February 2008: An executive briefing session was conducted by ValueNotes in Mumbai on 31 January 2008 to present the main findings of their latest research study – Market Research Outsourcing (MRO), The India Growth Story. The session saw excellent attendance from senior executives and representatives from market research agencies such as IMRB; MRO vendors Ugam Solutions, Dexterity, Annik Technology Solutions, exevo; KPOs like Integreon, Copal Partners; BPO companies providing MRO such as WNS, Datamatics, GSA Infotech, FirstBPO, VCs and others.
The event started with a presentation of the key findings of the report. Neeraja Kandala and Pranav Dixit, ValueNotes analysts and co-authors of the report elaborated on the opportunity in offshore MRO. According to ValueNotes research estimates, the offshore MRO opportunity was around $4 billion in 2007. Indian revenues from offshored MRO services stand at $148 mn for FY07 and are estimated to reach $800 mn by FY12. Employment in the industry is likely to rise from 9000 in December 2007 to 32,900 in 2011-12. Key trends in the market research industry, their impact on Indian MRO and challenges for players going forward were also discussed. According to Pranav, “A portfolio of specialized offerings backed by marketing infrastructure, partnerships and technological expertise will determine a company’s success in the MRO business in the long run.”
The presentation was followed by a panel discussion, where several significant issues were brought up – including the threat to MRO vendors from the rising commoditization of low-value market research services, the need for technology, global service delivery capability and strategic alliances. The panel also debated the role of MRO vendors in the evolving global market research value chain.
On the intensifying competition in the MRO space, Mr. Sunil Mirani, CEO of Ugam Solutions and one of the panelists, felt that “domain expertise would be the key differentiator in the MRO vendor landscape going forward.” Mr. Pravin Shekar, CEO of Dexterity KPO Services added, “Any new initiative that we introduce is copied by the market in less than six months time. Differentiation will only be through IP and automation and by adding value to the client process.” He also felt that the MRO industry needed to “move towards productization and creation of proprietary market research methodologies.”
The industry members also felt an urgent need to collectively tackle the problem of talent crunch, training and attrition. While the seminar provided the backdrop of industry statistics, attendees used the occasion to forge stronger bonds with their “rivals”, in order to tackle common problems.
At the end of a fruitful session, the underlying optimism of leading Indian MRO players was evident. High growth rates over the next few years is a given – the focus is now on how best to deliver, and achieve competitive differentiation. This bears out the findings of ValueNotes’ research study.
The ValueNotes research uses a combination of in depth primary interviews and desk research. The report also contains an industry ranking of MRO vendors using a proprietary methodology to rate vendors on various parameters such as size and scale, depth and breadth of services offered, spread, strategies, etc.
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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. Additional information is available at www.sourcingnotes.com