Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Thursday called for “more integrity” in market research and asked the survey and market research industry to follow the code of ethics to ensure the industry grows manifold. He also asked the industry to come up with studies which will help the government frame policies.

Speaking during the 30th annual market research seminar of Market Research Society of India (MRSI), Goyal urged the survey and market research industry to religiously follow self-regulatory mechanisms and added that the industry is based on trust and honesty.

He also said that he believes the industry which “remains unsung and unrecognised” has “tremendous capability and strength”. The minister advised the industry to develop tools so that India can become a hub to carry out analytical research.

“If you develop the tools, you will be able to supply the services to your parent companies…It can be used for developed markets,” said Goyal, adding that if it happened then the world would come to India as the costs would be significantly lower.

Around 75 percent of the industry’s revenues come from foreign exchange.

“This will help to generate much more foreign exchange than what you are earning. I am told that the foreign exchange size of the industry is around $ 2.7 billion. If you can market yourself to the advertisers of the consumer companies and also the government, the market will expand,” he said.

On the use of technology in the industry, Goyal said that he sees a lot more usage of technology and more analytical skills or Artificial Intelligence. However, what worries him is the dependence on digital surveys. He said India has diverse languages and dialects and that online research or surveys will not give proper results. “The best way to understand it is by going to the rural parts of India,” he said.

He also said that in a lot of areas of his work, the outcomes are due to the data produced by the research and survey industry.

Citing an example, he said that surveys can be used “to assess in which industry we should be investing in or what the export markets are or where plants should be located ideally or for all those areas related to commerce and industry”.

“I am sure you all can come up with some very insightful comments…insightful information which can be very useful for people in business and for industry participants,” he said.

Talking about Covid pandemic, the minister said the government distributed food under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana to ensure that no child is left hungry.

“We did not find any food shortages. We did not find any riots or people taking down departmental stores or trying to grab whatever they could. I saw pictures of such things happening in the most developed and largest economies of the world but India has been able to meet the needs of the people,” he said.

He said that such success happened due to the feedback that the market research industry provides. He applauded the work of those in the research industry and said “there is no reason for you to keep a low profile.”

“I wanted to say a lot of advertisements are happening and market activities are going on based on what you are advising them,” Piyush Goyal added. He also said that they use industry input in politics.

He emphasised the importance of their work and said, “I do hope you will adopt new technologies and come up with relevant more practical ways in which you can get hard facts.”


India today