hardly ever was, cinema happens to be a spectacle, an entertainment, and a business. Despite this, cinema manages to be an art. This suggests that, after all, technology, business, entertainment, and spectacle may not be as antagonistic to art as they are held to be. Moreover, since story telling started much before the so-called invention of the cinema, what was new when the cine-camera was perfected? It was a new manner of generating and conveying stories. And after the years 1895 to 1900, the real invention of the cinema took place, that is, the perfection of the skill to use the new apparatus to convey stories.

Wriiten by : Amit Patra

Monday, May 31, 2010

An ode to Innocence

In-no-sense is this article an attempt to ridicule or belittle any of the individuals involved in any of the incidents. For good measure I have not revealed either the names or the places in which these events occurred. It is more to just smile and enjoy the incidents in themselves.
Long time ago when an entire office had just two computers and having a lap top was a bigger perk than the corner cabin is when this particular incident occurred. The gentleman in question was a senior vice president in a marketing services company and had just been given a spanking new lap top two days prior. As expected it was the envy of mere mortals and the pride of the owner. Only issue was that in those days senior managers used to have secretaries adept at short hand and the norm was to dictate all communication to them. The juniors in office decided to pull a fast one on the senior vice president and told him that since laptops are mobile in nature they don’t have storage capacity and hence any communication which comes on it, if not acknowledged immediately moves on to cyber space in a southerly direction. Incidentally our protagonist was aiming to close a big deal with an American company at that very same time. He was expecting their revert on that very same night. So as matters unfolded he instructed his secretary as follows …” Shiela…you and I will have to stay in office tonight and lets take turns at sleeping. I am expecting a mail from the client in US and if we don’t answer it immediately, it will go to Sri Lanka”. You can well imagine the office next day.

Around the same time, the person who heads a leading luxury brand in the country had just given his board exams and was awaiting his results. The much awaited day dawned and with it came the information that CBSE had become tech savvy and had set up a call centre where one could call in to get one’s results. Our protagonist hailed from a small town where telephony was still not very prevalent and one had to go to the post office to make STD calls since the help line number was a Delhi number. Young legs carried our man like the wind to the post office. With trembling hands he called the number to hear an upset female voice saying “ Is route mein sabhi line wyast hain. Kripaya kuch der baad dial kare”. He tried again and the lady sounded even more upset this time. Disappointed our protagonist was about to go back home when the clerk at the post office said “ Beta chinta mat karo…woh aurat aise hi bolte rahti hai”. Our man however was convinced that his results were bad and that is why the lady was upset and hence went home literally in tears and told his siblings “ Aunty bahut gusse mein thi. Mera number bura hoga”.

A budding entrepreneur currently, our next protagonist had just joined one of the leading management schools in early 90’s. Being one of the few women in her batch was tough enough but add to that the fact that she was staying out of home for the first time made it doubly worse. Her father had given her the number of a local relative in case of any emergencies etc. One day our protagonist went to the phone booth at campus and called the number, but the call did not go thru. A couple of days later she tried again but to no avail. When this happened a third and a fourth time she got very worried. Another week went by and yet another attempt yielded the same result. This time however she was with another girl from her batch who immediately saw that our protagonist was upset. On enquiring the whole sad saga came out in a gush. Perplexed the friend said lets try again. They went into the booth again and the friend started dialling. Imagine the sheer astonishment on our protagonists face when the number connected. Hugs and kisses later the secret revealed itself. You have to dial 0 first to get an outside line and then dial the number.

All three have gone on to become very successful professionals and I wish them all the best in future. If only our children were to have a fraction of this innocence.

Written by : Sujay Misra

Eco hazards of cellphones

In India today, one of the fastest growth categories of durables is cell phones. New age icons for connectivity, cell-phones are fast replacing landlines as basic communication device. But apart from being a basic communication device, cell phone is also an entertainment source, a mass media device, a fashion accessory, all rolled into one. The resultant boom in the cell phone market in India has made India the fastest growing cell phone market in the world.

In the euphoria of the boom, nobody has paused to consider the eco hazards of cell phones. We are creating a Frankenstein who is likely to gobble us up, if not controlled and in time. Enough has been written about the hazards of EMR emitted by cell phones. These radiations emitted by cell phone and phone towers are exactly on the same frequency as microwaves. Continuous exposure to these radiations can lead to several health hazards related to reproductive system, central nervous system or even cancer. A recent survey done in Delhi by a leading media house, shows that most of the schools and hospitals in the capital are radiation unsafe zones. Even the major venues for CWGs are radiation unsafe. (Read for details :-'Delhiites+living+under+cellphone+radiation+threat'.html)

The Delhi government has reacted and said that it will take control of the situation by pulling down illegal phone towers. That will be a very temporary impact solution. Radiations for the phones in Delhi will focus on the balance towers. And gradually the towers pulled down by the government will come back. Actually, like most other eco problems, this cannot be solved by the government alone. Unless an average phone user realizes the problem and rations cell phone usage as much as possible, EMRs cannot be controlled.

