Inisght Discovery

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About Us

Insight Discovery specialises in gathering market intelligence designed to give your business a competitive edge.

Through our research, you will have a better understanding of your employees and customers, as well as information about your competitors and prevailing market trends. Our objectivity and independence means that employees and customers are more likely to respond to our queries.

We manage the research process and guarantee confidentiality from beginning to end; developing the questionnaire, conducting the research, analysing the data and presenting the findings to you in a user-friendly report. Our research includes an action plan and recommendations for its implementation.

Our clients are from both the private and public sectors. They include large family owned conglomerates, government institutions, financial services companies, oil companies and a wide variety of small to medium sized businesses.

Nigel Sillitoe, CEO of Insight Discovery, is an individual member of ESOMAR, the world’s organisation for enabling better research in to markets, consumers and societies



Nigel Sillitoe
One of the original founders, Nigel has extensive experience in the financial services industry. He had great success leading BNY Mellon’s entry to the region in 2001 and subsequently as Head of Thames River Capital in the Middle East. Over the past eight years he has established offices regulated by both the Central Bank of Bahrain and the DFSA in Dubai. Nigel is a high profile member of the GCC’s financial services industry

Nigel has a Diploma in Management Studies from Oxford Brookes University.

Richard Dean
One of Insight Discovery's original investors, Richard built his reputation in Dubai as one of the city's leading financial journalists. Over the past decade he's covered the region for the finest names in global journalism, including The Financial Times, The Economist and Reuters. Now a successful broadcaster, he presents The Business Tonight radio show in Dubai. He's also a sought-after TV producer, public speaker and media consultant.

Richard holds an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Hull, and gained his postgraduate degree in economics from the University of London.

Steve Williams
Steve is CEO of Gulf Finance, a boutique finance company focused on Lending money to small and medium sized enterprises. He was previously with Lloyds TSB in Dubai, where he was Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board.

During his four years with Lloyds TSB in Dubai, Steve grew the consumer banking business in the Middle East from a single office to a multi-branch operation that is a highly profitable, well-respected component of the Lloyds TSB Group. Prior to this Steve was with the Lloyds TSB Group in the UK.

Active in the British Business Group, Steve is a former Director of Business Development for this Dubai based association.

Sonja Gehlsen
Prior to joining Insight Discovery, Sonja was UAE Country Director for Oxford Business Group, a UK-based research and publishing group. She has also worked as a Consultant with a global media consulting company where she worked on-location in Mexico, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ghana, Hungary, Russia, Jamaica and Venezuela.

Sonja holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Cologne and has attended various courses at the Market Research Society in London.

Stephanie Graf
Stephanie has more than 10 years experience in the field of accountancy, internal control and consulting for locals as well as multinational companies. After working for Deloitte, one of the biggest companies in the field of consulting and auditing, Stephanie was head of the Finance department for SPI+, the economic development agency for the province of Liege in Belgium.

Stephanie holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Liege in Belgium and a Post-graduate degree from the University of Aachen in Germany and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Accountants and Fiscalists in Belgium.

Fatemah Din
Head of Business Development
Having worked in London, Sydney and Dubai, Fatemah has invaluable experience in managing businesses across diverse cultural environments and possesses an excellent understanding of different cultures and customs. Her background is in business development across a number of business sectors.

Fatemah holds a BA honours in Business and Media from Kingston University.

Consultancy Team

Paul Gebara
Paul Gebara, has over 22 years of marketing, research, business development and project management consulting experience. Paul was previously the marketing director for the largest division of an international Holding Group in Abu Dhabi. He has also established the UAE branch of a major (top3) global research company and was responsible for the market research and feasibility studies for over 200 projects throughout the Middle East. Paul has served as marketing and a research advisor for various industries, such as publishing, industrial commodities, market and demand evaluation, banking, and FMCG.

Paul has a Masters Degree in Operational Research (with Marketing) from Lancaster  University

Richard Coates
Richard Coates, Davos Consulting Group, has developed and managed a consulting business, Human Resource Partnership, based in the UK and Bahrain over a period of 12 years, as well as working at British Airways and Mercer.

Richard has an MA in Politics Philosophy and Economics, Oxford University, B.Litt in Industrial Relations, Oxford University Chartered Fellow of Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD).

