Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Focus group on timber Industry in China

Focus group on timber Industry in China

Background-PEST analysis

With the development of economic, acceleration of civilization and improvement of infrastructure, the relative timber industry in China is going through its prosperity. Wood is essential for the development of national economy and people’s life. Timber is widely-used in construction industry, furniture industry, paper-making industry and energy industry etc. However, since China joint WTO and carried out the policies of natural forests protection, the timber resource is extremely scarce. At the same time, the price of raw material is incessantly rising, the processing technology is undeveloped while the remarkable steady growth of people’s living standard and resident disposable income is present. The sharp conflict between supply and demand is inevitable. Obviously, timber industry is facing both development obstacles and new opportunities in recent years.

Current Situation of Timber Market in China

Timber industry is a general name, which refers to take the wood for the main processing objectby using of physical, chemical processing means, and then processing wood into various wooden forest products manufacturing. Wood is green and renewable, environment-friendly materials, wood industry based on wood material have become the development of social economy in the national economy, which occupies the irreplaceable position in evergreen industry. Since with the development of reforming and opening up, Chinese timber industry has achieved rapid development, China has become the world literally timber industry superpower. On the account of low forest coverage rate and the protection of forest district, businesses are gradually banned logging in virgin forests to maintain harmonious ecological environment, especially the Xing'an Mountains region. The timber field is significantly reduced and hard to satisfy the demand of the market. Under the circumstances, China strengthens the efforts to import timber. Data shows that the total import volume reached 45.159 million cubic meters with the amount of $9.32 billion. As the increasing volume of timber import and the fluctuation of the demand forms, timber industry is gradually changing as well. China imports timber 11.5 million cubic meters from New Zealand, about 25.47% of the total. New Zealand becomes the biggest timber import state in China.

Influencing Factors on Demand and Supply of Timber Market in China

Objective Factor
Over recent decades, China’s per capita disposable income goes up with year-on-year growth of about 9 percent. It means the people’s life mode transfer from subsistence mode to enjoyable mode. People are pursuing the high quality living standard which will immensely promote the timber demand.
Subjective Factor
Besides the objective factor, customer preference is also a significant aspect. People can choose their wanted product as their wishes. Consumer demand for the goods is positively correlated with the degree of preference. Chinese would like to purchase the timber if their degree of preference is high.

Timber Industry SWOT Analysis

focus group China timber industry

In order to give more detailed information about china timber industry, there is a SWOT analysis according to the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and treats.
In China, endogenous financing ability of wood industry in light industry is weak. In 2008, the cost profit margin of the rankings in 14 light industries of China, wood processing industry ranks the fifth, while papermaking and paper products industry rank the seventh, furniture manufacturing ranks eleventh. Among them, except wood processing cost slightly is higher than the national industrial average profit margins, the costs of profit margins furniture of manufacturing, papermaking and paper manufacturing are below the average of national industry.
Due to the imperfect of capital market, debt financing China timber industry is one of the main channels to raise funds. But China timber industry liability structure is unreasonable, which cause industry facing larger financing risk, therefore, optimizing liability structure is the important problems must be solved for industry. Enterprise should reduce the proportion of current liabilities into a reasonable range, in order to reduce the financing risk. In determining the proportion of current liabilities, enterprises should take cash flow as the criterion. Enterprise's short-term debt should pay eventually by producing in the enterprise management, based on cash flow of current liabilities, it is reasonable to ensure the level of current liabilities. In determining the enterprise debt structure, enterprise should repay the debt within one year less than or equal to the period of the business cash flow, So, even in the difficulty time of financing enterprise, it also can ensure the cash flow generated with business to return due debts, that is to say to ensure adequate solvency.
China's imports of logs, lumber, woodchips and pulp hit record levels in 2011, when its timber supply deficit surged more than 30% to an estimated 152 million m3. Similarly, demand for timber in other wood deficit countriesis also on the rise. While some countries clamber for wood resources, concerns about deforestation have caused an increasing share of the world's native forests to be set aside for conservation.

These global trends are increasing the market's dependence on man-made forest plantations. Not surprisingly, an increasing number of players in the timber industry are interested in developing tree farms - often in new regions and with relatively unproven species. This type of investment requires analysis that incorporates political and economic factors, as well as, direct costs and biological growth rates.

