Indian entrepreneur Joyeeta Das is stirring the retail marketing pot with her new business venture. Her start-up, Gyana, uses big data and advanced data analytics to detect the “vibe” of a location and help retail businesses drive sales.
The Gyana App creates interactive 3D maps of real-life locations based on geo-spatial data combined with the social media feeds of the people within that geographical area. The map shows the “mood” or “vibe of the location.
The app uses a sentiment index. As an example, if a politician was giving a speech, the system would sense what were feeling about the discourse through outlets like social media.
Moods are represented as colour-coded hot spots on a 3D map as shown in the picture above, with blue representing boredom, red for anger, yellow for happiness and green for excitement.
Gyana is initially being made available to government and professional service companies, such as property developers and estate agencies, for whom location-based data is highly valuable.
The biggest challenge has been articulating her vision to investors, Joyeeta explained to The Financial Times, particularly investors based in the UK. She has found they are not completely convinced by her ideas and tend to prefer small niche business plans.
“Unlike Silicon Valley, they are not very interested in unicorns or big ideas.”
– Joyeeta Das, CEO of Gyana
Gyana is also working with NASA to improve its underlying technology responsible for satellite imaging.
Before founding Gyana, Joyeeta trained as an engineer in India, worked for Cisco and formed AnahataLife, a think-tank that unites artists and scientists to foster empowerment in crisis situations.
Joyeeta’s colleagues credit her enthusiasm and never-say-never attitude for keeping the company together in the most tumultuous of the times.
“Joyeeta always challenges you with the impossible, and that’s great because you learn a lot about yourself. She motivates us with the opportunity to change the world: She’s the one who brought us together, keeps us together, leads us and guides us”
-Andrew Li, COO and co-founder of Gyana
According to Joyeeta, the ultimate goal of the company is to allow people to explore and learn.
“Instead of responding to one specific query, we need to open up the wide array of responses to questions,” she said. “This will broaden human imagination and intuition and help us become more powerful as a species.”