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(consumer behaviour / rural India) Need suggestions on topics for my PhD


I am from India. I was working in the financial services sector (stock broking/wealth management) for over 8 years. Moved into academics a year ago. My area of interest is marketing and the industry i want to focus on is financial services/banking since i have fair knowledge about the same. Can anyone please guide/suggest me a specific topic? I was thinking about consumer behaviour and preferences towards investments in rural India. Please provide some valuable insights.

Alok Chhajer

Hi alokchhajer,

That's an interesting idea. It's not my field but your mention of rural areas made me think of another idea. Are savings and loan cooperatives common in India? In the countries I have traveled to in Latin America, these cooperatives are common. They're often owned by indigenous populations and many of them do quite well. This raises a lot of interesting topics. For instance, how exactly do they successfully start these cooperatives? Once they are started, how do they attract new customers and investors and compete with the established banks in the area? The cooperatives are usually located in cities but they have a ton of rural clients, at least from what I have seen. My wife and I use one in her country. Would any topics in that area be of interest to you?

One thing I will say though, and this comes from someone who edits for professors and doctoral students on a daily basis, make sure you pick a specific focus. Even for a dissertation, which can be quite long, the most effective ones pick a single, compelling question with at most a few subquestions. The fewer questions the better in my opinion. I often see dissertations with 10 or 20+ research questions. It's very difficult to do a good job analyzing and addressing that many research questions. Quality over quantity. :)
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