Then there is the less spoken of hazard of discarding cell phones. With lifecycle of cell phones coming down to 6 months or so, even considering second hand sale / resale of handsets, we are generating lots of handset garbage which is discarded away. Cell-phones contain elements like cadmium, lead, lithium, arsenic, mercury and beryllium, which are a potential threat to the eco system if not discarded properly. Lots of cell phones are discarded by just throwing away, wherein these hazardous elements in the cell phones come into direct contact with earth’s eco system. Some of their elements become toxic over time or when they are in contact with water over long time. The immediate impact is contamination of the earth and any water source that may come in contact with the cell phone waste.

Proper disposal of cell phones is an easy way to ensure that that is eco hazard is avoided. Proper disposal would just mean that the discarded cell phones are broken down and re-cycled as much as possible. Whatever elements cannot be re-cycled should then be discarded in a way that they do not get in contact with eco system. Handset manufacturers who are raking in the moolah because of the cell phone boom, owe it to the humanity to focus on the eco hazards of cell phones.

Written by Shubhra Misra

Monday, May 24, 2010

The fallacy of hard work

The English Teacher at school once told me when there is darkness around you, don’t curse the darkness. Light a candle and you will illuminate the room for every one around you”. I at that time thought that it was the ultimate altruism little realising that hidden behind those words was a bigger truth – when you light the candle, every one in the room realises that you were the one to light the candle.

I did not realise the bigger truth till I entered the rat race in the true sense of the word. In all my youthful exuberance and innocence I had believed that illuminating the world around me was the mantra to success and happiness.

Then the first year appraisals happened when I thought that I had done an exemplary job at both what was expected of a young executive and also in contributing to the overall performance of my company. Imagine the rude shock when there was about a 50 percentile difference between my self assessment and that of my appraiser. I learnt that I had not fulfilled my KRA’s, that my Soft Target achievement was abysmal, I was seriously lacking in professionalism, I lacked in Client focus and result orientation, my team orientation was poor and to top it all I had performed poorly in my corporate citizenship role.

You can imagine what a traumatic experience it must have been for me. I neither understood what I had done wrong nor what was expected of me. As a true blue Arien I quit my job immediately and told my appraiser to continue living in darkness as I believed I had the power to illuminate thanks to my English teacher.

I joined the top competitor of my erstwhile company with a silent oath to myself that I will make the erring appraiser eat humble pie. I can even remember the pride with which I had told the gentleman who had interviewed me in the competitor company that my sole objective in life was to contribute meaningfully in bringing my erstwhile company to its senses. What I really meant was that I as the new Sachin Tendulkar of this company will single handedly defeat the opposing company with 16 overs to spare in a 20-20 game, After all I was the ILLUMINATOR.

A complete year of hard work, sweat and toil later I was again faced with the now familiar appraisal day. Confident me walked into face the appraiser to have my worst nightmare replayed. KRA, Soft Targets, Professionalism, Client Focus, Result Orientation, etc etc.

Options were either to quit and go to competitor number 3 or to understand what this corporate jargon meant. I chose the later and given below is the distillate of my understanding of the above arrived upon by being on both sides of the table across two decades.

KRA – Read Key Responsibility Area – Decoded as anything and every thing which anybody else in the system connected however remotely to you fails to deliver on his or her responsibility.( Interestingly as I have grown older I have realised that this is the difference between great organisations and mediocre ones and hence is a great concept). Marx had explained it as collective responsibility but somehow KRA sounds almost like an accusation.

Soft Target – In case you achieve all targets given to you and still the management decides to shaft you, the night before the appraisal they hold a meeting to decide how to. Whatever is the chosen route falls under the broad head of soft targets. It can range from number of new clients met to how many client birthdays you remembered…..or much further..

Professionalism – How close was your dressing, demeanour, mannerisms were to your boss. If you are not a clone then you will lose out.

Client Focus – As long as the boss man does not get a client call you are client focussed. If he gets it does not matter beyond that.

Result Orientation – Did the payment come on time? If so yes and if not NO.

Corporate Citizenship – Am still working at figuring this one out.

Till then let every one else know that you lit the candle.

