The Right to Information (RTI) Act has been a path-breaking law. It’s used by many a NGO and social activist to get information from the government bodies; information which has the potential to expose the corrupt and establish a transparent order.
Not much for an entrepreneur in the RTI Act, right? Wrong!
The RTI Act can be used to garner information which can form a critical part of your market research.
All that you need to know is how to frame the right questions.
Consider this for an example (I’ll use something I am comfortable with): You want to open a CLAT coaching institution in Chandigarh.
PS- CLAT stands for the Common Law Admission Test and is a entrance examination for the 14 National Law Universities (NLUs) in India.
You go to a rich uncle asking if he’ll be interested to invest in the business.
“I don’t think many people in Chandigarh opt for NLUs. They go to the Punjab University“, he says.
“No“, you say. (You wanted to shout).
“Prove it“, he says. (F*** off, he wanted to shout).
Here is what you can do. Put in an RTI application to the CLAT Convenor with the two of the questions reading:
1. Please give me the list of the names of the Centers where the CLAT 2013 was conducted for the undergraduate course?
2. Against the names of the Centers, please mention the total number of students who appeared from each center.
You’ll probably get a reply to this. You’ll then know how many students appeared from the Chandigarh center.
Now you can show this to your uncle, get the investment and celebrate instead of shout.
This is just a small example. With the right questions you can do an exhaustive, amazing marketing research in 30 days (That’s the time-limit within which a government body has to reply to an RTI application).
Also, a thing, not known to many is that you can get information from private bodies as well. Here is the deal: whatever information any government body can get from a private body, a citizen of India can too!
See a detailed article here. Questions? I’ll be happy to answer 🙂
About me: I am Tanuj Kalia, a law graduate from NUJS, Kolkata. Am presently the VP, Marketing at vakilsearch.com. vakilsearch helps entrepreneurs and the common man with online legal solutions (documentation, registration, advice)
I also run Lawctopus, India’s most popular website for law students.