Young Researcher of the Year Award 2012 - Rajna Rajan

Rajna Rajan

Rajna Rajan

Age: 26
Company: TNS Middle East and Africa
Country: United Arab Emirates

Topic chosen

The Changing Socio-Political Landscape

Title of submission

Once Upon a Egypt


The Year 2011 was a monumental year for some Arab states, bringing the curtains down on decades of authoritarian rule. The unsuspecting world gave a collective gasp of surprise to the news of large-scale protests and demonstrations by people who had remained, largely silent for tens of years. The most significant fact was that states’ very own governments were like rabbits caught in the headlights in view of these uprisings. Quick post mortems yielded a multitude of evidence on if we could have predicted these outcomes. This made me contemplate how we could have predicted this beforehand.

What could be the reasons that triggered these massive protests by people who had stayed quiet for so long? Was it political, social, economic or even cultural? Why now and not earlier? The challenge was to arrive at a robust methodology which would help us foresee the socio-political pulse of the people; understand their needs and reasons that could lead to demands, to the extent of a regime change.

To gain an understanding of this, I narrowed the scope of my research down to looking at one specific country – Egypt. The results are fascinating.

About Rajna

Rajna graduated from the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, India in 2009. Before that she attended the Anna University, India where she received a degree in Computer Science and Engineering. Currently she is a Senior Research Executive, Quantitative at TNS Middle East & Africa. Prior to this she was a Senior Researcher, Quantitative at Synovate, India (Delhi) and before that she worked as a Project Engineer at Wipro Technologies Ltd. Rajna enjoys languages and speaks English, Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, and Arabic.