This market research firm is using technology to help startups validate their business plans
Research by CB Insights in 2018 showed that nearly half of all startup failures were due to lack of market need. When businesses fail to create something that provides true value to the market, success isn’t likely.
It is to change this that Gurugram-based Numr Research entered the market in 2018. The market research firm leverages technology to analyse human choices and opinions, and predict business outcomes.
A division of tech company RebusCode, Numr Research believes that understanding market research and using the insights to your advantage is vital for startups to be successful and stay “ahead of the curve”.
“You need proper market research even before you get down to creating your product. A methodical study on the prospective customer’s opinion about your idea, offering, or pricing can give life-saving insights to a new startup,” says Amitayu Basu, CEO, RebusCode.
Amitayu Basu, CEO, RebusCode
How it works
Launched by Amitayu and Samundra Gupta, the CTO, the tech-driven company provides market research in three distinct areas: Acquire, Retain, and Innovate.
Under the Acquire segment, it helps FMCG and consumer durable clients understand how their above-the-line and below-the-line marketing activities are working.
“So, we evaluate these activities and analyse the impact they have on sales, and what they can do to improve,” Amitayu says.
The startup’s Retain product line is built around helping clients improve their customer experience and grow their customer base.
“We do this through a Net Promoter Score (NPS) programme built to deliver an end-to-end solution that collects customer feedback, analyses and predicts future growth, and also closes the loop to retain your most valuable customers,” Amitayu tells YourStory.
According to the co-founder, there are a lot of misconceptions about NPS with many brands still “treating it as a simple scoring mechanism”.
Numr Research’s Innovate programme helps companies come up with newer products and packaging to test whether the new launch will be successful in the market or not, and find hidden patterns in consumer choices and decision-making processes.
The initial days
Speaking about the inception, Amitayu says, “We (me and Samundra) had been working with leading market research organisations for many years. They were our clients. However, we discovered that these research organisations weren’t really keeping up with the world as it was changing.”
He says, today, people expect the information that they need instantly, and at an individualised and granular level.
“These organisations were not providing ‘actionable’ information. We also realised that whenever we’d deliver our results to these organisations, they would just store them and not really act. We started Numr Research because we wanted to be in the thick of things.”
Numr Research’s parent, Rebus Code, was formed in 2006 as a technology company that created the backbone platform for major research firms in India.
After working in the US for more than five years with Satmetrix, the company that invented NPS, Amitayu came back to India and launched his own startup Rebus 13 years ago with Samundra, who was previously working in the UK with Orange Telecom.
Both Amitayu and Samundra passed out from St Xavier’s College, Kolkata, in 1996.
“When I moved to the UK for work, we reconnected and decided to move back to India to set up RebusCode,” Amitayu says.
Since then, the bootstrapped Rebus Code has established itself in the market and claims to be a profitable venture. The duo created the Numr Research division about a year-and-a-half ago. Both Rebus and Numr have a total team strength of 50 employees currently.
The Numr Research USP
According to Amityau, Numr means a new way of doing market research (MR).
For Rebus, the “service” component is the key differentiator where it brings insights, analysis, and consulting experience on the table.
“Our solution is not a pure SaaS offering. We provide our software packaged with a service component (pay a fee and get the software plus services; only software is not available). Unlike Qualtrics or Medallia, our two important competitors globally, we don’t just sell the NPS software. We sell an entire solution set,” Amitayu says.
The startup’s target audience is companies that have any kind of marketing and customer experience department. “We also have some international customers, mostly in the US and the UK, but our focus right now is primarily India,” Amitayu adds.
Current outlook and the future
Last year, research by CB Insights revealed why startups are failing. Forty two percent of the failures were attributed to lack of any market need. As many as 18 percent startups failed because pricing was not correct. Numr Research believes these failures could have been easily avoided by using its platform.
Rebus Code has around 1,000 B2B users at present. It is generating a revenue of approximately $2 million per annum, and expecting a 50 percent annual growth rate. Key clients include Airtel, Maruti, GPI, Dabur, Kotak, and Quikr among others.
“Entrepreneurs today know that market research is a part of their plan. So while we are already working with major unicorns, we are constantly seeing a rise in interest in market research from ‘about-to-be-launched’ or ‘newly-launched’ startups,” Amitayu says.
Numr Research, through which Rebus is getting into the consumer research space and targeting India, has done over 20 million consumer surveys in the last 12 months related to product validation, pricing study, packaging study, market acceptance study, reason for drop in sales etc.
It competes with the likes of Gurugram-based LitmusWorld and Chennai- and US-based CloudCherry. Recently, Cisco announced its intent to acquire the software-as-a-service (SaaS) startup CloudCherry.
“Market research is still a very ignored segment for smaller companies, especially startups. Numr wants to tap that gap and aims to be a market leader in consumer research. We also want to be the market leader when it comes to NPS surveys for brands,” Amitayu says.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)