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Sri Lanka’s market research industry, while preparing for growing demand, is facing many challenges, one of pioneers said.Ravi Bamunusinghe, President of the Market Research Society of Sri Lanka.

(MRSSL) which was launched in Colombo last week, says like any up-and-coming industry – lack of common, widely acceptable definitions of quality standards and professional ethics, awareness and familiarity with users of market research, and lack of adequate talent coming into the industry being some of the most important challenges amongst the many it faces today. The MRSSL was established a few months ago with the cooperation of the leading market research agencies in the country.

Keynote speakers at Monday’s event were ESOMAR (World Association of Opinion and Marketing Research Professionals) – Ms. Helen Parker, and John Smurthwaite, ESOMAR Ambassador for the Asia-Pacific region. Mr Bamunusinghe said the industry, which has been in existence in Sri Lanka for over 30 years now. “What began as the ‘data collection department’ for some large business houses in the country in the 70′s, is now a sizeable industry estimated to be close to a billion rupees,” he added.

The industry is a good mix of international agencies as well as home-grown businesses. In the last decade, many new upstarts, entrepreneurs and individual consultants have started operations, clearly indicating a growing demand for the market research services.

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