Written by : Sujay Misra

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A discussion on Chinese economy on AZ Research FB

Sujay Misra : India has totally 105000 hotel rooms while Shanghai alone has 135000. Are we competing with China or Shanghai?
Anubhav Rawat : We are competing with Shanghai, as all politicians & corporations across India only mention that by 20XX We will be like Shanghai.We are competing with Shanghai, as all politicians & corporations across India only mention that by 20XX We will be like Shanghai.
AZ Research : We are not competing with China or Shanghai. We are only competing against ourselves. Keep in perspective that China is a state controlled economy and to sustain their growth the state can put in monies whereever they feel like. There are more than few ecoomists who believe that Chinese economy is a huge bubble with artificial Investment to Consumption ratios etc. There are no such concerns on Indian economy. Indian economy is for real. And hence more real and more robust.
Osty Lab : On a 400m race China is at the last 100m while we just started..but its good to aspire..we would tk an awful lot of time to catch up..democracy has its drawbacks too !
Beyond all this glitz n glamor of 'emerging powers', the growth is far from inclusive or distributed..this is ammunition enough for social unrest, if not already !
Sujay Misra : My worry is whether we will ever go past the 200 meter mark
Osty Lab : Democracy is like god's grinds surely..but SLOWLY !!!
AZ Research : Democracy has brought about the current developed world and also most of developing world. Lack of democracy brought about erstwhile USSR, North Korea, East Germany, Iran, Iraq etc ... In an economy like China, you can't even be sure of what constitutes GDP - when goods roll out of factories, they are counted as part of GDP, much before they even reach the tertiary sales point. there is enough speculated on how wasteful is infrastructure spends in China, done to just keep the economy pumped up. Don't forget that USSR was also perceived to be a developed country b4 the great collapse ! Till the bubble bursts !
Sujay Misra : Assumption being that China has not learnt from USSR :)
Anubhav Rawat : What will be the impact on the gobal economy if the china bubble bursts, will there be a rise in cost of goods (electronic) or fall?
Sujay Misra : If China collapses while cost of goods across the world will go up but overall it will have a posistive impact on India foremost and world economy as a whole because number of jobs etc will go up. This in turn will spur the failing european union and bring back the old world order of super powers. But China wont collapse.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Providing confidence regarding marketing research

How often one hears from new marketing research clients on how could they trust that the research presented would be genuine? How often one one sees clients wonder what level of confidence could they have on the data presented and what is the support for that?

Valid questions !
Given that they are not only going to spend significant monies on research but much more because they are going to take significant decisions on the basis of data presented. All market research providers must deal with these nagging doubts at some time or other. Actually, the real problem facing marketing research personnel is not just to provide the required confidence to clients but more than that to have systemic processes to ensure that the confidence is well grounded!

In this blog, I am writing about my experience on how to ensure confidence in data collected by the fieldforce on marketing research projects.

To exploit every possible window of making some easy money is quite a human trait. Therefore, I believe that one should start with the premise that there are possibilities that your fieldforce across job profiles is looking for these opportunities and will use these incase there are no checks and balances. Therefore, the key to having genuine data lies in enforcing checks and balances in the system. Nothing new in this. Industry had this figured ages back and hence instituted systems of back checks by supervisors and field executives etc. However, the problem with these systems is that the entity responsible for delivering the fieldwork and the entity responsible for auditing the fieldwork is pretty much the same. Therefore, we instituted a system of audits by a seperate team, which has neither field personnel nor research personnel in it. This works wonderfully in curbing fake reporting. The mere thought that the work could be audited by an independent team, brings in fear of unknown and curbs the human tendency to make an easy buck.

Audit as an independent practice is still not a very developed function in the context of marketing research. This could be formalized as a completely external function to be done by traditional audit firms or bodies like MRSI. Having external audits and audit certification for agencies could go a very long in curbing doubts of clients and potential clients of marketing research.

Written by Shubhra Misra

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Launching AZ Research Partners

IMRS Advisory Pvt. Ltd., India’s fastest growing marketing research company, ties up with BMI Research of Southeast Asia a leading market research and consultancy company, to simultaneously launch services across countries like India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal , Bangladesh, Singapore and Hongkong. BMI have traditionally had a strong presence across SE Asia while IMRS has been the fastest growing market research agency in India over the last 10 years. With the launch of AZ Research we strengthen our commitment towards the Southeast Asian market by offering a wider range of services.

AZ Research has been founded by industry veterans with a mission to go beyond traditional research and provide complete solution to marketing information needs of companies. We also organize brand workshops with all stake holders to analyse the current brand identity and strategise to create the desired identity with stretch limits for brands.

As a completely new activity AZ Research will now also provide to their clients a unique service of conceptualizing and designing of Brand identity elements. Continuous feedback from the new online consumer panel would give the company a cutting edge to raise early warning signals for clients in case there is any brand identity crisis brewing in the market place.

We are also launching research using social networking in a formal manner for the first time in India. Follow us on face book -