QuestionPro woos academic institutes in major India push
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Bengaluru: Web- and mobile-based survey company QuestionPro aims to tap into the Indian market by offering its corporate account to academic institutions in India free of cost for a year. The 13-year-old company, with its headquarters in Seattle, has its Indian base in Pune and already has 28 institutions on board, including several Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs).
“Our first foray into India is through the academic and university channel. It (their software platform) not only gives faculty members and research institutions a robust analytical toolset, it also empowers students to gain practical know-how on how to measure, collect and analyse data,” Vivek Bhaskaran, chief executive officer of QuestionPro, said in an email.
Bhaskaran said QuestionPro wants to capture the market for evidence-based decision making in emerging markets such as India, China and Latin America, which need tools and services for data processing and analytics.
“The verticals we’re looking at are academic institutions and companies which record customer feedback (such as hotels), which hasn’t caught up in India yet,” said Aditya Bhat, vice-president, sales, QuestionPro.
Bhat said that QuestionPro’s mobile app, which lets users record survey responses offline, is a key feature and helps companies avoid paper-based surveys which are time and effort intensive.
For instance, start-up Anant Learning and Development benefited by using the app to assess farmers who were trained under a special skilling programme called the National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme, by the National Skill Development Corporation. The start-up customized the software in 17 languages, and after six months, was able to assess 10,000 farmers in a month, up from 300 before it started using QuestionPro.
Every month, over 20,000 surveys are created and 200,000 responses collected using QuestionPro, which has about 4,000 companies as its clients.
QuestionPro competes with SurveyMonkey and Qualtrics, both US-based venture-backed companies. SurveyMonkey launched in India in 2012 with competitive pricing to suit the market, but, according to Bhat, QuestionPro’s prices were lower.
One of the reasons for reaching out to academic institutions is that students who use it while at college would continue using it even as professionals. Qualtrics, which is known for academic research surveys, saw great success with this strategy.
QuestionPro needs to up its marketing to reach out to more colleges and the one-year offer is helping. Bhargav Revankar, an associate professor at a Bengaluru-based global business school, said that they have switched from Qualtrics to QuestionPro. “I wouldn’t have switched but for the one-year offer,” he said.