FUTURE TALENT MEETS THE INDUSTRY

ESOMAR CONSUMER INSIGHTS 2009

Raafia Ali Name: Raafia Ali
Nationality: Canadian
University: American University of Dubai, Dubai, UAE
Title of course/programme: MBA

How do you see the market research industry evolving and how can you contribute to it?

Market research is becoming more and more popular and a basic need to do any kind of business successfully. Also, with technology on the high rise many marketing research techniques and processes are technology dependant, especially with the increasing use of the internet. I feel that market research is about consumers' needs and wants. The market is made up of different kinds of consumers who have varying needs and wants that cannot be generalized upon, therefore, secondary sources of market research are not reliable from where I look at it. I believe that in order to know what consumers want, you must be the consumer yourself.

I would contribute to the market research industry by actively being a part of the market while conducting market research. For example, if I want to open a shoe shop, I would go shoe shopping myself and observe customer demands plus personal demands. In this day and age we have the opportunity to explore various fields and have access to all kinds of markets either physically or virtually. The market for many goods and services is beyond saturated but there is always room for creativity and differentiation. We have the advantage of being a part of a globalized market, why not make use of it?

What are in your opinion the necessary skills for market researchers in the present environment?

In my opinion the most important skills that market researchers should have in the present environment are "Education & Exposure".
I believe that you can never learn enough. There is always something more to learn and that everyone who has the opportunity and the resources to do so, must learn! Exposure includes experiences and awareness. Market researchers should have personal experiences in the field for which they are researching. It is important to understand the emotions, forces, drives and needs that lead to consumer actions in the market. And I believe that the best way to know it, is to do it.

How do you see your career unfolding and what are your aspirations?

I have always had the passion to learn, as a child I always liked to have an answer for everything, an answer that is reasonable and is derived from knowledge.
My bachelors degree gave me insight on the immense knowledge I could gain under the wing of Business Management. Therefore, I have set a goal for myself to achieve my dream job of a business consultant in a multinational company. An all-rounded business consultant, where I can advise on legal, financial, management, marketing and advertising matters. This is supported by my background which reflects that I have worked for a law firm, a multinational, a bank, an advertising company and on management level. Also, I have tried to keep myself abreast with all business fields by taking a variety of professional courses that were not covered extensively during the course of my bachelors.
I strongly believe that my MBA degree will reinforce my faith in endless knowledge and I will continue to thrive in the field of business, learning more and more on different business aspects. As far as my learning experience is concerned, for me, the sky is the limit!

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