Mumbai: Axis My India, one of India’s leading market research organizations known for its exit poll analyses, is the first consumer data intelligence firm from the country to have become a part of the Harvard Business School curriculum. The Ivy League business school has built a case study based on its election forecasting model.
The case study, now a part of HBS’s classroom course on elections, highlights the complexity associated with successfully predicting elections in the world’s largest democracy, its diversity evident to all, with varied geographies, shared borders with six nations, sprawling rural populations and 23 different languages spoken across the country.
This case study written by Professor Ananth Raman, Senior Associate Ann Winslow and Research Associate Kairavi Dey discusses the process which goes behind forecasting elections in India and the methods AMI uses to reach such accurate forecasts – selection of field surveyors, hiring & training, use of technology for data collection, quality auditing, data analysis & final forecasting.
Commenting on this achievement, Mr. Pradeep Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, Axis My India said: “We are delighted that a globally renowned institution like Harvard Business School has built a case around our work at Axis My India. We are pioneers in the methodology for election surveys and have predicted most accurately the outcomes of 43 out of 47 elections so far which demonstrates our expertise in providing insight solutions through field surveys across the length and breadth of our country. Our ingenious use of technological solutions, robust processes, quality control, and completely in-house infrastructure & resources have played a significant role in our success. We will strive to constantly delight our clients with accurate insights that demonstrate our hold over the nation’s pulse, particularly rural communities.”
Speaking on the case study, Professor Ananth Raman, UPS Foundation Professor of Business Logistics Chair, OPM, HBS, “This case study illustrates numerous operational details, including those associated with training surveyors and moving them across different locations based on their linguistic and socio-economic identities to get a feel of the electorate’s pulse. Predicting elections accurately in an extremely complex country like India is difficult. AMI’s track record is a testament to the company’s project management and process excellence capabilities. I am certain that, through the case, Mr Gupta and Axis My India will inspire several business students at Harvard Business School to create their own entrepreneurial journey.”
On this occasion, Kalli Purie, Vice Chairperson, India Today Group said: “Pradeep Gupta and the AMI team have transformed how exit polls are perceived in the country, with an enviable track record and a pioneering technique that allows for a granular analysis of every seat polled for. I have had the privilege of working closely with the team and their dedication to their craft and attention to detail helps them deliver results that other pollsters can aim to achieve. Mr Gupta’s work ethic and single-minded focus form the basis of his contrarian but accurate analysis. This case study is only the beginning and a harbinger of the several groundbreaking feats that the AMI team will achieve in future.”
According to Professor Raman, while we have seen numerous examples of experienced organizations struggling to predict election outcomes in the recent past, this case illustrates how an entrepreneurial organization like Axis My India has devised a process to predict outcomes accurately.
Some of the key details compiled in the report that sets Axis My India apart from all of its peers include presence across length and breadth of country (700+ districts), an average survey size of over 5 lakh people for national surveys, GPS-enabled tablets to maintain geographical sanctity, as well as computer aided questionnaires backed by social intelligence to garner maximum data veracity.
Axis My India is at an inflection point, as it continues to expand its portfolio of service offerings of consumer insights to corporations, backed by a robust digitally enabled platform as part of its big, audacious Mission Himalaya – Unchi Udaan- roadmap – a vision to connect and resolve problems of over 250 million Indian households.
Disclaimer: The case was reviewed and approved before publication by a company designate. Funding for the development of this case was provided by Harvard Business School and not by the company. HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management.”