A little nostalgia before we begin. I’ve been handling information research for over a decade now. Last year,I began with a new venture (iSpirit Business Solutions).The reasons were both, personal and professional.
The Professional Reason was I wanted to increase the impact of my actions.
When you work for a research company, you get opportunities to engage with industry professionals from across the globe for multiple business objectives. Such roles are indeed helpful in expanding one’s horizon of knowledge, boost confidence and recuperate skills (both behavioral & technical).
There is, however, a catch associated with such roles; you get opportunities to learn only about the focus area of the company. You follow a code of conduct, a pattern of asking questions, not necessarily “the right” or “the wrong” questions. Questions not only break the ice or help connect with people, but their responses are either an answer or a way to find the answer. After a while, the approach becomes a protocol, more like a mechanically engineered engagement. It becomes a series of deadpan but flattery accompanied statements, edging you and the respondent from point A to point B (hopefully).
I have followed these protocols for as long as I can remember in my professional career. And there was one thing that always bothered me. I could mostly help the respondent by collecting their opinion and incorporating it in the “research agenda” for best results. I could not resolve their problems to “my satisfaction”. No doubt, I loved my work, but not the end-result as much.
I felt I was disconnecting the calls at the wrong time!I knew that every time I completed a “research engagement”, the inputs captured were going to be a part of trends & insights development activity (the WHYs behind the numbers), but not necessarily a direct action for the respondent. I wanted to resolve more “WHY” & “HOW” of individual respondents.
I have always been a social person. I like to engage with people and contribute for development of resolutions for specific information building & business networking activities. I love the thought of two hitherto unknown minds coming together to create solutions. And this has led to my professional resolve – I felt it was high time to start a venture where these engagements could be pursued further. In such scenarios, the options usually are: now or later (sorry, we never say never!). And I decided to choose the positive option. After all, it always takes years to taste the fruit that you plant now.
The Personal Reason was I had to choose between trusting my skills or selling them.
A “work day” was usually a 12-14 hours journey for me. Enroute were some excellent learning opportunities and I became “sort of” specialist in research. With help of great leadership, smart questionnaire and a little extra patience, our team conducted numerous engagements in countries where no teams had attempted capturing data through telephonic discussions. I got a chance to work with several industry practice teams & functional teams in a short span of time.
This could be an interesting journey for many research professionals, but for how long? I couldn’t see a possible way to include “what I wanted to do” in the schedule of “what I was doing”. I tried, I really did!
Time is irretrievable.
While iSBS was a personal decision, I knew gathering right talent for this team would be time consuming, for not everyone is looking forward to “work for MSMEs”. I realized “now” was the time to set the foundation and set the pace right. The idea was to build a team who wanted to develop business skills while working for MSMEs.I knew I could not reduce the time commitment, for it would delay the realization time of “the dream”. But I chose to trust my skills to select the work instead of working on agenda I was recruited for in my last job.
iSpirit Business Solutions (iSBS) came into existence in May 2014 with a vision to develop a platform that facilitates sustainable access to business information and industry engagement support to MSMEs from capital intensive industries. Today, iSBS is all about B2B information research and industry engagements.
I’m now glad to have you as a witness of our journey. For those who took time to read this article to learn more about me and iSBS, I shall next bring together societal and business agendas that need to be discussed for resolutions.
Thanks for your interest and stay tuned for more.