The Quality Series

Market Insights Tracking; Malawi’s Leading Market Researcher

Blantyre-based research firm leads industry with unbeatable insights

© 2016 Javier Z / Davega

Malawi, a country with a population 17 million in the heart of Southeast Africa, is one of the smallest nations in Africa in terms of land area. A third of its territory of 118,000 square kilometers is taken up by Lake Malawi, leaving much of the remaining land devoted to agriculture. What Malawi lacks in space, however, it more than makes up for in human resources. While Malawi is one of the world’s least-developed nations, progress over the last decade has been swift. An ever improving financial situation, expanding educational resources, and a developing economy means that Malawi’s future is bright. Its population is young, increasingly educated, and more ambitious than ever.

Blantyre, Malawi’s second-largest city, which has just recently eclipsed the 1 million mark in population, is the national center of commerce and economic activity. While the capital Lilongwe is the home of the national government and a major population center in the north, Blantyre is a city built on its industriousness and dynamic economic output, and is growing as a result. Its long history as a center of trade means that Blantyre is at the center of a vast system of road, rail, and communications networks, connecting it with the rest of the country and with Malawi’s neighboring and nearby countries such as Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa, and Tanzania.

Founded in 1876 in the course of missionary work being performed in the area by the Church of Scotland, Blantyre is one of the oldest cities in the entirety of Southern, Central, and East Africa. This means that, along with the ancient capitals north of the Sahara, Blantyre has one of the richest and deepest cultural heritages of any city in Africa. Here, one can see churches, municipal buildings, and streets that are well over 150 years old.

Blantyre’s status as a center of commerce and trade began to develop during the heyday of the Ivory trade during the latter half of the 1800’s. The city quickly developed a reputation as an important crossroads for trade in Southern Africa, with traders dealing in cotton, tobacco, rubber, and precious metals connecting with buyers in the city. The influx of goods made the city the ideal place to set up a manufacturing base for shoes, cotton, metal, and plastic producing.

© 2016 Javier Z / Davega

Market Insights Tracking (shortened by the company as “Mitra”) is a Malawian marketing research firm based in Blantyre. Mitra specializes in helping client companies come to some of the most important decisions in business by providing high quality, relevant, and properly weighted information, gathered according to the highest industry standards. Mitra utilizes a number of techniques to gather raw information, including sending interviewers out in the field to interact with people face to face. Door-to-door questionnaires and interviews provide insights that only boots-on-the-ground can accomplish in Malawi, and Mitra has the gumption and expertise to ask the right questions and determine a representative sample.

Market Insights Tracking has a reputation for delighting clients and performing excellent work, and much of this is due to the firm’s dedication to developing and adhering to its Quality Management policies. The company’s quality techniques derive from its core belief that “highly satisfied clients are key stakeholders in the growth of the firm,” and this principal is apparent in everything that it does. Research teams are thoroughly trained, all information gathering is done according to the highest standards, and new research tools are thoroughly pretested by the teams, incorporating input and insights from both senior and junior researchers. Mitra is also a member of the renowned Southern African Marketing Research Association (SAMRA).

This is why many of the biggest international firms doing business in Malawi rely on Market Insights Tracking for performing research in the country. Mammoth global firms such as Carlsberg, Airtel, Unilever, and Coca-Cola are counted alongside some of the biggest domestic organizations such as Malswitch, the National Bank of Malawi, and First Merchant Bank as clients of Mitra.

For its excellence, track record, and its adherence to and development of its own Quality Management policies, Business Initiative Directions would like to award Market Insights Tracking from Malawi with the 2016 BID Quality Award, one of the biggest international recognitions for organizational quality in the world.


BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.