Conclusions of the focus group

This report focuses on the background-pest analysis, current situation of timber market in china, influencing factors on demand and supply of timber market in china, timber industry SWOT analysis. It aims at providing a better understanding about China timber industry. 

By Daxue Consulting
See also:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

What is focus group market analysis?

What is focus group market analysis?

In order to provide you with clear and actionable recommendation questionnaire
Market analysis in China is conducted for the purpose of understanding the opportunities and risks presented by an existing market in different regions. Each analysis involves a comprehensive set of research methods, both quantitative and qualitative. Marketanalysishelpsyourcompany to identify:
  • Size of the market
  • Rules and regulations imposed in the regional market
  • Trade rules and regulations
  • Socio-economic development surrounding the market
  • Production areas and points of sale
  • Market segmentation
  • Existing key players and potential competitors in the market
  • Performance of existing players or the requesting clients themselves
  • Cost and profitability
  • Global market trends
  • Viable marketstrategies

For example, if an owner seeks to open a wine shop in Hong Kong, he/she has to make use of market analyses to grasp the necessary information on his/her competitors within the region, their locations, sizes, targeted clients, wine-drinking culture of the region, income level of the people as well as the advertising, need for promotion, etc. All thesecannotbedonewithoutmarketanalysis.
Depending on the purpose and the objectives of the market analysis, the scope of the study varies significantly and directly determines the research methods that are adopted.

Methodologies of a market analysis

Included below are some of the most common research methods.
  • Secondary research: collection of information through libraries, bookshops, the internet, university's resources
  • Primary research: any analysis requests a primary research which can be done through interviews, visits or data-mining
  • Survey: a survey aims at asking questions to a screened sample of people through closed and open questions

Delivery of a market analysis by Daxue Consulting

There are multiple ways of delivering for a market analysis including:

  • Analysis of the existing market with the existing rules and regulations
  • Analysis of the main volumes, main figures, main directions of the market without going too deep in the numbers
  • Analysis of the competitors and screening of them through their results, marketing (qualitative and quantitative screening)
  • Executivesummary or summarysheets
  • Analysis of the duplicable market strategies
  • Benchmark of companies' metrics and go-to-market strategies

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Focus group shows bad relationship between China and Japan

Focus group shows bad relationship between China and Japan

Focus group hold in China and Japan

focus group China
We knew the diplomatic relations between China and Japan are execrable. A focus group hold in Japan reveals the scale of the disenchantment between their respective citizens, a deterioration mainly connected to territorial disputes between both Asian powers.
More than half Chinese glimpse even the possibility of a military conflict in the future, against 29 % Japanese side, according to this focus group led by the Japanese independent think tank Genron NPO and the newspaper of State China Daily.
For the last year, the perception of the Japanese towards the Middle Kingdom degraded. From now on 93 % of them have a "unfavorable" impression of it, against 90,1 % previously, what already represented a record since the implementation of the focus group in 2005.
In cause, «the hegemonic attitude " of China, which the actions are judged «incompatible with the international law ". It claimed will to monopolize the natural and energy resources is also pointed.
The Chinese are on their side 86,8 % not to be thought of the good of Japan, that is a slight improvement with regard to the 92,8 % recorded in 2013.

Many reasons for this bad feeling

The heart of the problem is the nationalization by Japan two years ago exactly of three of the islands of the small uninhabited archipelago Senkaku, at the origin of a deep diplomatic quarrel between both countries. These territories situated at sea by oriental China are administered by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing under the naming Diaoyu.
Other reason called by the questioned member of the focus group in China: the historic vision of Japan which has difficulty in recognizing the exactions of its soldiers during the war.
But in the end, this dark image bases on no concrete experience, because the direct interaction between both peoples is very low. Few questioned by Japanese focus group visited China (14,3 %), and very few Chinese focus group respondent did so in Japan (6,4 %). As a result, their feeling bases itself widely on the information brought back by the media of their own country.
Most of the people sounded in both countries (between 70 and 80 %) consider however that this situation is not bearable and that it is necessary to bring to her a solution quickly.
In the same direction, China Daily qualified this poll of "worrying", calling the Sino-Japanese managers to meet as quickly as possible. It said it before adding: «the ball is in the camp of Japan ".
Since their coming to power at the end of 2012, the Japanese right Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Chinese president Xi Jinping have never held bilateral summit, in spite of the numerous calls of Mr. Abe. He «has to prove by concrete acts that he wishes sincerely an improvement of the relations ", insists the everyday life.
The focus group was realized in July and August from the answers of 1.000 Japanese and 1.539 Chinese of 18 or more years old.

focus group China

More information here and here

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How to register an high-tech company in China

How to register an high-tech company in China

The American Office of the statistics (Census) created a category "advanced technologies" which corresponds to products answering the following criteria: the used technology has to stand out from a high-technology recognized sector (for example the biotechnologies, the information technologies) and must be state-of-the-art.

