FEATURE5 July 2021

Raluca Elena Barbu – Research Hero

Features People

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

Raluca Elena Barbu, senior project manager, Kantar

Greg morris_crop

Raluca Elena Barbu is the sustainability lead at Kantar Profiles and global project manager for the sustainability foundational study aimed at mapping how consumers view sustainability issues and how it influences their behaviour.

She became involved in the sustainability project after hearing about it on the company staff intranet. In spring 2020, she offered to run a foundational study that ran in four markets, with a further 35 planned for 2021.

She also offered to be the lead for the UK office of Kantar Profiles on volunteering activities and in 2020 helped promote the company’s virtual challenge to fundraise for the Special Olympics. In 2019 she was part of the organising committee for volunteering week resulting in 12 charities being supported by 85 Kantar employee volunteers.

Raluca was nominated as a Research Hero “for her courage in taking these initiatives forward and making such a positive impact”.

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

The challenge I constantly take for myself is to support initiatives and projects that I don’t have any experience in. This helps me to keep learning and to push the limits of what I can do. 

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

I think the next big trend and development in market research will come from automation and artificial intelligence. The technology is already in use, but companies will need to invest more in research and development in order to improve the market research experience for both the researchers and the respondents. We need to learn from other industries using these technologies and build tools that are un-biased, accessible, ethical and transparent as well as strong decision-making support for our clients.

Who inspires you as a researcher?

We all have a responsibility to do what we can to improve the impact our industry has on the environment and society, and I am greatly inspired by organisations such as the Insight Climate Collective and Purpose Disruptors which are taking action to influence companies towards the right direction.

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.