In simpler terms, market research means; the action or activity of gathering information about consumers' needs and preferences. Charles Coolidge Parlin is known as the father of Market Research who created this division of study out of nothing and without any formal training. Despite having no marketing experience, he was a true Pioneer in the field of Market Research. He was hired by the Curtis Publishing Company in 1911 and he engaged in data-gathering, interviewing subjects, and breaking down the findings into simpler meanings to give insights to the company executives.
Market research is about analyzing and interpreting data to procure information that can be used to understand consumer behavior and predict future moves and actions. Market research helps companies understand and interpret an increasingly complex world and develop a successful business module.
It provides relevant data to help solve challenges and obstacles that a business, company or brand is most likely to face. One of the most interesting aspects of research is its ‘widespread usage’. The practice of gathering data, analyzing it and generating insight can be applied in a variety of field – from science to marketing, from business to politics and beyond.
India enjoys an important position in the global pharmaceutical industry. Our country is the largest provider of ‘over-the-counter’ medicines globally. Indian pharmaceutical companies supply over 50 per cent of global demand for various vaccines, 40 per cent of generic demand in the US and 25 per cent of all medicine in UK. Our healthcare sector was valued at US$ 33 billion in 2017. The country’s pharmaceutical industry is expected to expand at a CAGR of 22.4 per cent over 2015–20 to reach US$ 55 billion.
Our country has a large pool of scientists and engineers who have the potential to steer the industry ahead to an even higher level.
Apart from this, mentioned below are few other factors that have made significant contribution towards the growth and development of healthcare industry:
Cost Efficiency – Low cost of production and increasing expenditure on R&D has led Healthcare exports to rise to US $17.15 billion in 2019
Government Support - Government of India’s PharmaVision2020 aims to make India a global leader in end-to-end manufacturing
Increasing Investment – Increasing private sector investment in R&D and acquisitions are driving the sector’s growth
Medicine spending in India is projected to grow 9-12 per cent over the next five years, leading India to become one of the top 10 countries in terms of medicinal advancement.
When it comes to most consumer goods or services, the consumer can decide if it is a luxury or a necessity and if so, whether or not they need to spend on it. However, when it comes to healthcare, the purchase of the products or services is never a choice. But despite the necessity, this does not mean that they will buy anything that service providers will sell.
The Indian healthcare industry is reported to increase threefold to US$ 133.44 billion by 2022. It is therefore crucial to understand the dynamic and unique challenges facing the healthcare industry in India.
At its most basic level, the healthcare industry is all about serving people and providing them with the best of care that is available presently. The patients are at the core of these services, and the best way to understand their needs and concerns is by taking their opinion into consideration through market research. As quoted by Adlai E Jr Stevenson, “Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them”. This is where Market Research comes in because the healthcare industry needs evidence – based decision making rather than being reactive to perceived need.
Accurate and thorough information is the foundation of all successful discoveries as it provides a wealth of information about consumer needs and expectations and gives a direction in which the company should move.
Quality, result, and significance are the watchwords for health care in the 21st century. The public has their own set of needs, expectations, and perceptions which influence their decisions, particularly in a field as important as healthcare.
The research process has taken a paradigm shift and it is no more the same which it was in the past. The evolution of technology in research has gathered momentum and rightly so. The tech-integration in the process has minimized a lot of redundant methods, thereby imparting speed and accuracy.
Any research organization that remains alien to such advancements may find it difficult to scale and help businesses.