Louisa Coates
Louisa Coates, Davos Consulting Group, started her career with Hewlett-Packard, where she managed the recruitment, induction and training programmes for a manufacturing and R&D operation in the UK. She moved into HR consultancy in 1988, becoming a director of London and Bahrain-based Human Resource Partnership. She joined Mercer in 2001as Head of Assessment and Development (consulting) in the UK, then became qualified as a coach in London. Louisa moved to Dubai in 2004 where she focuses on executive leadership, assessment and development.

Louisa has a BSc and MSc in Strategic Management from Bristol University, a Diploma in Coaching and is qualified as a Level A and B Occupational Testing practitioner, MBTI Step I and II and NLP Practitioner.

Ruth McKee
Ruth, a financial journalist, has been based in Dubai for the past four years. She is a Middle East correspondent for Mergermarket, Financial Times Group, an M&A proprietary intelligence newswire which involved interviewing CEOs, CFOs, senior executives and business owners on their strategic direction. She has also worked as a Deputy Editor, providing top level interviews, for CPI Financial publisher of Banker Middle East, Private Equity and Venture Capital Middle East and Islamic Business and Finance. She was involved in the launch of the latter two. 
Ruth holds a BA (Hons) Media Performance from the University of Bedfordshire and is a qualified journalist from the Belfast Institute.


Insight Discovery offers a niche array of market research methodologies for companies to gain invaluable insight into both their employees as well as their customers.

Our surveys can be conducted online, through paper questionnaires, CATI (telephone based), or face-to-face. Our surveys can also be conducted in numerous languages, from English, Arabic, Tagalog or Russian.

Insight Employee Discovery
Understand and develop employees
To better understand your employees and to address their concerns by taking action is the key to a successful organisation.

Insight Discovery, experts in conducting Employee Engagement surveys across the region, has redefined the role of research for many companies. Measuring your employee’s attitudes and opinions is an integral part to an organisation’s morale, employee retention, work quality and productivity. Depending on requirement, each survey is tailor-made: from a full-scale survey, a pulse survey or a 360 degree feedback survey, Insight Employee Discovery is adaptable to its customers' needs and requirements.

Insight Market Intelligence
Be informed of your market
Insight Market Intelligence provides bespoke reports for companies wishing to conduct business in the Middle East. Current projects include:

  • Determining market perception of a well-known UK-based asset management company among Middle East professional investors.
  • Providing an in-depth study into the various regional financial centres (Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait) for the planned Middle East expansion of a US-based bank.
  • Producing a report for a UK based hedge fund on prospective professional investors in the region who buy single strategy hedge funds.
  • Working with a London based financial services publisher to help organise an investment conference in Dubai.
  • Testing the appetite for a new investment product amongst pre-screened professional investors.

Insight Customer Discovery
Understand and retain customers
To understand your customers, their likes and dislikes about your product/brands/business is essential to ensure you meet their requirements, and therefore their loyalty.

Customer satisfaction is essential to business success. And accurately measuring customer satisfaction levels is critical to any business. With customers having more choices and more information at their disposal, timely and accurate customer research can enable your business to better understand customers. It also allows you to better evaluate existing and planned marketing and communications activities.


Case Studies

Leading Private Equity Firm
A leading private equity firm in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia currently employs over 140 professionals. As the company is set to grow further and a new HR division has recently been established to focus on human capital development, the firm needed to develop a systematic way of collecting constructive feedback from its employees.

Insight Discovery designed and managed the private equity firm's first employee opinion research project. The objective was to:

  • contribute to the business' Human Capital Development Strategy
  • assess overall employee engagement and satisfaction levels
  • provide an insight into credibility and effectiveness of the leadership team
  • identify key areas of improvement across the business in order to improve employee motivation and retention.

The research was conducted online using their own employee database. Individual responses were kept anonymous to extract open and honest comments from employees. We identified 7 key areas of questioning and the questionnaire comprised 110 questions in total.

We achieved a 100% response rate from employees in the 2009 survey (90% in the 2008 survey). Based on the survey results we could create an action plan to further engage the firm's workforce in developing the business, increasing retention and improving the bottom line. The survey will be conducted yearly for comparative analysis to follow-up on survey results and continuously develop the corporate climate for our client to maintain a competitive edge.


