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The CEO Magazine
A monthly magazine for business leaders and decision makers

Thinking Hats: Supporting businesses to make informed decisions

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Thinking Hats: Supporting businesses to make informed decisions

Thinking Hats provides excellent guidance to discover upcoming opportunities in the field of product, consumer and brand with advanced solutions.

With the market becoming more and more competitive with each passing day, having knowledge about the interests and preferences of consumers has become essential for any business. Market research is the perfect way to bring customer satisfaction, understand the key factors of a business, and boost growth.  Market research is the process to discover the viability of recently launched or potential opportunities w.r.t. products/services through research conducted with potential consumers. It allows a company to find out the target market and feedback from consumers about their interest in the product or service. Thinking Hats is a prominent and widely-known market research company; it specializes in Qualitative & Quantitative consumer insights. The consistent effort of the company has been rewarded by being recognized and acknowledged among the leading research and consulting companies. Whether it is about launching a new product, refining an existing service, discovering the most appealing messages, or learning what everyone thinks about a company, Thinking Hats is a one-stop solution. The company was founded in the year 2011 in Mumbai.

Thinking Hats is into market research when any product comes into the market any launch or any advertisement, whatever the client wants to understand about the product or service, the company is the best option. It supports companies to provide relevant, reliable, and valid information about their needs. Thinking Hats is a team of 20 permanent employees, 25+ vendors, and 100+ freelancers working under vendors in a different part of the country. The team conducts research, understand from the consumer, and then give them the insights that this idea will work or not. The unique approach of Thinking Hats allows it to deliver superior results. Its clientele comprises of renowned brands like Marico, Eureka Forbes, Tata Motors, Disney, Star & Zee Network, Bajaj Finserv, ICICI Lombard, Dixcy Retail, Levis, Reliance Retail and many more.   Because of his outstanding performance, Rajesh Mishra has been given the Most Influential Global Youth Marketing Award by Zoom.

Recently, the founder of Thinking Hats, Rajesh Mishra was on the hot seat of The CEO Magazine, where he discussed the company, his professional journey, and more.

Here are edited excerpts.

Tell us about your role in the company

Broadly, I feel like I have 2 roles in the company – Growth & Strategy.

For Growth of the company, I develop new business ideas, keep us abreast with international innovations, adopt advancements in technology and create goodwill in the industry.

The strategy is hygiene. We operate at a consultancy level with all our partners. Hence, it is important to keep updated on all the diverse categories that we service. Maintaining consistency in Quality and continuously growing is an internal mandate we follow.

What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?

I have a long research career dating back to 1998. I have worked with most MNCs in this journey. I have another business venture, but Thinking Hats is my full-time commitment.

How did you come up with your business idea?

Thinking Hats is a passion-driven business, which took off in 2011. During my journey, I would constantly hear a small voice inside my head saying ‘I would have done this differently’. When that voice became stronger, it was the most organic progression for me.

What makes your company unique in the market?

We provide a platform to be creative. It’s in our core DNA. Today, even an intern has something we can learn from. We encourage our team to think beyond the boundaries of a PowerPoint presentation.

We have a core team to service every client, who understands the research requirement and industry behaviour. The same team studies and builds a strategy for the client. We try to keep it in-house as much as possible. It works for any company’s advantage if there is less leakage of information.

If you were to describe the state of the art right now, where does your company stands within the Indian Market Research Spectrum?

Thinking Hats has always tried to stay ahead of the curve. We have been conducting surveys on our proprietary App – APPtitude – for several years now.

While everyone still relies on traditional techniques, we consciously try to integrate it with modern tools to reach diverse consumer sets across the country.

Brief us over the portfolio/research methodologies of the company.

We offer a wide range of research methodologies. Sometimes we need to use hybrid techniques in the best interest of the research. Some of them include – Creative Group Discussions, In-Situ Interviews, Ethnographies, Digital Panels, etc. Our list is ever growing.

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Define your company’s niche.

As a company, we stand to embrace dynamism. We continuously adopt the changing needs and stay relevant in a global environment.

What actually goes into Market Research?

Market research is all about developing the right strategy to reach the consumer. If we can decode consumer psychology, we can make any business profitable.

In my opinion, Market Research is the only discipline where you can acquire 360-degree knowledge every day. It never gets monotonous or boring.

How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?

Initially, we thought the process will be unidirectional. But soon we realized that sometimes even our clients do not have a clear brief to share with us. We try to handhold them in defining the objective and then work out an omnichannel solution.

Who is your inspiration?

Sachin Tendulkar. His honesty, sincerity, and simplicity inspire me.

How has been your journey?

My journey has been a rollercoaster ride. There have been many ups and downs, some challenging and some daunting.

But all have them have given me some learning. I think a lot and write down what leaves an impression on me. Then I consciously try to make it a habit.

I consider myself a lifelong learner.

What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?

Don’t get weigh down by heavy process and documentation. Stay flexible and nimble as a company.

Dynamic Leadership

Rajesh Mishra

Owner and Managing Director

Rajesh Mishra is the Owner and MD of the company.  He holds over 18 years in the industry with companies like Mode, TNS Mode, GFK Mode, Synovate, and Ormax Consultants. Because of his strong entrepreneurship professional skills in Customer Insight, Quantitative Research, Leadership, and Marketing Strategy, Rajesh is leading Thinking Hats towards a higher altitude successfully. In academics, Rajesh graduated MBA from the University of Mumbai.

Tarannun Fareed

Business Partner & Psychologist

Tarannum Fareed is the business partner of Thinking Hats. She is a qualified Psychologist and specializes in projective techniques, psychometric evaluation, and more. She has a Six Sigma certification to her credit and has dedicated most of her formative years in creating psychometric instruments to evaluate behavioural intelligence.

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