FEATURE5 July 2021

Bob Qureshi – Research Hero

Features People

The Market Research Society has launched the Research Heroes programme to celebrate the sector’s unsung heroes. Bob Qureshi has been named one of the Research Heroes for summer 2021.

bob qureshi, CEO and Managing Partner at i-view 

Greg morris_crop

In 2020, Bob Qureshi contacted competitors to launch a viewing facility action group during the pandemic, allowing companies to stay informed on grants, relief and protocols.

Qureshi is also a co-founder of Colour of Research (CORe), set up in 2020 to address the lack of ethnic minority representation in the research industry.

Qureshi was nominated as a Research Hero because: “He has fought hard for us as people, not just for his company. He thinks about how we are going to pay our bills and held one-on-ones to understand our living arrangements.

“Being able to touch base with like-minded people [through the viewing facility action group] has been a breath of fresh air, we have been in it together and we are now working together to create a marketing campaign to launch coming back to face-to-face.

“Without Bob, none of this would have happened. We all look to him to guide and lead us, and I know my team feel strongly that we want him to be recognised for his determination and unwavering support and positive can-do attitude.”

What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your career?

Undoubtably for me and anyone else involved in any kind of face-to-face business, the last 15 months of the pandemic and its restrictions in trading have been the single biggest challenge of our working careers. Not just the challenge itself but the long duration coupled with government law preventing you to from being able to make any significant inroads. Along with my team we have stepped up to the plate, created new initiatives and forged ahead with bold ideas while staying close to our clients’ needs. The whole viewing facility sector has rallied around as a strong alliance. We now need our sector to support us.

What will be the next big trend or development in the research industry, and why?

Hybrid will be the key word. A mixture methodology – both online and face-to-face, with a strong involvement of artificial intelligence across all sectors. Speed and self-tailoring of studies through platforms – what we already see in Qualtrics, Zappi and Momentive. The desire to have a fully-personalised offering coupled with the ease of a platform or app that works across all industries is the way of the future. We see it already in all our devices, and our online times are increasing.

Who inspires you as a researcher?

My personal role model would be Tony Cowling. He passed away very recently. He was a great influencer in careers and inspired me immensely. I am sure I am not the only one. He understood not only the value of research, but how one could create a global business bring people from all over the world together. He understood people and the values they held, that people could have different views but still move forward together.

View the full list of Research Heroes for summer 2021

Research Heroes is an ongoing programme throughout 2021, with a second tranche of Heroes to be published in the autumn.