About Ralph Sonenshine
1. How did you arrive at running this business? What path brought you here?
I seem to have an analytical mindset for understanding complex business problems as well as a knack for interviewing people about their business. And because I can think on my feet quickly I’m skilled at interviewing people who may not have been interested in being interviewed. I was able to turn this expertise into many successful projects, which led to a loyal group of clients.
2. What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for?
I am known for my ability to recognize key issues and concerns that are driving a business. Often, these issues require a significant amount of thought to ascertain the underlying factors that are changing a business or market. I am also known for seeing complicated projects through to the end. I am recognized as a reliable, flexible, and diligent resource.
I am also known among our clients for having extensive knowledge of the industrial automation market place.
3. What’s the one problem you are best at solving for your clients? What do your ideal clients say about you?
Obtaining detailed information that gets to the heart of the matter for fortune 500 clients who need better information to make important decisions. The reports and insights I provide are customized to a Client’s specific business objective and not available as an off-the-shelf study. There isn’t one problem though. Each problem is unique.
4. Who have you worked with in the past? And what have you done for them
We have worked extensively with divisions of Fortune 500 clients on critical product line studies. Our clients are typically suppliers of components, systems, and services to the industrial market. Our studies usually help our clients in their efforts to enter or penetrate these end use markets by quantifying and segmenting the addressable market and determining the key characteristics that are driving growth and impacting suppliers in the market.
5. What are you most passionate about professionally? What most excites you about your work & the contribution you can make?
I like solving complex problems, especially those that require mathematical reasoning. I also like working under tight deadlines because it allows me to really dig in and focus.
I also love teaching, and I teach a very smart classroom of students in economics and business research. I enjoy engaging in rigorous academic research studies. And I enjoy being at the table and acting as another expert set of eyes and ears as my clients ponder a new acquisition.
6. What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? What can’t you stop talking about?
I like visiting foreign places, particularly those of historical significance. I also like endurance training challenges especially long, challenging bike rides. I have completed a number of lengthy bike events and have more planned.
7. Where can we find you when you’re not working? What’s your favorite way to spend a weekend or a Sunday afternoon?
On a long group bike ride or hiking. I also spend some time at our karate studio in Silver Spring, MD.
8. How long have you been doing what you do?
I have been conducting market intelligence studies since 1991.
9. Where did you grow up and why aren’t you there now?
I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA. While I love the ocean and the small-town feel, my studies took me to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and then to Duke University for my MBA and then back to Washington DC to study Economics. In 1991 I settled into life in the DC area where I got married and raised my daughter. I love living near DC because of the exciting activities in the area and the wonderful people.
10. Any awards or medals, or even medallions? Personal okay, too.
I enjoyed training for and finishing 2 marathons, and I still have the medals to prove it! In my younger years, I collected a few trophies in other sports, soccer, and tennis. More recently, I have been working on obtaining my black belt in martial arts.
Also, In 2004 I was awarded a Ph.D. in economics.
11. What would be impossible for you to give up?
Teaching, family, and athletic challenges
12. Why would someone not want to work with you?
To borrow a restaurant analogy, we provide a high-quality meal that is custom made to the patron’s liking. If a customer wants a standardized, inexpensive meal, then they should look elsewhere. Thus, some potential clients are seeking fill-in the blank research or mass customer surveys. This is just not our specialty.
13. How do you want to be remembered?
As someone who brings new ideas and thoughts to a business problem. Additionally, I would like to be remembered as someone who solves complex problems and provides meaningful and carefully considered advice.
People often say that I am good at making sure all sides win — or at least explain how we can move off the dime to move things forward.
14. Anything else you’d like to tell people about yourself?
I have published 9 papers on mergers and acquisitions in various academic journals. I enjoy writing and sharing my knowledge.