Register as high-tech Company in China

In China, according to SJ Grand, a company cannot register as "high-tech" and to be certified as such as if it enters the categories mentioned above and if she answers the following conditions: at least 30 % of his staff has a level of studies upper or equal to the first university cycle; more than 5 % of the income of its sales is dedicated to the search and to the development (R*D); and more than 60 % of its sales concerns technological services and high-tech products.

register high-tech in China

Chinese statistics on the business of high technologies

Until 1998, the Chinese statistics on the business of high technologies included the computing and the telecommunications, the life sciences, the aerospace industry and the aeronautics, the electronics, the armament, the industrial automation, the nuclear technologies, the biotechnologies, and the state-of-the-art materials. Since then, the armament and the nuclear technologies do not appear there anymore, but appeared a new category - " other technologies " - which is most probably the combination of the armament and the nuclear technologies.
Not high-tech category could be subdivided into various levels, according to the technological intensity, and to the profit and to the added value which result from it, according to Daxue Consulting leader, Matthieu David. Let us take the example of computers: the first level is the central processing unit and the operating system, dominated by the model Wintel (microprocessors of Intel, operating system and main applications of Microsoft). The second level, which includes elements-keys as integrated circuits, memory chips and screens, presents a higher level of risk but also profit.
Daxue Consulting
Daxue Consulting is a firm which support foreign high-tech investor in China

The lowest third and level is the one of the assembly and the manufacturing of finished products; the technological level is lower whereas the logistic costs are higher, the advantages consist of economies of scale, sales and located services. Apparently, China is essentially limited at this lowest level.
Mysimax is a China-based company looking to provide high-tech in emerging country. Its founder, JX Paulin, who is also an expert on China high-tech landscape, told us the complexity to register a high-tech company in China.

See also: here and here and here

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Focus group shows increase of advertising in China

Focus group shows increase of advertising in China

The advertising in China amounts to the 3rd world rank, since 2007. The advertising market is very dynamic: in 10 years, advertising spending increased fourfold showed focus group in China.

Advertising in China

advertising in China

The market is nevertheless unbalanced: approximately 50 % of the investments are always realized in Beijing, Shanghai and in the province of the Guangdong.
The advertising market in China is dominated by small local agencies. Focus groups count more than 140 000 companies of advertising and communication, offering very heterogeneous services.
Attracted by the potential of this gigantic market, the big international advertising agencies are present in China for more than 10 years. Their number moreover doubled in 2006, further to the opening in 2005 of this market to companies of capital 100 % foreigners. These international agencies are in competition with the more successful, local Chinese companies, which benefit from strong local networks.
However, 5 of the first 10 advertising agencies are foreign and some are specialized in focus group in China.

Focus group and Store Check in China

store check in China

Since November, 2008, the foreign advertising agencies have to have a governmental authorization to exercise focus group and store check in China. These new regulations of the Chinese government, concerning the companies of advertising with only foreign investments, came into effect in November, 2008. It is same for store check in China.
Advertising agencies with foreign capital will have to, from now on; obtain an official authorization, before making a commitment in any conception, production, and publication in the sector of the advertising in China, as well as focus group.
A Sino-foreign joint-venture can be created only on condition that the shareholders are companies of the sector and in service since more of 2ans.
To create a company of advertising with capital foreign 100 %, the investor will have to be a company the advertising of which is the main "business purpose" and in service since more of 3ans.
A company of advertising, in foreign capital, cannot ask to establish a subsidiary in China only if its capital is completely freed and that sound THAT annual is equal or upper to 20 million RMB (2 million Euros).

Friday, June 20, 2014

Focus group in China : Milk market can rise again

Focus group in China : Milk market can rise again

According to focus group in China, this product, which benefits from the healthy image of the yoghurt but frees itself from constraints connected to the cold chain, passed from 0 to 500 M € of figure of affair in five years - the billion is aimed for 2015, and benefits from a 60 % gross margin. Among other categories susceptible to grow strongly over the next years, focus groups quote the h-milk, the drinks with yoghurt and with milk, the desserts and the milky snack bars, the organic products.

