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AskingCanadians Senior VP wins the MRIA Award of Distinction

by admin.

20140616_154033_resizedRaj Manocha, who was recently promoted to Senior Vice President of AskingCanadians, was honoured by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) last week as the recipient of this year’s Award of Distinction.

The MRIA Award of Distinction recognizes younger members of the Association (eligibility is open to anyone under 40 years of age) who have brought distinction to themselves and to the marketing, survey and public opinion research and market intelligence industry/profession through leadership and achievement in their professional and personal lives.

Here’s a look at the nomination, written by our CEO Adam Froman:

At age 34, Raj has already accomplished in his career in the marketing research industry what many who are much more senior have not yet achieved. After three years, under Raj’s leadership, AskingCanadians has become one of the most recognized online data collection firms in Canada and has grown by over 250 per cent in revenues and to more than 40 employees. This also translates to managing over 1,200 projects in 2013—17 times the number of projects being handled by the shop when Raj joined the firm in 2011. This is particularly impressive considering that revenues in the market research industry in Canada have been flat for the past five years.

Raj began his career with AskingCanadians at the beginning of 2011 after having gained more than five years of experience working in the data collection industry, managing both Canadian and international clients.

At the end of 2010, AskingCanadians had just embarked on a strategy for growth and we were looking for someone to help realize this aggressive strategy.  At that time, AskingCanadians had five employees and was not considered a leading online data collection firm in Canada.

Raj initially joined as Director of Sales, and after just five months, he was promoted to Vice President, responsible for running the AskingCanadians business. By the end of his first year with the company, AskingCanadians’ revenues had grown by 50 per cent (over 2010) and the team had grown to 20 employees.

Raj has also been instrumental in leading an innovation agenda for AskingCanadians. In 2012, he initiated an R&D project to develop a user-centric dashboard where he recognized the trend to blend structured and unstructured data. His foresight resulted in an exciting research project to combine survey, audience, Google Analytics, social and a number of other data sets to develop a brand health index for The Weather Network that could be tracked and displayed in near real time through an online dashboard developed by integrating user experience design principles.

This innovative project was financially supported by funding from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), and the brand health index algorithm was developed through a partnership with Ryerson University’s Department of Electrical Engineering.  The project received an Engage Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), which led to funding a graduate student at Ryerson to work on the project. The innovative project won the 2013 MRIA Excellence Behind the Scenes Award.

In April 2014, Raj led the expansion of AskingCanadians’ data collection services into the United States with the launch of AskingAmericans, a division of AskingCanadians leveraging the North American-based operational capacity of AskingCanadians and offering access to more than 10 million U.S. consumers.

With the growth of AskingCanadians’ presence in the Canadian marketplace, Raj has also demonstrated his leadership in the Canadian market research industry by becoming active with the MRIA. He is chair of the newly formed Emerging Leaders Task Force (ELTF), a subcommittee of the Research Agency Council, focused on engaging the next generation of leaders in the Canadian market research industry to participate in the MRIA. After establishing a committee of 15 young professionals from across the country, from both the market research supplier and buyer communities, the ELTF has been successful at providing input into MRIA initiatives such as the National Conference and Vue magazine.

In just over three years working with AskingCanadians, Raj has demonstrated not only his leadership capability and ability to create a position of distinction for himself and AskingCanadians, but has proven his ability to accept the responsibility to help engage the next generation of market research leaders to become involved in helping to build the industry in Canada.