This week on our Founder Feature series we are talking to Joyeeta Das, CEO and co-founder of Gyana. They seek to democratise data science by enabling through a no-code and intuitive user interface designed with the user in mind.
VAYU, the no-code platform allows you to prepare, analyse, visualise and share your data. The tool has been deployed within a variety of sectors including retail & FMCG, finance, and marketing.
Learn more about about Joyeeta and the story behind her passion for democratising data science below.
Q: Who are you and what is your story?
A: I’m Joyeeta Das, the CEO and co-founder. I’ve been trained as an engineer/physicist and worked for Fortune 100 tech companies in Silicon Valley. Originally from India, I started working as a coder in the USA and Europe very early on in my career. Then, after progressing through those companies to leadership roles, I came to the UK in 2014 to pursue an MBA at Oxford University, where I met the co-founder and CTO of Gyana, David Kell. Together we established Gyana and started making tools to democratize data!
Q: Could you tell us about your company and what you’re striving to achieve?
A: Gyana is a London-based startup that aims to empower and enable anyone to become a data scientist. So many of the worlds knowledge workers are non-technical, but so many business processes depend on technical ability. We thought it would be great to enable anyone—and we really mean anyone—to perform complex data science techniques in minutes. We decided to make our products as intuitive and user-friendly as possible, so anyone can dig deeper into their data without a degree or training.
Q: When did the idea for Gyana form and how did you go about founding the company?
A: Having a prior background in tech, I had no idea of the struggles non-techies faced when trying to do advanced data science. My MBA exposed me to that market gap and then, after meeting with David Kell, I found out we shared that same passion about the same topics. He was undergoing a PhD at Oxford University around that time and we decided to embark on this empowering journey together.
Q: What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome?
A: Being a minority as well as a female entrepreneur, the most common obstacle I tend to face is being underestimated. You’d be surprised at how many people assume women cannot be analytical, so I have to fight that glass barrier too. However, a fundamental challenge all entrepreneurs face is that of tenacity, or not giving up in the face of a million obstacles. It comes with the territory, the obstacles are an important part of learning. Overcoming them is how we become better at what we do.
Q: How are you measuring your success?
A: At Gyana, we measure success by the usual SaaS yardsticks, and the obvious things like revenue and growth, both of our company and of the users signing up to VAYU, but also the impact we leave behind on the system while we seek to achieve those goals. I strive for the ideals of equality and happiness within me as well as the organisation, and the ecosystem as a whole. So really, when all is said and done, if we can level the playing field and give everyone the right to access and understand their data, that will be the biggest measure of success to us.
Q: Can you tell us who your mentors and heroes are, and what impact they’ve had on you?
A: Steve Jobs is my hero for doing the impossible—making people believe what they want even when they did not know it themselves. Let’s not forget, Jobs built a global brand off the back of that ethos. It might seem quite simple, but there is something genius in there.
Jobs once made the analogy that a computer is like a bicycle for the mind. What he meant was that just like early bicycles supercharged human mobility, so too have computers supercharged our minds. At Gyana, we hold this analogy very close, believing that the no-code movement is a bicycle for people to become citizen data scientists. We’ve infused every aspect of our tools with the idea of empowerment and democratization.
I am also a big fan of Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter. He is a mentor to me, as well as a wise advisor and investor. His unconventional take on the world and simple approach yet sophisticated outcomes are mind-blowing to me.
Q: What advice would you give to innovators starting on their journey?
A: Understand the ecosystem you are in and the adjacent ecosystems you are about to disrupt. Competitive forces are not just vertical or horizontal but 360 degrees-understanding and mapping that out can prepare one for the journey ahead.
Q: What does the future hold for Gyana?
A: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we secured a round of funding, and have just this month exited our first product, Neera. So now we look ahead, and we are focussed on building our no-code data science platform VAYU. We want to continue to empower every knowledge worker in the world with it, and make advanced data science accessible to everyone no matter their skill.
Learn more about how Gyana is enabling anyone and everyone to become a data scientist: www.gyana.co.uk