Importation of milk from New-Zealand to China market

Other opportunity: the Chinese market structurally has a deficit in milk, pulling imports which could quadruple by 2018. Today, these imports are very dependent on New Zealand; importers are avid to diversify their supplies, and ready to establish partnerships with new sources if quality and traceability are assured, said focus group in China.
In this context, the consolidation and the modernization of small Chinese producers also establishes a lever of value creation.

Focus group shows dynamism of online channel

Focus group in ChinaLast track: the dynamism of the digital channels, waited increasing by 60 % a year over the next years, is a great deposit for the international groups. Naturally, the presence on the main sites of e-commerce is inescapable; but it is possible to go much more far to term of commitment of the consumer: for example, why do not to imagine a mobile application allowing, from personal data (weight, size, age, activities, medical balance sheets) to identify dairy products the most adapted for one or his children, and to integrate them immediately into his basket on its site of favorite e-commerce? This idea come from focus group in China and seems very promising in this market.
All these construction sites are in the course of opening, whether it is by the Chinese giants whom are Yili, Mengniu and Bright, or by the big dairy groups of Europe and Asia Pacific. These invest significant amounts in the development of new products (center of R*D created in China by Arla in 2014), and with new channels(canals) (e-commerce for the infantile milk of Fonterra in 2014). Now the French groups have to position, if they want to grow in a profitable way on the Chinese market.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sportswear in China

Several Chinese brands already fight for the right to represent Jeremy Lin, the young American with origin in China who awarded a diploma by Harvard which has just offered the victory in New York Knicks.

Sponsorship development in China through Lin

Xu Zhihua, managing director of Peak Sport Products Co Limited, a manufacturer of sports clothes settled in the province of Fujian, went to the United States the last week and has to meet Linen to discuss a partnership agreement.
"Our CEO met Linen in New York, but I do not absolutely know if they spoke about a contract ", declared Liu Xiang, public relations director of the brand.
Mr. Liu indicated that Xu went to the United States to attend the opening of the first store Peak in New York last Thursday.
Other manufacturers, including Li Ning Co Ltd and Qiaodan Sports Co Ltd, also showed their interest for Linen, but refused to make the slightest comment before the signature of contracts.
The biggest obstacle for the Chinese manufacturers is that Linen signed a contract of three years with Nike in 2010.
The on-line sellers do not however lose a moment.

Promotion through sportswear

"His linen uniform is already a best-seller in my online shop ", declared a seller nicknamed Chen, who sells uniforms of the players of the NBA on Taobao.com.
Chen explained that he had sold 426 linen shirts on Monday afternoon, but that he had not received the goods of his supplier yet.
The young man became the focus of the world press. It made the cover of the last number of the American magazine Time, having appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and Daily News.
Teams of Invest Hong Kong, the branch of the government of the administrative region of Hong-Kong in charge of the promotion of the investment, that they are based in Hong-Kong or on the continent, are delighted to be able to help Xtep in his projects of expansion in and by Hong-Kong, he added.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Focus on entrepreneurship in Africa

In several African countries, as in Mali, the way of the entrepreneurship is a solution favored by numerous young people to try to make a career.

Group of entrepreneur in Africa

«If I had not made that, I do not really see what I would have been able to make of other one ", notices Hamidou, young Malian entrepreneur who created his company of electronics with his brother five years ago. The first motivation of the young people comes by way of an acknowledgement of impotence: the work is lacking, the studies are only few or not valued, then, it is necessary to create to survive. The Forum of Bamako, which was held until February 15th in the capital, put, for several years, the entrepreneurship at the heart of the debates where the professionals meet the students and the researchers. This year, as Mali tries to reconstruct economically after two years of conflict, it takes a particular importance.

