Rajann K Sharma of the Sample Junction tells us how they offer data collection and programming services.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Sample Junction.
Rajann K Sharma: I am a seasoned professional in this online market research industry, having more than 20 years of experience. Before starting Sample Junction, I was privileged to get knowledge of this Industry from Greenfield/Toluna, where I worked there for 11 years. I found this industry exciting, and serving clients became my passion. My determination toward client servicing and my work motivated me to start “Sample Junction.” This thirst to be a successful entrepreneur and prior practical knowledge of the industry served as catalysts for me to begin my journey as an entrepreneur.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Rajann K Sharma: I have the habit of treating every employee as a family member so that they can easily approach me. Also, I am always open to new ideas from an employee at any designation. I firmly believe that no idea is a silly idea, and this has helped fresh blood to come up with new ideas to improve a process or if they feel something can be done in a better manner. I am open to new ideas, and if they help, then I take every measure to implement them.
How does Sample Junction market its product/services online?
Rajann K Sharma: We use LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Emails as the main platform for marketing. We post specific blogs, posters, videos, and much more as a part of marketing our marketing strategy consisting of information that somehow is related to solving NDPs of the customer(Needs, Desires, and Problems). Also, we add value to our customers by posting articles related to the market research industry on our website as well as in our newsletters.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Rajann K Sharma: We use tools like Canva, Render Forest, Semrush, and many more for creating online content and HubSpot to track our marketing activities. We have a specific team for marketing that takes care of marketing on social media platforms about our services and related to market research since most of the clients are overseas.
What is your hiring policy/process, and how do you retain your employees?
Rajann K Sharma: We use various methods like social media platforms and HR Consultancy firms; however, hiring through employee reference is our preferred medium. Our interview process is very simple and professional, where our focus is to match the candidate with our Role clarity document that we create for each position. We focus on gauging the person on intrinsic values, family values, current skills, and attitude towards learning rather than his qualification. He should be meeting the minimum required qualification.
We prefer to call our people team members than employees because you create the first barrier between the company and the people when you say, employees. We treat all the employees with respect and work towards their overall growth and motivate them to work on their improvement areas. We even have an education loan policy to enhance their skills. We encourage our team members to introspect and measure if they learned something this year as we do not want them to work mechanically.
How are you funding your growth?
Rajann K Sharma: So far, we are self-sustained with our own funds and even worked constantly towards technical and infrastructure growth even after the pandemic slowdown. We are investing aggressively towards the up-gradation of our panel so that we can provide more authentic and valued responses to our clients on completion of their online research. Over the years, we have understood and realized that quality is the only key to winning your clients, and we work towards it day and night, which differentiates us from our competitors.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Rajann K Sharma: Frankly speaking, I do not consider our peers our competitors. Many businesses complain about it, learn from it, and run away from it. But most do not know the true meaning of business competition. It’s natural and even important that it makes us realize its actual strengths and weaknesses.
The biggest challenge in our industry is unorganized structure and varied business practices. The utmost challenge is to organize the way business happens across the industry. We plan to grow vertically thru organizing policies and processes within the organization framework and horizontally thru organizing processes and technology of stakeholders like customers, panelists, and suppliers.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Rajann K Sharma: We did a tough sampling job where big companies in the industry could not deliver samples, but we have motivated panelists who are always eager to take surveys. This helped us to over-deliver for the client. We did the portion of those big companies as well. This created an image that we are equally capable as big shots in the industry.
Your final thoughts?
Rajann K Sharma: Our team works as a single unit for a common goal. We are a team of highly qualified and experienced professionals dedicated to their work and beyond their limits to serve our clients. Our Director( Strategy) – Mr. Sudhir Mittal, an alumnus of IIT-R and IIM-A, has more than 32 years of industrial experience at the board level that set the direction of strategy for growth, and organization’s goals, diversification, customer relation management, and sustainability. Our young professionals like Sahil(an IIM Alumnus) and Nimesh (Team Leader) set new standards of work ethics and dedication for the young blood of our team. We target around 50% growth on a year-to-year basis by continuous up-gradation of the Technical Landscape, Process re-engineering, and regular training for operation and marketing teams.