For the last couple of weeks, we've been interviewing our colleagues. Hopefully, you're as excited as we are when we tell you that today we present you another interview, conducted with Divakar Sharma, our Director - INTEGRATION SOLUTIONS, PRODUCTS & IT.
What does working in the market research industry mean to you?
Market Research, quite literally, forms the basis of all development in the world. Every company, political party, NGOs, who wants to get people’s perception about something, they need to reach out to companies in the MR domain for help. For me, being in this domain means staying ahead of the curve.
From whom in the market research industry have you learned most in your career?
I have learnt from everyone I’ve ever come in contact with, my clients, colleagues and peers, whether they were in the same team or in different teams/departments. Most of all I’ve learnt from the various survey methodologies that I’ve been involved in. My journey from CATI to Online, and within online through various roles and departments, has given me a very enriching experience.
If you were able to bring someone in our DataDiggers team, who would that person be and why do you think they'd be great for our company?
Anyone who can either realize themselves or learn from our team, the actual objective of MR domain, the surveys, client requests, and dedicate themselves to it.
What was the most important challenge you had to go through in your career?
I was given a tracking project as a handover from an exiting colleague, I had little time to understand the project, client demands, sampling strategy etc. I got a negative CSAT score on that project. My Manager and Director were very angry since it was a huge client for us, and a high revenue project. But I took it as a challenge and requested that I get to handle the next wave of the same tracker. Although hesitant, my Manager convinced the Director for it, citing my old record as the base. The next wave went amazingly smooth, and I got a perfect CSAT score, and that started a streak that went unbroken and unmatched in the company, for 11 months straight, after which I decided to move to seek a new challenge in a different venture.
Thinking about your career, what is the achievement you are most proud of?
I’d say the 11–months unbroken and unmatched streak I mentioned above. 😊 Everything I have done so far, from being a good PM, to SME, to HoD of Operations, to CS Director, to MD India, and now Director of Integrations and Products, are all my prized possessions. I’m proud of all that I’ve learnt.
What's the biggest mistake you've ever made in your career?
I don’t recall any ‘mistake’ per se. Errors and corrections were all part of the learning.
What does success mean to you?
If my company really needs me around, if I’m an inseparable part of my organization, if people I work with love me, that defines my success, everything else is materialistic.
What do you do to move forward in the profession you have chosen?
Continue talking to people, meeting people, discussing ideas, finding ways for innovation, improvement, self–motivation to do better than the last time.
How would you describe the market research industry in Romania?
I think, in fact I know for the last 6–7 years, Romania has been the most viable market for all big companies, to set a footing in the Eastern European region. The geographical position, and economically viable options, makes it an ideal, rather preferred, country to set up an office and create a presence in Europe.
Is there something new that you have learned in the last 2-3 years, in your career, or in your daily life, which you find is important?
Yes, technology is where the industry is headed. Reducing manual processes, automating the setups, is what will take us to the next level. We need to keep investing in this direction, striving for new ideas, and the fact that we are already doing it, makes me feel comfortable with our position in the industry.
If you were able to meet yourself, at the moment when you first got hired, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Nothing new that I don’t give myself every day – Keep your focus on your goal!
If you were to give advice to one of your former managers, what would that be?
None, we were all learning about each other. The one thing that kept us together, and still does, is our trust on each other that everything that we did/will do is to take our company forward.
Why did you choose to work in the market research industry?
Honestly, it just happened by chance back in 2006, and I just decided to stick with it.
What advice would you give to someone starting in the market research industry?
The sooner you understand the complete circle of MR, the sooner you will begin your real contribution to your growth.
What was your ‘dream career’ when you were little?
I wanted to be in the Army.
What do you think is the most important thing in life?
Family, friends, people who expect nothing from you, but are still with you, no matter what.
What are you planning to do on your next vacation?
Travel to new places. And, meeting my lovely
team in the Romanian office.
What is making you get up from bed even when you have a bad day?
My goal – of improving our technical products.
What are your dearest memories, some that you always think of with joy?
My few months of courtship with my wife, first 3 growing up years of son, meeting my extended DD family in Germany and then in London, and hopefully sometime in Romania and then in India.
If you could change something from the past, make a different decision, what would it be and why?
None that I can think of.
If you could go anywhere in the world, at any time in the past, what would that be and why?
Hindu culture tells us about the time when gods descended on earth in human forms, so probably one of those times.
Can you name one hobby that you really enjoy?
Well now, I love travelling, but growing up, I loved watching TV, playing outdoors with friends.
What’s your favourite book and why?
I’m not an avid reader, so none really.