«There is already very numerous companies which work in this way in Africa, my idea are different ", underlines Madjissem Beringaye. This young leader of company wishes to open a center of entrepreneurship and experimental innovation during year 2015: ten young entrepreneurs will be selected to integrate the incubator and will benefit then during one year of an accompanying in the process of development of their project. One of the keys of the success in its spirit, it is to bet on the training: in theory, 25 bearers of project will benefit every quarter of training in the accounts department, in the legal procedures of new business start-up, in the elaboration of the business plan. The best entrepreneurs stemming from the training will integrate then the experimental center. «About 120 young people will be every year formed and accompanied. It represents so many families, communities, villages, which will be made sensitive in the necessity of taking care and of beginning. "

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Branding in China

The branding is a marketing term to indicate the brand-building with the aim of making known and sell its products.

How to do a good branding strategy in China

One of the big weaknesses of the Chinese companies is the branding. Chinese have difficulty in developing their brands and see in it a limited interest. We can however underline that the Chinese government actively promotes national brands. The purpose is to support the domestic consumption. The great majority of the brands have not made progress yet because they are in break with the image of a brand national, considered as a lower quality.
However the certain Chinese brands set up a national recognition.
It remains an important challenge for many foreign companies, which have for the greater part, many to develop badly brands appreciated by the Chinese consumers. But the biggest challenge remains the development of the brand image for the Chinese societies on their own market. Their big problem is the investment on the long term for the creation of good will, notion still little known in China.
It's a pity, because the Chinese consumers are very sensitive to the value mark; real capital confidence and means of social recognition.

Chinese try to imitate European Branding in China

The majority of the Chinese companies turn to the European or American typical branding to make their products known. This fashion consists in letting know the origin of the brand which, in China, translates the quality. Carrying products the label Made in Hunted for antiques trainmen still the reputation of a bad quality, even by the local consumers. So, the advertising executives recommend to their customers to show and to associate western faces with the launched products. These enjoy then a better image and increase their fame with consumer. Furthermore, this quality security allows to establish a high-end positioning in mind of the Chinese.

This Europeanized and Americanized touch is enough to give a luxury image to the company. In brief, the Chinese product is communicated to the Westerner and this tendency confirms more and more.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chinese market support the whole worldwide market of technology

The sales of the electronic properties increased by 16 % in the first quarter, pulled in particular by television sets and PC.

Technology in China

From the beginning of year, the Chinese consumption of electronic and computing products terrifies the statistics. According to GfK, the sales of electronic products ("smartphones", television sets, PC) jumped up with 16 % in China in the first quarter, and weigh from now on the 19,61 billion euro trinket. Of what to allow the Middle Kingdom to post one of the strongest world growths, better than rest of Asia (+ 13 %), that the Western Europe (+ 2 %) and what the United States. «Seen its weight in the world market, China participates widely in the bounce of the electronics industry ", judge GfK.
In a few years hardly, China raised itself on the first places  of the electronics industry. First world market of desktop computers, second on the segment of laptops, the third on television sets LCD (behind the United States and the Western Europe) … The Chinese buy massively, even if the equipment rate remains still low in this country of 1,3 billion inhabitants.
This year, the population rushes in particular at the flat screens. The Chinese market should reach the 59 million units sold in 2012, is an annual growth of 14 % according to a study published last week by the American cabinet Display Search. Better, China should become, according to Display Search, the first world market of television sets LCD from next year onwards. Actually, sales are supported by the ageing of the installed park. " In China, the purchase of color televisions really soared on the environment of the 1990s.
Besides the increasing urbanization 65 million Chinese of campaigns should join small and average cities in the next five years and the rise of the standard of living, the industry also benefits of the program of subsidies the purchase of electronic and household electrical devices in the rural zones, launched in February, 2009 to face the crisis. A measure which also benefits in the purchases of computers. According to Gartner, the sales of PC should again grow of 22,4 % in 2010, in particular pulled by LAPTOP PCS.

Tablets in China

The fact remains that this cake is not accessible to all the industrialists. Among ten bigger sellers of PC in China, half are Chinese builders: Lenovo arrives far in head with 25 % of market share according to Gartner. Manufacturers as Founder Electronics (6 %), Tongfang (3 %), Great Wall Computer (2 %) and Haier (2 %) are also in the Pip(Top) 10. It is however foreign groups which posted(showed) the strongest growths between 2008 and 2009: the Taiwanese Asus, the number five in China, sales of which jumped up with 72 % and the American Hewlett-Packard, the number two of the market which sold 65 % of units in more the last year.

In this part, France has a card to play. French are not the most effective regarding wholesome technology but the French knowledge is very famous regarding originality or strategy for example. The abilities of the French start-up are very required for the 3D displaying, the post-production or the edition.

