Established in the year 2000, Market Xcel has grown into a leading Research company in the country and has worked extensively in sectors like Automotive, Healthcare & Pharma, Information & Technology, Telecom, FMCG, Retail, Banking & Finance and Media. Under the aegis of Mr. R Vishal Oberoi, Market Xcel has become India’s leading end-to-end market research firm that provides customised market research solutions in the field of B2B research, consumer research, financial and policy research.
In just one decade, Market Xcel has become a well recognised brand in the field of marketing research. How has been the journey so far?
We started in November 2000. It’s been almost 11 years now and it’s a decent amount of time that we have invested in the entire organization. We have always focused on strategic plans which have differentiated us from the big players. It is always very difficult to compete with the existing and branded big players but we have succeeded on that part. We have always fulfilled the needs of our clients by maximizing the output and minimizing the delivery time. We have diversified ourselves with time. We have enhanced our portfolios by entering into new arenas like research & online panel from the initial data collection agency. Still we are finding new areas to explore ourselves.
How much has your leadership added to the success story of the company?
It’s not only about my leadership, it has always been a team effort. We have been fortunate enough to have an enthusiastic and intelligent set of people with us for a very long time. As a matter of fact, our first employee is still working with us. So the entire team has contributed towards the success of Market Xcel.
What was the idea behind the inception of Market Xcel and why a market research firm?
There is an old saying like “Do What You Love.” My partner Manish and me entered into this business because we love to do market research. Everyday is just like a new challenge in research as we get to know about the new products and services in every bit of time and the learning space is too wide here. This is the idea of research that landed us into market research.
What are the challenges and hurdles typically faced by a market research firm?
I won’t say hurdles those are challenges which are the part of any start up or any organization. Because if life is so smooth, you will not enjoy working in it. We faced challenges related to financial composition as well as competition. We have gone through cut throat competition as there are many big players who are well established names and brands in the market. Entering into a client’s office and deals need to be done from them is always a challenge but once you deliver that becomes the first step to your success on that client.
How many of these are directly related to HR or people management?
When we were small that did not bother us as we were not directly proportional to those large companies. But today as we are visible everywhere, HR or people management has become very important. The beauty with the small organization is that they focus on HR issues lot more than bigger organization. So we have advantage over it, that’s why I earlier said that we still have our first employee working with us.
What are the strategies you have adopted to create space in a marketplace already filled with established brands like IMRB, TNS, IDC?
I won’t say we are countering that, we are trying to create a space for ourselves. The idea behind conceptualizing the Market Xcel was not to compete with bigger organizations. But we realized that there is always a space for smaller or mid size organizations also. That's why we started as a small entity but we have grown day by day and still growing. Still we are not a very big company but we have been able to make space for ourselves in this competitive world because we have got good clients compared to our competitors or other big players in the industry.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced till now?
There are many. But would I like to mention that it is very difficult to counter against bigger organizations as they have better technology and workforce which is a huge challenge for company like ours. But with the most efficient existing team, we have been able to overcome the challenge successfully.
SMEs generally struggle to raise funds. In the same light, what is the funding model of Market Xcel?
We ran the organization on our self funding till around 2008 except for a few bank loans we took. In 2008, we made a joint venture with a Japanese company which helped us to enhance our cash flows and capital.
We looked forward for this joint venture because it gave us leverage to bring new technology to our work environment.
How does Market Xcel plan to contribute towards India’s Economic growth?
We don’t fall into any category where government assistance exists and we are not even a predominantly IT driven firm. Fabric of any research firm is based upon human resources and we are no exception. We hire people ranging from least educated to highly educated, qualified professionals as per the requirements. So in other way, we love to create jobs for different levels of people. So indirectly, exploring the way to earn money to many people, we are accelerating the India's Economy Growth.
Does price play a significant role in market research? What are determinants you focus on to create an edge?
The most important things that we focus on are quality, on time delivery and price. We least emphasize on price as it can not be the only determinant factor for vendors or suppliers or clients. But quality and delivery on time can be determined by us.
How important the process upgradation is and what initiatives have you taken in this area?
We have already changed the whole data collection process. Instead of preparing it on a pen and paper, we have started to prepare it using technology like tabs. We have also initiated a consultancy division. In addition to that we are immensely focusing on three basic metrics i.e. quality, on time delivery and price for any project to make our clients satisfy.
Does leadership play a vital role in a market research firm?
Leadership plays a big role for any organization and for any form of business. So market research per say is not different. You always need influential leaders who can take the organization to a higher level. In addition to that leadership plays a key role when 'human relations' comes into the picture. They have to be very sensitive while interacting with employees and should know how to keep them motivating.
At any point of time, did you ever feel the need of a mentor or an inspirational figure to keep yourself motivated?
My business partner Manish is an inspirational figure for me and I have always been very fond of Dhiru Bhai Ambani, the way he built the empire called Reliance. Doing something from scratch and making it large is itself an inspiration. At the very beginning, when we were like just 10 months old, we did a very big study for Reliance group. During that time we came to realize that if you work for something bigger and focus on it, you can achieve it easily.
How do you differentiate yourself as a leader?
My partner Manish and me are the people of our employees. We always care for them and always have worked upon it. I think that the success story of any business lies upon how do you take care of your employees. Because if you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of your business, that’s a standard saying that works everywhere. It is very important to take care of your team.
Recently Market Xcel has launched a program for SMEs. So, do you have any other industry specific plan in the pipeline?
No, we have not made any industry specific plan. It’s a matter of size. Once you grow in size, you can diversify yourself and make yourself specialist into one vertical or the other. When we will grow enough, definitely we will make some plan like entering into any other industry but not currently.
What are your future plans for the growth of your business and what is the scope in a market like India where companies are still skeptic about marketing research?
As we all know that India is a story which is still building up in a big way and is attracting global attention. So as of now, there are very huge opportunities to work in India. We are working hard to grow our businesses. With the growth of our business, we constantly look forward for better opportunities where we can grow and make it large.