January 2009: The recent buyer survey of market research agencies from various international markets released by ValueNotes finds close to two-thirds of the research agencies are already offshoring to companies in India, Eastern Europe and Latin America. While the large multi-national research agencies have always been outsourcing, the smaller firms with revenues typically less than USD 10m are fast adopting offshoring. The survey reveals that with greater competition, research agencies, especially the smaller ones are increasingly using offshoring to gain competitive advantage.
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The MRO buyer survey is a continuation of the research published by the ValueNotes Sourcing Practice in January 2008 on the Indian MRO vendor landscape. The report estimates that MRO revenues are slated to grow from $148 million for FY07 to reach $800 million by FY12 at CAGR of 47%. Corroborating the earlier research, this buyer survey reveals that, currently, offshoring is largely limited to activities lower down the value chain like data collection, data processing and panel services. According to Monali Singhvi, an analyst at ValueNotes, “While there is greater adoption of offshoring by market research agencies, overall penetration is very low with a majority of the agencies offshoring less than 10% of their total work.”
While cost arbitrage has been a primary driver for offshoring, the survey brings to light that research agencies rate other factors like faster turnaround time, better quality of work etc. as equally important. Quality of work and client confidentiality issues have emerged as key concerns towards offshoring. While the offshoring drivers and concerns remain similar across key markets like US and Europe, these markets differ significantly in the choice of offshoring destination. “A majority of research agencies offshoring to India are primarily form the US, while those offshoring to Eastern Europe are from EU,” says ValueNotes analyst Pranav Dixit.
The MRO vendor landscape ranges from the captives of large research agencies to Pure-play MRO vendors, full service research firms, KPOs and large and medium BPO service providers. The survey shows a clear inclination by research agencies towards using multiple options in offshoring. The larger research agencies have greater inclination to set up captives or employ specialized MRO service providers. Mid sized agencies prefer to work with Full service research agencies while smaller firms are most comfortable with service providers of comparable size.
According to Arun Jethmalani, CEO, ValueNotes, “With a majority of research agencies planning an increase in offshoring volumes, significant growth opportunities exist in both high volume low value activities as well as select high value services like report writing data analysis and analytics.”
The ValueNotes report – Market Research Outsourcing: Buyer Survey – provides by in-depth in-sights and analysis of the offshoring awareness, and concerns and challenges faced by market research agencies in various markets. The survey brings out the current perceptions towards risks and rewards of offshoring in the market research industry.
ValueNotes is a leading provider of business intelligence and research, with expertise across selected domains and types of customer needs. Working with clients across the globe, we have significant understanding of international markets. www.valuenotes.biz
The ValueNotes Sourcing Practice is one of the largest information providers on the outsourcing industry. The Practice uses a comprehensive, analytical framework providing fresh insights into the fast emerging and yet, complex outsourcing space. We extensively track the space through regular analysis of news and events, continuous primary research and contact with the industry.