Taking Marketing Research & Analytics to new heights

Jasal Shah, MD & CEO – Markelytics Solutions

Jasal had an inherent inclination towards data-based decision making and this wrote the script of his career. He started  his career with IDC (International Data Corporation) & IMRB (Part of the Kantar Group, WPP’s information, insight and consultancy division), wherein a structure was laid to his overall thought process coupled with technical comprehension of global market research. He has been a risk-taker and strongly believes that “success always comes with fair amount of risk, you got to back yourself, your decisions and your team”.

Markelytics was started when the research industry was not that organized and there was tremendous opportunity in the overseas market. This led to his entrepreneurial stint and the organization is now into the 14th year.

“Every year, our story has been inspiring courtesy the lovely bunch of people I’ve here with me”, says Jasal. Making, “Mentoring & Managing – are the three important elements of life which I’m passionate about, be it foraying into new & promising business, mentoring right set of professionals and ensuring that every investment reaps benefits, not only in monetary aspect but social currency  is also something which I have earned and would love to pile on the stacks of that currency”, he adds.

Here are some more interesting insights from his professional journey, as shared with team ABT.

Who is your greatest inspiration & why?
We are genetically made up in such a way, that all of us look up to someone to emulate or inspire us and I’m no exception. My life has been my greatest teacher unfolding various realms of life and those situations have taught me how to navigate the challenges and grow. If I define my life as a teacher, then my mother has been a strict principal. She has always inspired me to do things which involved thinking beyond capacities and capabilities. She always said that there is no comparison to hard work and it is a must for anyone who wants to rise from the bottom.

Tell us about Markelytics  – the business model & why it’s a unique value proposition
Back in 2003, when we started, there was a huge dearth of people understanding  off- shore market research in India.  And at the same time, conducting market research for companies based in the US or Europe was not very profitable when you map cost vis-a-vis benefit. We understood this gap and started Markelytics as an offshore company which could excel majorly on three parameters – Cost Efficiency, Superior Quality and Timely Delivery. This provided a lot of armory in our proposition to clients and we ensured that we deliver on our prophecy. As we went on client acquisition spree, we also added the valor of global reach in our proposition.

This was not very easy and as I said, we have a team that has lot of grit and passion and this has led to where we are today. We also had this in our cognition that technology is going to play big in our industry sooner than later. And that’s why we had invested lot of resources into integrating our research processes with recent technologies. Today, if I have to take your opinion or feedback on behalf of any brand, I can do it through our global online panel and this is why we boast on a large global proprietary panel that we have built over the years.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to doing business?
Always, be honest and work hard to meet your client’s goals and make them your goals. There is nothing big that is not achievable. If something is there then it is achievable. So work and get there.

What has changed in the Research methodology in the recent years due to digitization
A lot has changed; in fact, we started experiencing this change before digitization spread its wings in India. As I mentioned, we could foresee the enormous role of technology in our industry. And yes, with digitization people have started accepting technology at a greater level courtesy huge campaign by the government and other companies edifying people about the benefits of digitization. We believed that pen & paper model of collecting data would not survive for more, and hence started working on online panel – we recruited respondents from different segments (consumers, healthcare, HNIs etc.) through our double opt-in process (a process where a respondent is asked to verify its email id before actually on boarding as a panelist).

There are many other methodologies wherein we have upgraded our system or integrated latest technology in our research methodologies; in fact we were recently felicitated for ‘Innovation in Research Methodology’ by World Marketing Congress endorsed by CMO Asia.

Any Announcements coming up?
We have recently launched Velocity MR as a full service wing of our group, and they would be serving the end clients and very shortly we are going to have a major announcement on research technology; I would prefer not to reveal more and let’s wait for the opportune time.

Please share your growth strategy, market share & client acquisition models
We have grown our business at a consistent pace 30% over the last 10 years. Today we are in the top 3 agencies when it comes to off-shoring. In the medical panel business, we can claim to be in the top 5 worldwide. We have the world’s 20 of the top 30 agencies working with us globally on a wide range of products and services.

Markelytics is an active hunter and is looking at opportunities in the area of Analytics, Online Panels, MR Apps etc.

What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
There is a lot that can be done – in this age where digitization has become the game; we are looking at creating a space where research can be offered as a DIY tool to researchers. This would be a game changer as this will give a lot of power backed by data to the marketers to take instant decisions.

Personally at 40, there is a long way and I think we are moving so fast with help of technology that we will start treading some unknown paths and territories. Just cannot wait to face those challenges and address them.