Entrepreneur Kushagra Bhatia: On Sukshm Information Services, and on building a market research company and providing employment to rural Indians.
Tell us about Sukshm Information Services.
Sukshm Information Services is all about market research and consumer insights. We collect data from all over India and present information to the clients for decision making. Our pan-India reach is a great advantage.
How is Sukshm Information Services different from other market research companies?
We bring information at the doorstep of our clients at a low price. We employ and groom rural candidates wherever possible as part of our initiate to empower rural folks and bring cost advantages.
How did the idea for Sukshm Information Services come about? How did you zero in on the name ‘Sukshm Information Services’? How much capital was required to implement the idea?
The Co-founders are mainly from rural areas. We felt an ever growing urge to do something for the rural areas and also utilize the latent talent. We believe if rural candidates are given right direction and groomed sufficiently they can prove to be a great asset. We saw an opportunity in market research and felt that we can do it in a more cost effective manner. ‘Sukshm’ means subtle. Since our organisation’s aim is to uncover the subtle information, we found it apt. The major outlay in our organisation is towards salaries and travel expenses. We started the organisation with a capital of Rs. 10 Lacs which mainly came from our savings.
Tell us about your background.
I am a post graduate in Marketing Management. I worked with several companies for around 7 years in various roles and responsibilities including sales and marketing.
Let us know about the tie-ups that you have (if any). Is there acceptance for your concept? Can you give us some incidents to illustrate the same?
We do not have any tie ups as of now but we are exploring opportunities. There is a complete acceptance of the concept. We are currently engaged in R-APDRP (Restructured Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme) project of Government of India, which is a part of XI Five Year Plans. This project involves collecting information of all the electricity consumers in the country, which makes it a humongous project in itself. In addition, we undertake data collection for consulting, market research and economic research companies. We are also eyeing conducting market research for media companies that need to have data collected about consumption, consumer preference, general awareness, etc. to publish/broadcast in their reports. Also, Educational Institutes in India are increasingly emphasising on conducting research which was hitherto not so prevalent. We intend to provide data collection services for such institutes which help them in their research projects, case studies, curriculum updation etc.
Where do you see market research in India and Sukshm Information Services five years from now?
While we are working hard to put in place the immediate plans, we plan to be a consulting company in the area of market research providing insights to corporate directly, moving away from our immediate plans of providing data collection services to market and economic research companies.
What is Sukshm Information Services revenue model? Have you been funded? If yes, can you throw some light on how the funding came about and from whom?
We have a simple revenue model of charging our customers for the information provided. Every project is a bespoke one and the prices are based after going through the minutiae of details of the outlays involved. We have not been funded as of now.
As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
The joys come from a job well done. We have been appreciated for the kind of work we have done for our clients. This involved huge data collection and required lots of hard work as data needed to be collected from each consumer in particular towns with out prior appointment. We exceeded the expectations by providing unmatched quality of service to your clients. Challenges met bring joys. The main challenge is to train employees, meet the client’s expectation and minimize the costs. Field data collection which is an important part of market research remains an area where a lot of hard work and meticulous planning required. That keeps us on our toes.
How big is the Sukshm Information Services team? Give us some info on team composition. Are you looking at hiring?
We are 15 employees strong at the moment. The core team comprises of three Co-Founders – Antriksh Kumar, Vishisht Bhatia and myself. Antriksh is a Cost Accountant (CWA) and has complete knowledge of finance and economics. Vishisht is an engineering graduate and has worked with a major Cellular Network Equipments supplier based in Europe. We have around 12 employees, including interns, engaged in data collection, business development and other functions. Besides, we have two advisors who have rich industry experience. We also hire consultants on project basis, as and when required. We are looking at hiring more employees, particularly for data collection.
Let us know about your expansion plans.
The current projects require us to expand a lot to meet the demand. We plan to be a full fledged market research company. Having started with primary data collection, which is the most important part of any such company we will foray into preparing analysis and reports for our clients very soon. We provide phone based, web based and of course face-to-face data collection services. We are looking at helping Market Research and Economic Research organizations globally with their research and support services. As of now, we are ploughing back the profits which are proving be to be insufficient given the demand for our services. We plan to raise funds very soon to meet our expansion plans. Our clients range from GIS companies to strategy consulting companies. We cater to clients who need to have the data collected from anywhere in India for their analysis. Our works takes us to the deepest pockets of rural India and also to the metros. With the rural India expected to be next engine of growth for India, we expect a lot of curiosity among various sectors of industries, research and consulting companies to grab the first hand information about consumption patterns, perceptions, growing trends, purchasing patterns, etc. While Rural India remains inaccessible in a lot of ways – due to language, distance, etc – we aim to bridge the gap and provide quality and crisp information at the doorstep of our clients. We aim to provide path breaking reports to our clients which can help them take strategic decisions.
We at YourStory appreciate the vision of Sukshm Information Services and wish them all the best! Please check out http://www.sukshminformationservices.in/ and let us know what you think of the story. We look forward to hearing from you!