– Could you tell us about the nature of CLSA Securities’ business and the kind of work you do?
CLSA is subsidiary of CITIC securities, a leading Chinese investment bank, which operates in 22 cities across Asia, Australia, Europe, and the US. Our analysts prepare research reports categorized by sector, stock market, theme, and company. In my role as a research analyst, I’m mainly responsible for research and analysis of the consumer sector and human resources companies.
– Could you tell us about how you came to use VQ?
I was thinking about how to identify industry sector trends to create research reports about the companies I’m responsible for. The information I get from discussions I have with the companies I’m responsible for and their competitors are useful, of course, but if I don’t have any information to back this up, my reports are not seen as being sufficiently trustworthy. As the world goes through great changes brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, it is not possible to accurately understand how market needs have been affected just by listening to what companies are saying. Therefore, I felt the need to find out what was actually happening on site by getting opinions from a number of third parties. When I discussed this with my manager, he introduced me to VQ, which other departments had already used with success.
– Did you consider other research methods?
Initially, I was working with other analysts in charge of manufacturing companies, and I was thinking about having each company answer a questionnaire. But that method is inefficient and would have created extra work for the analysts I was working with. Even if I had used my private connections, there is no way I’d been able to find tens of people who know about the demand for engineers. Regarding this matter, VQ was able to efficiently collect the opinions of experts, and so I really wanted make use the service.
*The interviewee took his mask off for the photograph
– How did you use the expert survey?
I conducted the Expert Survey regarding the needs for the consignment of engineers, focusing on researchers and engineers at large companies. Thinking that I needed at least 25 respondents for the survey to be effective, I consulted VQ’s sales staff. They suggested that it would be possible to get 40 responses, and so I decided to conduct the survey for 40 respondents.
Research reports sometimes have up to 50 pages in total, but as investors are busy, they probably do not read them from cover to cover. For this reason, I wanted to summarize the key points using charts, and decided to set multiple-choice style questions rather than descriptive ones. VQ also supported me to brush up the content of the questions, which was very helpful. The accuracy of my questions was improved by the fact that VQ checked the intentions of each of the questions I sent and made suggestions from perspectives I had not expected. Thanks to this, I was able to obtain very meaningful results.
What kind of impression do you have of the survey results?
I was able to obtain reliable evidence that demand for the consignment of engineers remained high despite the COVID-19 crisis. Before I conducted the survey, the companies I cover and their competitors were saying that “demand is high”, but I was concerned that situation on site might be different – that demand might in fact have been slowing.
However, most of the panelists answered that “COVID-19 is not having any effect”. I also got some interesting results on other questions about the reasons for using the consignment of engineers, the price of services, and R&D costs. I think that using VQ gave me access to the views of trusted third parties, and this helped me produce a good research report.
– What was the reaction of the investors to the report?
It was very highly rated. One investor commented, “Companies say that their needs are strong, but we felt that we needed data to support this. In this respect, this research report can be highly rated because it proves the strength of the needs from a neutral standpoint by requesting a third party to conduct a survey, rather than just the opinions of the companies or the thoughts of analysts. Since VQ is a listed company with a high profile, its survey results are highly reliable. I felt that the report was very solid”.
*The interviewee took his mask off for the photograph
– Could you tell us your thoughts about your experience with VQ?
The process was all very smooth. In particular, the support for brushing up of the questions were detailed and helpful. In this type of survey, you only have one chance to ask the questions. It is important to understand how questions can be easily and clearly answered. As a result of having VQ help me brush up the questions, the process of getting there was very smooth and I was able to achieve satisfactory results.
Also, the delivery was on schedule. In Japan that might be a normal thing, but not abroad. VQ told me that the results would be ready on Monday the week after the survey was conducted, and this was actually the case, so I felt that I could trust VQ without having to worry.
– Is there a possibility that you will use VQ in the future?
I was very satisfied with the overall service, and it was a very meaningful experience for me. I will definitely use it again if I have the chance.