Synovate, a leading global market intelligence company, is all set to launch its media tool Synovate PAX (Pan Asia Cross Media Studies) in India by next January to track media, prosperity and influence among the affluent Indians.
"Though, we have already been doing the research study here in India for three years, we have not made it commercially available actively. Now we have got a team to sell it to Indian clients," said Alok Shankar, MD, Synovate.
Other than India, Synovate PAX studies market behaviour of the affluent class in 10 other Asia Pacific countries – Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia and Japan.
Speaking about its relevance in the Indian context, Shankar said, "The affluent class is growing very fast in India and there is a dearth of information about their preferences and media habits. Media planners, manufacturers, service providers don't know how to reach them because they are not easily accessible either. And then, this class constitutes the opinion makers. Today what they are doing, others will follow it tomorrow. So, it also helps planners to design future strategies. Many media companies who have a global footprint like STAR and BBC World have already been using the Indian data for their out-of-India operations."
On the recent reports in some foreign media that the WPP Group was going to buy out Synovate from the Aegis Group, Shankar said, "I am not aware of anything like this. But in the past we have been getting such unsolicited offers because we are a listed company. And if the deal is very good, then the shareholders may say it's fine. This is happening because the company is doing so well, our share prices have been rising, our growth has been very substantial. Especially in India and China, which are the growth engines in the Asia Pacific region, we are doing very well."
Speaking in general terms, Shankar said, "Consolidation is happening in the market and it is good for the industry because if you have a critical mass you can do a lot more."
WPP has its own research outfit in IMRB International (Indian Market Research Bureau). If the WPP-Synovate deal happens, then the merger between the two Indian arms looks imminent. In that case, Synovate-IMRB may pose a bigger challenge to the present market leader, ACNielesen ORG-MARG. However, Shankar declined to comment on any such possibility, terming it as 'purely speculative'.
On Synovate's other projects, Shankar said, "Last year, we started Synovate Symmetrics, the customer loyalty programme, for the first time in India. Now we have recruited a full-fledged team to further strengthen this service in India. Next, we are going to focus on the financial services and we are now training people for the service."