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How we did it?

August 21, 2008

The first time Business Today published its “Best Cities for Business” survey was in 1994. Since then, we have published seven of these surveys, including this one. Our research partner this year was once again Synovate, a global market research firm. Here’s how Business Today and Synovate went about the survey:

The Objective: The rationale behind the survey has always been the same: to rate the top cities in terms of their business appeal. Broadly, we wanted to find out the quality of work life, the quality of social life and suitability for doing business.

The Universe: The top 16 Indian cities—Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Surat, Lucknow, Jaipur, Indore, Kanpur, Patna and Bhubaneswar—were identified for inclusion in the survey. Bhubaneswar is a new entrant.

Respondents: The research was conducted among a select group of respondents picked from six different categories: CEOs and Industrialists; Self-employed Professionals; Senior Managers; Policy Makers (government officials and bureaucrats); Spouses of Executives; and B-school Students.

A total of 1,609 respondents were polled. Synovate researchers conducted face-to-face interviews using a structured question-naire. Respondents who refused to be available for face-to-face interviews were interviewed telephonically.

The Parameters: To arrive at the perceptual score, 36 parameters were drawn up and grouped under four heads: Physical Infrastruc-ture, Social Infrastructure, Labour & Government Support and Market Potential. The parameters were assigned weights depending on their importance as rated by the respondents.

To arrive at the Objective Score, a master list of parameters was drawn up. From this list, 10 parameters were culled for which statistics on the states, districts and cities were available.

The Scoring: The following method was used to arrive at the perceptual score: A net score was derived for every city under each parameter. All respondents voted to give a particular rating to each city on each parameter. The ratings were on a 10-point scale. Following this, each parameter was given a specific weightage based on the number of respondents who voted it to be important or not important as far as its contribution to the overall attractiveness of the city as a business destination is concerned. This gave the Perceptual Scores among each respondent category for all the parameters.

For the Objective Score, the available data for each particular parameter was considered; for example, the total length of roads in a city, the presence or absence of airports. Some of the negative parameters, such as crime rate and pollution were, however, assigned scores in a reverse order—a minus one for high and a plus one for low. The overall score for each city was arrived at by giving a weightage of 0.7 to the Perceptual Score and 0.3 to the Objective Score. Finally, to come to the individual city score, the following weightages were multiplied to the consolidated score:

CEOs and Self-employed Professionals were assigned a weightage of 0.25 each, Senior Managers and Policy Makers (government officials and bureaucrats) 0.15 each and Spouses of Executives and Bschool Students 0.10 each.

The Synovate team comprised Rahul Varma, Research Director, Quantitative Research; Sachin Chaudhari, Associate Director, Quantitative Research; and Richa Bhooshan, Research Executive, Quantitative Research.

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