BBC World researches Global Indian

NEW DELHI: In what is a clear salute to the growing importance of India and its citizens, BBC World has initiated a first-of-its-kind research to understand, what it calls, the Global Indian.

Its biggest ever syndicated research project in India, BBC is attempting to understand an emerging group of influencers, who are internationally minded Indians taking an active interest in the wider world.

Jeremy Nye, head of research and planning, BBC World told, “Lot of surveys lay emphasis on audience measurement, but this one is more about understanding the attitudinal and behavioural pattern of Indians.”

Pointing out that BBC World, along with many an international channels, invest in “below the surface happenings” to understand audiences better, Nye said, “This ground-breaking study will give us a chance to understand better the Global Indians who, we believe, will emerge as influencers and be catalysts of change driving India into a global world.”

Nye spoke to from London today over phone and was assisted by the company’s Mumbai-based senior research manager, India, Dezma de Melo.

The three-phased study, conducted over a year, will take an in-depth look at international Indians, their lifestyle, attitudes and consumption patterns. It will also shed light on the global topics these Indians are concerned about and the perspective that they bring to them.

The first phase has already been completed, while the second phase findings are likely to be out by September-October. The final phase will be completed by December-January 2006, de Melo said.

The research goes beyond the SEC demographics to explore psychographic and behavioural patterns of upmarket people, enabling advertising and media planning industry, to target the individuals more efficiently, Nye said, while de Melo admitted that the findings would be made available to the advertising and media professionals.

Though the first phase was more of exploratory in nature, the comments are quite revealing. “Because we are not an isolated economy, whatever happens in (the) US and Europe impacts us. Politically also we are linked,” one respondent said, for example, when asked what made him go for international information.

Sample other one. Asked about the importance of international news channels, a respondent, in a scathing criticism of domestic news channels, said, “X channel (name of the Indian channel has been deleted by us for obvious reasons) does not have an international perspective. It is very limited. It does not give an analysis of news. Obviously sitting here we don’t have a perspective.

“I’m sure X (name of a reputed anchor, who’s branched out on his own) can’t comment on what is happening in the West; they don’t have a band of reporters in the world like BBC or CNN. So clearly theirs is second hand news.”

The first phase of the study looks at understanding International News Viewers --- who they are, why they are interested, and what they are interested in.

“As this research goes over the years, trends would become important in this dynamic database,” Nye said, pointing out that BBC World might look at conducting such a survey to understand the American market too, for instance.

The first phase of this study, conducted between February and April 2005 through qualitative interviews across six cities by Shaman, focused primarily on developing detailed profiles of the Global Indians.

Overall, the survey would be spread across eight cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Ahmedabad where researchers would sift through responses from 8,000-odd respondents. AC Nielsen will be involved in the second phase, while the last phase’s agency has not been finalized yet.

The second phase will quantify the population of Global Indians and also unearth their media and consumption patterns. The third and final phase of the research will be undertaken to profile an equally important, yet unexplored, affluent sub-group within this category – the international business traveller.

BBC World, the BBC’s commercially funded international 24-hour news and information channel, is owned and operated by BBC World Ltd, a member of the BBC’s commercial group of companies.

The news channel is available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide and reaches nearly 268 million households (128 million 24-hour homes) and more than one million hotel rooms. BBC World launched in its present format in 1995 and is funded by advertising and subscription.

In India, BBC World is beamed through PanAm Sat 10 and is one of the most widely distributed international news and information channel. It is available in around 60,000 hotel rooms and over 15 million cable homes.

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