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“How do you see the market research industry evolving?” Dr. Swathi Bhima was asked.
“The arrival of netnography where the free behavior of individuals is studied using social media like micro-blogs, forums, online discussion boards, etc. has not only improved the scope for doing more research, but has also made it cost effective,” she answered.
As second-year MBA student at the Amrita School of Business at Coimbatore, Dr. Swathi was representing India at the annual Asia Pacific Area Conference (APAC) of the European Society for Opinion, Marketing and Research (ESOMAR).
The conference was organized in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam during April 7-9, 2013.
A dentist by training, Swathi was interested in the field of management even prior to joining the Amrita School of Business. “The highly qualified faculty members at Amrita pay attention to each and every student and are down-to-earth in their interactions,” she noted.
Dr. Deepak Gupta teaches Marketing at ASB. He encouraged Swathi as well as several of her classmates to apply. “Based on CVs and academic performance, a shortlist of second-year MBA students was submitted to ESOMAR,” Dr. Deepak shared.
Telephonic interviews were conducted, post which Dr. Swathi was selected among a number of other Indian candidates as the sole Indian student facilitator for the conference. This entitled her to receive a stipend that made it possible for her to attend the international conference.
It was Mr. Pravin Shekhar, an ESOMAR council member and a well wisher of Amrita who first recommended Amrita students to ESOMAR six years ago. Since then, Amrita MBA students have had the honor to represent India at this forum several times – Megha Agarwal (Singapore, 2008), Deepa Bharathi (Beijing, 2009) and Jaisurya Pavithra (Melbourne, 2011).
At the conference this year, Dr. Swathi was part of a team that helped facilitate delegate networking.
When asked about her own aspirations, Dr. Swathi said, “I look forward to a career in the field of market research, specifically qualitative research. I would like to focus my research in the healthcare sector, because I believe that a colossal gap prevails between the needs of the people and the products and services being offered to them in this sector.”
The theme of the conference was Asia on the Move. Dr. Swathi described her time in Vietnam as the experience of a lifetime.
ESOMAR, founded in 1948, is a world association for market, social and opinion researchers. Although it began as a regional association within Europe, today it has over 4900 members in 130 countries. For its annual conferences, ESOMAR selects the best students, designating them as Networking Facilitators. This initiative is aptly termed, Future Talent Meets Industry.
May 4, 2013
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