Dipesh Soneji’s experience in market research spans 15 years, 4 agencies, 2 countries, numerous product categories and numerous quantitative methods. His work experience has seen him work for large and boutique agencies in the UK and Australia, including Millward Brown, TNS, 2CV and Ruby Cha Cha. Dipesh enjoys getting market research briefs which are a creative challenge so he can get his thinking cap on.
Questions he has answered in the recent past include:
• How can we fairly represent the opinions of a whole community?
• With several datasets all telling us ‘a truth’, how can we analyse these ‘multiple truths’ to find innovation opportunities?
• What’s more important in the decision-making process: brand or product?
His clients appreciate his ability to understand their tricky business issues and partner with them to come up with an innovative solution. Dipesh feels at home in market research as it’s a place where he can blend his curious nature, creativity and critical thinking in one place.
Innovating community engagement to ensure the future of the Sutherland Shire
Co-Presenter- Rebecca Dalton
Over the next ten years, Sutherland Shire Council faces the financial challenge of considering how to maintain its assets and the level of service the community expects into the future. With rising operating costs, energy bills, costs of materials and maintenance costs all increasing – along with the additional pressures places on assets from inevitable population growth – the Council is facing a squeeze on financial resources. An additional $127m alone is required to maintain the service and infrastructure for three major spend areas.
The Council wanted to engage with the Shire community to understand where the focus of the Council’s spending should be. It was important for the Council to know what is most important to residents, where residents are willing to make trade-offs across the Council’s services and the willingness to take on any possible rate change.
Ruby Cha Cha worked with the Council to develop a research project with 4-stages. A mix of stakeholder interviews, in-home depth interviews, 5 nights of resident forums and a survey completed by 2400 residents provided the Council with the answers.
As a result of this study, Sutherland Shire Council has clear direction on how to engage with the community, what is acceptable when it comes to rate rises; and priorities for asset management. This knowledge helps the Council to plan for the future well-being of a proud community.