Tablet Mix Pro MK3

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Travel in Group in Myanmar

Travel in Group in Myanmar

Myanmar, formerly Burma , is the most extraordinary guided tour of South East Asia . The wheel turns, as well as prayer wheels of Schwedagon , and Aung San Suu Kyi is finally recognized The Lady . A circuit in a small group in Burma , under the enlightened comment your tour guide , allows in-depth discovery of history and civilizations that have shaped this former Burmese empire.


Capital Rangoon nostalgic colonial neighborhoods and bustling markets , Mandalay , pagodas wood , gold and stucco ... The light on the pagodas of Bagan is unique. Bowls offerings, yellow saffron robes of monks, Buddhas worshiped expressed great gentleness as the smiles that accompany you along your journey in Burma. A circuit in Burma will allow you to discover or revisit the major sites and lesser known who the magic of this country. Colonial Rangoon bears the signature of the British Empire, but also home to the most grandiose Pagoda Asia Pagan , it must be lost in the maze of temples in Mandalay, let yourself be carried away by the processions of monks on Inle Lake, sneak you in the middle of the boats to meet minority locales.Vous prefer to travel in small groups ?


Although Yangon's infrastructure is undeveloped compared to those of other major cities in Southeast Asia, it has the largest number of colonial buildings in the region today.
 While many high-rise residential and commercial buildings have been constructed or renovated throughout downtown and Greater Yangon in the past two decades, most satellite towns that ring the city continue to be deeply impoverished.

About Voyage en birmanie.com 

Our package tours are designed by passionate teams who know the field and took advantage of our expertise in tailor-made trips via http://www.voyagesenbirmanie.com/ . Groups are deliberately reduced to maintain a certain friendliness, and supervised from start to finish by a lover of his country guide . For travel in Burma , we offer a wide range of possibilities and different routes you will find below a selection. Individual and customized or grouped (small groups of 12 people max. ) , Our destination specialists are at your disposal to build the trip of your dreams.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Why qualitative market surveys in China are relevant ?

It is a method of marketing research, after analysis from the consumers' interview. Contrary to the quantitative studies, the qualitative studies are an analysis in depth of the studied target. The questions remain opened, as frequently as possible, and we go more in depth in the analysis with a number of interviewed persons more restricted.

Considered like too literary, the qualitative studies of market are often considered, because not contributing ciphered information. Nevertheless they are extremely rich in information, they allow to interrogate the consumers in depth on their motivations, the brakes to the purchase, their perception of the product, the sacred thoughts, to gather suggestions,...

Why qualitative market survey in China are hard to set up?

In China, the qualitative studies are very difficult to realize, for several reasons:

The barrier of the language, besides the problems of comprehension, Chinese a great number of phrases use derived to express, because the franchise  is considered still enough badly, and it can be perceived as an evil polished and possible source of conflict.

In addition, which have live in China know that, the comprehension of this language and the differences of meaning of the words that follow  the regions give a theft with real headhache for the analyses area.

For example, xiaojie ", miss, is positive in the southern part and means prostitute in the northern part, the word "fan", mean " the rice " to Hong Kong and Taiwan whereas this means a plate in continental China

Therefore conduct this kind of analysis require extrem level of knowledge of your market to can be efficient. For foreigner, it is mostly relevant to work with local companies to can insure the good quality of data gathering. Even if it is sometime not enough.

To know more about it : marketing in china

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Consumer insights and focus groups with Daxue Consulting

I recently talked with one of my friends who is working in market research and she told me they requested the services of Daxue Consulting. She was saying that the cost of the focus group was half the ones of other firms. After some hesitation on the quality as the prices were low, she decided to hire them for 4 focus groups. She told that they can reach these prices in fact because they ask for free lancers to come on and moderate the FG. The one who did the FG is an MBA from Beida (certainly because the company has tight links with Beida and his founder is an alumnus). Overall, the rest was fine, nothing special and different from other FG firms. But generally speking, that is an interesting trend that many market research firms are following: hiring part times and free lancers to assist their research. I link that trend to the concept of Taleb: anti-fragile. You need to be specilized to survive and as you are receiving deals on things you are not specialized, you need to share your contracts with other part timers or companies. See the book of Taleb: http://www.amazon.com/Antifragile-Things-That-Gain-Disorder/dp/1400067820