EMMA NDUKA is Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Market Learnings International. He has been an active player in the Market Research industry for decades. He spoke with Research Intelligence Magazine.
You’ve been out of circulation in the industry for some time; I wonder where you are now?
I have done some retreat. I am into the ministry now, I want to serve God fully and also research is sidelined. I consult for some agencies still, even as I am also a school administrator. I help my wife to run her schools, so these are the things that are engaging my attention; I am not in active research per se. yes, so, this is the situation for now.
Okay, where is your office located now?
On Lagos – Ibadan Express way. That is where my house is as well as my office. That is also where my ministry is and my wife’s schools. That is why I am not in Lagos, I moved office since 2014 from Lagos to Ibadan Express way.
Are you now a general Overseer?
I am one of the pastors in another ministry anyway Watchman Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement.
Are you on full time?
Somehow, except when I have some consulting works to do for some agencies, otherwise, I focus on the ministry.
How are you coping leaving hustle and bustle of the market research for work of the ministry?
Everything is by God’s grace, you know, when you make God’s work a priority He will have a way of taking care of you that is what some of the people do not know. The Bible says seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and every other thing shall be added unto you. When you do God’s work, especially when He has called you and you make His work a priority, He definitely has a way of sustaining you. That is exactly what He has done.
Is that the reason why you left the market research?
I have always been serving God, even when I was running my own agency since 1992, I was the general overseer of my ministry. I saw the need and also I was receiving some leading, you know, so, I decided that I can’t be dividing my time too much I needed to devote at least 80% of my time to serving God and ministering to people’s needs -especially spiritual needs, so, that is why I have moved to that level of serving God fully. So that’s it.
How have you been coping ever since you took that decision?
Like I said, it has been by God’s grace. It’s by His Grace and He has been very faithful.
It almost appears you have seen it all in market research, if you were given a second chance, what is it that you will like to correct in the industry?
Well, so far so good except that the economic situation has really affected the industryand I don’t know at the association level how they are doing right now at least to sustain the level of cooperation that is expected in the industry. The only thing now, is that, you know, like you said I have been out of circulation so l have lost touch with what has been happening there. So, I cannot say for sure now what has happened which I may regret later, I cannot say for sure now.
Having been on the exco of NiMRA, looking back you have seen the challenges facing NiMRA and how do you think we can move forward?
Okay, the only thing is that the agencies, should come together closer than before especially in view of the challenges. I don’t know how the current EXCO members are doing, may be because of the economic situation but not much action has been seen. I must give credit to the past EXCO, that was led by Lanre Fasakin, even though I have not come to the secretariat lately to find out things for myself, but I think we shouldn’t leave the industry like that. Agreed that we are all busy but they shouldn’t leave the industry like that unattended to. We should be coming together, reviewing things and moving forward, that’s what I think.
If you have a child who indicates interest going into market research field, would you give that child your blessing?
Okay, l have been asked this question several times. I’m always a frank person but do you know that since 1992 when I joined the Market Research industry none of my children has even given keen interest into this. I remember those days when things used to be though, they would jokingly say daddy this your research na wao!, so, that is even up till now especially when each time I tell them, when we have written a proposal, don’t worry something is coming, and they would ask me when? I would say well, the client has said that they don’t have money now for so and so reason and they would feel disappointed. So, I think my children because they have seen me in this business, they have known that this is the business I have done, and they don’t think it is the one they will like to identify with. That is why some of them are studying Engineering, French, computer engineering, this and that, none of them is even doing any business course. It is unfortunate that research, despite the hard work and everything, and sometimes when they see me writing a proposal, they would think I am preparing for an exam. I don’t think I would want my child to dive into it, because that is not where they are even taken to, they are not even showing interest, so why would I force them?
So, for those of us who are still in the industry what is your advice to us?
My advice, especially now the economy has made it worse because companies that would have loved to do research, when they look at the cost they will just either scale it down or shelve it completely, so, those of us in research or field of research, I will advise them not to depend on research completely. I’m talking about those us working with smaller agencies and not the bigger ones, and individuals, who are on their own to also try and look for something on the side they can also do to augment whatever that is coming from research so they can survive.