What is a survey? According to an Oxford dictionary definition, it is to investigate the opinions or experiences of (a group of people) by asking them questions. And why is this important? Because it reveals answers, sparks discussion, helps decision-making, and provides a snapshot of the attitudes and behaviors of the survey’s target population.
There is nothing new about the idea of the survey. We have all conducted or participated in surveys, even those who hate filling out such forms.
Today, investigations have become more scientific. Questions are strategically planned and structured in the best possible way to receive the most accurate data.
There are even websites that offer survey solutions, and QuestionPro is one of them.
In the early 2000s, when Vivek Bhaskaran was a student at Brigham Young University, he met a professor of market research who was investigating his research project. The professor explained to Vivek that designing and developing a survey is tedious, repetitive and time consuming.
There, Vivek thought about introducing a solution that will eliminate the lengthy design process and create a generic platform where anyone can build, deploy, and analyze surveys. After graduation he worked for a technology consulting company.
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In 2005, he started QuestionPro in California. The company has its Indian presence in Pune. “It’s a fully do-it-yourself (DIY) platform where anyone can create, send and analyze surveys with pure drag-and-drop functionality. The analysis is fully automated and instantaneous with comprehensive dashboards for a 360-degree view of the data collected, ”says Vivek, 39.
He says it’s the only survey platform that offers four distinct product lines for different needs like surveys, communities, workforce, and customer experience. Surveys include basic market research. Communities allow users to create their own communities to conduct surveys. Workforce is the human information platform for employee engagement surveys and workforce information. It also offers a product for customer experience surveys.
In addition, SMS surveys, offline data and artificial intelligence systems further help users and businesses. This separation helps the company to better present its platform to clients based on their survey needs.
From personal savings, the main segments in which Vivek invested were Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
“We have therefore been selective with regard to some of our corporate clients. We couldn’t afford to waste money on corporate deals. We had to generate profits so that we could invest the profits in other initiatives, ”he says.
He adds that the biggest challenge in starting the business was understanding customer acquisition. As he was starting the business, he had to find a new way to develop and acquire customers that did not rely on a massive marketing budget. He found this through SEO.
Today, the platform claims to create more than a million surveys each month and more than 10 million responses collected during the same period. It also has more than five million users worldwide and more than 15,000 business customers in 40 countries. Questionpro accounts for 25% of all businesses and users in India. Some of the major global customers are Toyota, Samsung, SIEMENS, Motorola and Hayatt. In the Indian customer list are Myntra, Vistaprint, TCS, Indigo Airlines, Tech Mahindra, Deloitte and HCL.
In the Academic Sponsorship Program, the platform grants a paid license to all universities and colleges around the world free of charge for use by students, faculty and staff. So far, it has provided services to 3,000 of these institutions around the world, including 600 in India. This includes all IIMs, almost all IITs, NITs, and almost all major colleges. According to the platform, she plans to enroll more than 1,000 colleges by the end of this year.
It also has a Startup Empowerment Program, where it grants enterprise-grade licenses to innovative startups for free.
“We are not making any profit from these two initiatives and they are simply part of our CSR, the goal of which is to instill the idea of data-driven decision making in the future of the workforce.” work and budding entrepreneurs, ”explains Vivek.
The company operates on the freemium model. This ranges from absolutely free for life to $ 500,000 per year for large companies. It is the flexibility of prices that gives it a major advantage in the market.
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The company’s annual revenue is currently around $ 10 million, with an expected annual growth of 60%. He expects to hit the $ 15 million mark by the end of this fiscal year.
India, a difficult market
In India, in particular, the challenge is awareness.
According to Vivek, companies should know that there is flexible survey software like ours out there that can save them hundreds and thousands of dollars each year in market research and employee engagement studies. .
“We are slowly but steadily changing the habit of some companies of guessing certain decisions based on unrequited data online – to conduct their own research surveys. Here, our academic and startup sponsorship programs play a key role in educating people about survey software and data-driven research in general, ”he explains.
Experts say every business should conduct surveys, whether they are B2B, B2C, a startup or a multinational; everyone needs data-driven decisions. Considering this, the market in India is huge just like internationally.
In this space, SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics are the other two global players providing solutions around the world.