30Under30 Honouree: Shivani Choksi

Great to hear from our 2023 Global 30-under30 honouree, Shivani Choksi who is a Senior Research Executive at Ipsos. Shivani is driven by a genuine passion for assisting clients in achieving significant business impact through the application of consumer insights. Her active contributions have played a pivotal role in the successful execution of numerous product tests and innovations. Moreover, she is proud to be serving as an inspiring figure to young researchers within Ipsos.

So, how did you get into the industry, and take us through how you got to this point?

The truth is that I just stumbled upon an opportunity to work with Ipsos and within the industry. I believe many can relate to the idea of unexpectedly finding themselves in this field, but I’m actually pretty glad it happened to me! I’ve always been that curious type, always wanting to know “why” about everything. That curiosity has been a big part of why I’ve done so well in market research. It’s like putting together a fun puzzle when I dive into consumer insights and decipher them from the data at hand.

Since becoming a part of Ipsos, I have had the privilege of working on numerous projects that have significantly expanded my knowledge and expertise. Plus, my curious streak led me to win the ESOMAR YES AWARD for the innovative idea. I can honestly say I love figuring out what makes consumers tick!

What are you most proud of from your career so far?

I’ve had numerous moments to take pride in throughout my journey, but winning the ESOMAR YES Award stands out as the pinnacle. It offered me the opportunity to represent Ipsos India on a global stage, and the icing on the cake was the recognition that came with the award. I can say with great pride that I’ve been a source of inspiration for many aspiring young researchers in India, contributing to Ipsos’ remarkable three-year winning streak.

Furthermore, I had the privilege of being invited as a panelist at the ESOMAR career event for German students, alongside some of the most seasoned market researchers in the industry. Sharing the stage with these esteemed researchers was also a moment of immense pride for me.

What two things should junior researchers focus on as they progress in their careers?

Curiosity will help you do wonders: Speaking from my own experience, I’ve found that being curious opens a world of opportunities beyond what I ever imagined. Always staying curious, both in the pursuit of learning and unlearning, can help you to challenge conventional norms and lead innovation. Embrace your curiosity, and you’ll be amazed at the wonders it can bring about.

Challenge the conventional norms but be flexible to embrace feedback: Flexibility within a project’s life cycle is vital since each project is unique. By challenging traditional approaches, you can discover new possibilities. However, it’s equally important to embrace constructive feedback and set aside biases, as this approach will enable you to give your best to any project.

What message do you have for anyone considering a career in our sector?

Many individuals perceive the industry as having inherent limitations, but in reality, it’s quite the opposite! When you start into this field, get ready to face some truly unique challenges, as the industry is full of opportunities. Approach each project with an open mind, and prioritise what’s best for it. Always keep in mind that the recommendations and insights you provide hold significant importance for the business.

Do you have any advice for our sector as a whole?

With the rise of digitisation and the advent of AI and VR, staying at the forefront and embracing industry changes has become imperative. Striking a balance between traditional approaches and cutting-edge technology is equally vital. Ultimately, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the consumer is at the core of everything. The insights we gain through observation and collecting their feedback will forever remain invaluable.

And do you have anyone who has helped your career so far that you’d like to acknowledge and say thanks or give a shout out to?

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude and extend my acknowledgment to several individuals at Ipsos who have played an instrumental role in guiding me throughout my journey.

First and foremost, I want to thank Anthony D’souza, the Executive Director and Service Line Leader for Innovation. He has been a dedicated mentor, consistently believing in my potential to thrive in the industry. His unconventional support has been a source of inspiration to many young researchers within the organization.

I’d also like to extend my appreciation to Annie Kurien, the Executive Director who leads my team. Annie has consistently encouraged me to explore innovative ideas in our projects, generously sharing her knowledge and skills to aid in my success.

Lastly, I’m sincerely grateful to my team members and juniors who have consistently supported me in delivering our best to our clients every working day. Their teamwork and dedication have been invaluable to our collective achievements.