Interviewed By: Sandeep Kshatriya, Facilitator, The CEO Insights
The CEO Insights: What has been your experience as an entrepreneur like? What triggered your move to become an entrepreneur when the usual norm is of a salaried job?
Raj Sharma: The experience is extraordinary and to know that our efforts contribute to employing so many people is quite uplifting. The INDIA opportunity in the emerging markets was one of the key triggers and the fact that we had picked a niche industry.
The CEO Insights: What are your views for Marketing Research, Qualitative Marketing Research and Advanced Analytics Offerings?
Raj Sharma: The field is full of opportunities and Indians professionals would be providing their services to companies globally.
The CEO Insights: Your views on offerings for your various products/services?
Raj Sharma: Our offerings are very unique and the products/services we launch regularly.
The CEO Insights: Who are your target market and geography??
Raj Sharma: Our target markets (Industries) are FMCG, Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Auto, Aviation and in geographies we are in 18 countries in Asia and Middle East.
The CEO Insights: What are the key differences you find for traditional marketing research and current modern techniques used?
Raj Sharma: Current modern techniques allow the clients a greater degree of reliability and external validity to the Research Process. Most agencies cling to their legacy infrastructure, while we are constantly launching new technologies.
The CEO Insights: Your marketing research services do use modern techniques like perception `analyzer, CATI &CAPI, SMS based surveys, Eye Tracker?
Raj Sharma: Yes, we do. Technology has always been at the forefront of our service offerings.
The CEO Insights: Your views on expansion of various sector and specially Healthcare sector?
Raj Sharma: There is huge consumption in countries like India, China, Indonesia, UAE and we see promise in almost all the sectors in these markets. Healthcare for sure would be a leader in the pack. We also are seeing Auto Industry and Education Industry to be booming.
The CEO Insights: What are your dreams/ambitions for Majestic MRSS?
Raj Sharma: The immediate dream is for us to be in the Honomichi Top 50 global Market Research firms within the next two years. With coverage in over 18 countries and expanding, we are certain to achieve this goal before that.
The CEO Insights: You have been associated with various organizations like ESOMAR, AEMRI, MSPA, WAPOR, AIAI, FICCI, CII, ePHMRA, AQR, etc, which would have helped your company to connect with more people?
Raj Sharma: Yes, in our industry these associations play an important role.
The CEO Insights: How do you find the temporary staffing scenario in India compared to the global scene? Do you think culture plays a role in decision of people to choose contractual employment over permanent job?
Raj Sharma: Temporary staffing in India is as common as is globally. Culture definitely plays a role however nowadays it is more of the corporate who decide how many employees they want on a permanent basis and how many on a contractual basis.
The CEO Insights: What kind of expertise you require when you recruit? Your views on recruiting fresh MBA talents?
Raj Sharma: We need people with analytical skills and who have high curiosity levels. Most of the fresh MBA students assume that they already know everything and a lot of unlearning has to be done with them. However every candidate is unique and one cannot generalize.
The CEO Insights: How you manage other sub-center’s at different location and providing same quality services?
Raj Sharma: We do this very simply by follow a SOP process. We have checklists for everything.
The CEO Insights: What are the key challenges for setting up a multi-country marketing research support service?
Raj Sharma: The Key challenge is that there is no formula or cookie-cut model. Every market is unique and one has to invest a lot of resources to be able to do that. At the end of it is a great feeling to be present in 18 countries in Asia and Middle East.
The CEO Insights: Your encounter with major challenges at Majestic MRSS and how did you overcome this challenges?
Raj Sharma: Major challenge was to change the market views and getting clients to accept new technologies. The manner in which these challenges were overcome were primarily by diligence and demonstrating value of the tools to the clients.
The CEO Insights: What is your Favorite Book?
Raj Sharma: Al Koran’s – The magic of the Mind.
The CEO Insights: What are your hobbies?
Raj Sharma: Puzzles and Word Games.
The CEO Insights: Who is your role model?
Raj Sharma: Steve Jobs of Apple.
The CEO Insights: Any Message for us?
Raj Sharma: All the best and great job. Keep it up.
To read more about Raj Sharma, Co-Founder & President, Majestic Market Research Support Services Ltd., Please click here