South Asia is an interesting marketplace — and the author brings the experience of growing up and achieving impact in the world’s largest democracy, home to some of the most pluralistic societies anyone may ever witness– because there is so much data diversity and unique geolocation and cultural factors that can prove both challenging and an opportunity for skilled global researchers.
Researching face-to-face seems more feasible and prevalent for local research projects and requires even an arduous level of nuance and familiarity with the macro and micro environments to understand, analyze and interpret the bundle of contradictions you experience and read about in books by countless South Asian writers in English you inevitably bump into at some celebrated university/ college campus, literary festival or bookstore. However, most of the revenue generating arms of the South Asian data, analytics and insights industry is export-driven, i.e. for international clients than domestic with unique attributes across sub-regions.
Navigating your business problems with typical research skills needed for success in the South Asian industry and marketplace is what this survey seeks responses to. The South Asian wave of this global study addresses the total addressable market in the region reflected in global research, despite an English language and an online audience skew – as with most of our waves.
In privacy matters, Sri Lanka is the first country in the region to enact comprehensive data privacy legislation (PDPA – Personal Data Protection Act) modelled after Europe’s GDPR even as India’s Personal Data Protection Bill with impact on all types of research (qualitative, quantitative, syndicated or online) has seen debate and amendments, and Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication also developed a draft Data Protection bill in 2021 that has passed public consultation and will be tabled before its legislature.
India ranks third (with Australia) and is the only South Asian country in the fastest growing markets listed in the Asia Pacific region of ESOMAR’s Global Market Research Report. India is also among the top five global markets for the entire data, analytics and insights sector (versus just the established traditional sector), which points to its contributions in the non-traditional, tech-enabled, reporting and other fast-growing sectors. Bangladesh, Myanmar (which is more Southeast Asia), Sri Lanka have been among the slowest to recover from the negative impacts of the pandemic in the region. This South Asian wave groups culturally similar nations with shared histories and struggles, in analyzing research skills for success in these markets from a multilingual and cultural perspective.
If you are an employer based in any of the South Asian markets, please take this 5-minute survey and help your colleagues and educators improve the quality of knowledge and education about success in South Asian data, analytics and insights business.