Palan has over the last few decades been a keen researcher in the area of Learning & Performance. His work is now being carried on by his colleagues at SMR HR Professional Services Group.

While in the early part of his career, his primary research interest was in the area of delivering training in a FUN way. The goal was to make learning easier, faster and productive. His goal of using FUN to deliver FUN training was reflected in the concept of FUN X Content = Results model. His book The Magic of Making Training FUN! was intended to blend his research work and practices from the field.

Later on, his research interest moved on to the world of Competency & Performance given that organisations were increasingly focused on ensuring that they had the right talent pool in place and a high performance culture was a key goal. His book  Competency Management: a practitioners perspective aimed to integrate his PAGE framework with best field practices gained from years of working with organisations globally. His doctoral thesis focused on Performance Management in Asian Cultures.

Currently, his singular research interest is in the area of Skills Gaps and TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training). He is currently studying the development of Malaysian VET system and the parallels with the Australian and Singapore TVET systems.

Besides his focus on this area, he is an ardent student of political sciences and youth entrepreneurship.