Hotel Loyalty Programme Study
A well known hotel chain which runs a successful loyalty and reward programme retained Insight Discovery to gauge an understanding of their loyalty and recognition scheme amongst 3 different member groups. The challenge was to assess and find new ways to recognise and reward their most valued members.

The research was conducted online in English with 15,000 email invitations sent to their most loyal members of their programme. During the pre-survey workshop, a tailor-made questionnaire was developed to produce quantitative data/research on the key measurements of the study such as awareness, usage, perceived performance and future expectations. In addition, a number of concepts were tested to evaluate the members preferences amongst different types of rewards.

The required sample size was achieved within 5 days resulting in the early closure of the survey, and the presentation of the results in a shorter time period. As with all Insight Discovery customer surveys, the survey incentivised members to participate by offering a donation to charity for each completed survey. UNICEF was selected as the charity, due to its close relationship to the Haiti earthquake disaster, which was topical during the survey period.



Insight Discovery were able to bring us closer to our clients and provide us with valuable findings that have revolutionised the way we service our high net worth clientele. Together we have been able to Take up constructive action items towards creating a unique competitive advantage
Montaqa Gangari, Head of Market Intelligence, Commercial Bank of Dubai

Invesco wanted to increase understanding of the Middle East's investors. Insight Discovery were the only firm who could access a broad and relevant database of the region's key players, and execute a study which has enabled us to fully meet our objectives
Nick Tolchard, Head of Invesco Middle East

PR guru Lord Chadlington thought it was 'an excellent piece of work' from Insight Discovery.
Source: Arabian Money. Lord Chadlington speaking at the MEPRA conference during May 2010, research was conducted by Insight Discovery.
Lord Chadlington, Chief Executive, Huntsworth plc

We have worked with Insight Discovery since we launched our first staff engagement survey in 2008, across our entire Group of companies Insight Discovery were professional and helpful in dealing with a demanding project involving both online and paper based responses from over 30 businesses. Our survey response rates have consistently been around 80%, which is outstanding. Insight Discovery continue to improve their processes and technology, working closely with our communications and HR teams to get an effective outcome. Their experience makes them ideal for any company in the GCC who want to carry out employee engagement or opinion surveys
Eric McLean, Chief Development Officer, The Zubair Corporation

The research analysts at Insight Discovery turned my vague hunches in to credible findings. Their team not only did the hard work in collecting the data- they did the clever work in analyzing it
Richard Dean, author behind the publication 'Sink or Swim?'

It was a pleasure to work with Insight Discovery. They were responsive to our needs, patient with our changes and professional in handling a relatively complex set of questions. We look forward to working on a follow-up survey next year
Rebecca Hill, Executive Director, MEPRA

Working with Insight Discovery was a pleasure. From idea generation to execution the team at Insight provided ongoing support, advise and true professionalism. Services were provided in a very timely manner which resulted in a fantastic participation rate for the survey
Lourda Sexton, Founder of Pink Slip Dubai

Insight Discovery started the survey amongst 15,000 of our most loyal members within 7 days of being hired, through our marketing partners. We received an amazing participation rate within the first 5 days, followed by immediate results and insights, with excellent customer service
Director of a well known hotel chain which runs a loyalty programme

Insight Discovery provided first class market intelligence on the region, making our first year event a huge success. Their experience and connections helped identify key players - invaluable to a new business in the Gulf.
Rod Boulogne, Managing Director of International Adviser

The survey result report was very comprehensive and covers all aspects of employment
Anwar Yabroudi, Logistics & Resources Manager of Dubai Contracting Company

Congratulations on the completion of the Gulf Professional Adviser Survey 2010 – the results were very insightful. We have also enjoyed working with Insight Discovery on this project
Yasmine Amirpashaie, Schroders Middle East

The survey was conducted in a prompt and efficient manner. The feedback was well presented, relevant and easily understood across our management group - we will be acting on the results of the survey
Jim White, CEO of ADBIC



You can contact us at:

Dubai, UAE
Level 41
Emirates Towers
T +9714 3132811
F +9714 3132817

London, UK
40 Bank Street
Canary Wharf
London, E14 5NR
T+44 2030597832




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