In the run-up to Qual360 Europe we spoke with Amit Tiwari, Vice President Marketing at Havells and Akanksha Pokhriyal, Senior Research Director at Hansa Research, who will give a joint presentation at the upcoming event.
Qual360: Without giving too much away – what is the core message of your talk and what would you like delegates to remember?
Amit& Akanksha: Describing India as “Dragon on the move” is now an old tale, an established fact you may say. Now is the turn for the Elephant to show its speed, despite the large size, the Elephant does have a very quick pace. The Indian growth story has just started in Urban India, and with Bharat (the Hindi/ Sanskrit name for India, generally used to refer to the Small Town & Rural India), the real story of India’s growth is yet to unfold.
It is still laying low in the hot & dusty, hard to reach 700k+ villages of India & 4000+ Small Towns – accounting for 80% of the total 1.3 billion population. The population of Urban India is more than the population of United States of America; there are 833 million people living in Rural India – close to the total population (885 million) of all the G8 countries put together (USA, Canada, UK, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia). So there is a huge potential here.
Qual360: Why did you choose the topic of your talk?
Amit & Akanksha: India gets painted as an exotic country – Bollywood, Cricket, Politics, Religion – the big four passion points hog all the limelight all the time. In conversations about India, Semi-Urban/ Rural India generally gets lost out as the focus remains on a few metro cities and places easily connected to the metros, where all the media is based.
Even for Indians, it is much more convenient to paint the country in broad brushes – Metro as Premium consumer markets and non-metro/ rural as their poor/ backward cousins. Traveling to these small markets even for research purposes is rare. But making that extra effort was quite an eye-opener for all of us. The diversity of India couldn’t be captured in the words, but it is possible to open a small window to the people within India and outside to the amazing opportunity that Small Town/ Rural India has the potential to provide.
Qual360: What motivates you to join QUAL360 Europe and what are your expectations?
Amit & Akanksha: To use a clichéd term “In learning, you will teach, and in learning, you will learn” our purpose of joining QUAL360 is to learn from the exciting qualitative research work happening across the world from other participants, at the same time also sharing our learnings which may open up some new insights, which we may have never seen ourselves.
Qual360: There is a lot of talk about the current state of qualitative research – how would you sum up the current state of qualitative research and potential future challenges? And what do you think QUAL360 Europe as a conference can contribute?
Amit & Akanksha: Qualitative research is the essence of consumer insights. In fact, it would not be farfetched to say that Qualitative research goes beyond market research in the sense that it gives an overview of how the society as a whole is evolving where consumers and their consumption habits are just one small aspect, interlinked with so much more happening all around.
There are obvious challenges that Qualitative research is facing in today’s inter-connected world, where consumers do not have enough time or patience to participate and privacy is also becoming a huge concern (rightly so too). We firmly believe that the answers come from the challenges themselves. The ever-evolving world of technology may also provide us solutions too. Using advanced technological tools may help us overcome many of the challenges that we are facing in Qualitative research. Personally, as a marketing professional, I am a firm believer in MarTech, similarly, I feel we should focus our energies on jointly exploring the world of QualTech.