Market research in India

India is the second most populous country in the world after China, and the Indian population is expected to overtake that of China in the next decade due to its higher birth rate.

The Indian economy has grown by more than 7% p.a. in real terms over the last decade and is now similar in size to the economies of the UK and France. Agriculture accounts for 15.4% of economic output but employs roughly half of the Indian population. The service sector is smaller in India than in most developed economies, although the sector is growing especially rapidly, particularly in the areas of IT and business process outsourcing.

While there are still huge disparities in wealth in India, there is an expanding middle class which is driving demand for many types of consumer goods and services, thus making India an important location for market research. Much of this research is carried out in English, although it is estimate that English is only spoken by around 10% of the population.

As the nation’s commercial capital, Mumbai is the focus for much of the research, but Delhi, Chennai (formerly Madras), Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) and Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) are also important centres. FieldworkHub has capabilities in all of these locations.

Population (2020 estimate):1.38 billion
GDP (USD, 2018):$2719 billion
GDP per capita (International $ at PPP, 2018):$7763
Currency:Rupee (INR or ₹)
Largest urban areas (by population, 2018 estimates):Delhi (28.5 million)
Mumbai (24.6 million)
Kolkata (13.1 million)
Chennai (10.5 million)
Bengaluru (5.6 million)


Close up of UK visa in passport

Depth interviews with travel visa applicants based in India and the UAE

Our client was developing a new digital service to simplify the process of applying for international travel visas and wanted to conduct a series of depth interviews with people based in Delhi and Dubai who had recently applied for a UK visa and travel agency employees who regularly assisted their customers with UK visa applications. We successfully recruited 12 visa applicants in each country across a number of different categories (short-term business travel, relocating to take up a job in the UK, visiting friends and relatives, group travel, attending a UK university, and travelling for medical treatment) and three travel agency professionals in each country. The interviews were completed at a central location over the course of a week and the client was very pleased with the insights from the research.

A female moderator stands in front of a diverse group of respondents in a focus group

Focus groups on technology policy in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, São Paulo, New Delhi, Seoul and Sydney

A global technology company wanted to obtain the views of informed members of the public and people with a professional interest in a public policy topic relating to their sector. We were asked to help our client to conduct the research in three Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil and Mexico) and three countries in the Asia Pacific region (Australia, India and South Korea). In each country we organised two face-to-face focus groups in a viewing facility with opinion elites and four depth interviews with informed administrators and professionals - recruiting over 150 respondents in total. In addition to the recruitment, we handled all of the viewing facility bookings, arranged moderators and simultaneous interpreters for the non English-speaking markets and provided transcripts of each session.

Female moderator writing on a flipchart during a focus group. Two male and one female respondents are also visible

Focus groups with brand and ad agency executives in London, Frankfurt, Mumbai, São Paulo, Seoul, Singapore and Toronto

A technology company that operates an online content and advertising platform was proposing to make some changes to the way it interacts with key accounts. FieldworkHub was asked to recruit one focus group of senior brand managers working for major online advertisers and one group of senior advertising agency executives working for brands that advertise online for a discussion about online advertising, their relationships with various online platforms and their reactions to some of the changes that the end client for this research was proposing. We recruited over 80 people in total for these focus groups in Canada, Germany, India and the UK (including screening calls with some potential participants identified by our client), liaised with the viewing facilities, and arranged moderators in Mumbai and Frankfurt. In a subsequent phase of the same research programme, we arranged focus groups with more junior brand managers and ad agency staff in the Brazil Germany, India, Singapore and South Korea, recruiting almost 100 respondents across the five markets.