After finishing my graduation in economics and specializing in development economics, I was keen to gain exposure to the practical aspect of the subject. My research work at IFMR LEAD has allowed me to interact with, and thereby, understand the social and economic challenges faced by the base of pyramid population.
The biggest strength of IFMR LEAD is that it encourages individuals to conduct independent research projects. I had the opportunity of taking part, and winning, in an internal research grant competition which included funds to conduct an independent research study. This proved to be a great learning experience since I got an opportunity to design the study, frame the research methodology, prepare questionnaires for the survey, conduct primary data collection activity, analyze the data for study results, and finally, disseminate the findings of the study through seminars and conferences. This provided me with a holistic experience of understanding a research study and helped improve my understanding of development research.
My experience as an intern with IFMR LEAD in 2009 was instrumental in motivating me to join the organization as a Research Associate in 2010. Once I stepped in as a permanent employee, there was so much to explore and learn. IFMR LEAD strengthens your foundation as a researcher, and subsequently, offers you a platform to share your thoughts and ideas within the organization, and to policy makers and practitioners. In addition to providing standardized and quality frameworks and resources to work with, it gives you scope to be innovative with the existing pool of knowledge, information, and data to eventually learn for yourself.
If you are an aspiring academician or social researcher and are sensitive towards the issues of development, then IFMR LEAD is the place to be. It offers you an opportunity to grow as a researcher, a manager, an analyst, and an economist while working with experts from the sector and renowned academia across the globe. I am really happy and proud to be a part of such a young and dynamic organization that respects intellect, nurtures talent, and delivers quality output in every respect.
As a graduate, I dreaded the 'entry-level job' because I had heard horror stories of hours of idle boredom. Not at IFMR LEAD. Not only was I entrusted to lead and manage a tri-state project on insurance and migration, but I was also genuinely interested in the content of the project itself. What is great about being a research associate at IFMR LEAD is that I have been able to gain substantial experience doing analytic research as well as managing field units. I have learned never to be intimidated by any obstacle, and to think of how to deal with challenges head on.