GENESIS

In our previous avatar in advertising, we were constantly looking for that one nugget of insight that would be the most defining and differentiating thought for the brand. Our collection of nuggets was just a handful – from which we hoped to find that one silver bullet.

There was always a nagging, disconcerting feeling that what if none of the nuggets in our hand held the key? All we were deciding was – which was the most acceptable amongst the minuscule options we had.

Even Brand Sales or Coverage at times came up with different versions, so that the guys responsible looked good. Who’s to say which point of view was right? If two sources loudly voiced it, then it must be right. And after all, the data, the point of view, the insights were all at a camouflaging macro level.

So, we started with the audacious task of building data and the resultant insights from scratch, critically bottom-up. Many doubted that such a task could be done. Some potential investors were emphatic that the returns would not be commensurate. To quote a potential investor – “Are you trying to create another Google?” Some could not grasp what we were attempting to do.

We started with Delhi city, my home town, a city that I knew well. But operating in Chennai, with techies, most of whom had never gone out of Chennai and making countless visits to Ministries and Depts in Delhi, the Municipality and Bodies, befriending the bureaucrats and clerks over a cup of tea so that they would take the effort to dust some files and part with some data - proved a lot tougher than anticipated. If Delhi took so much effort, what would be our fate with other cities and towns? And villages was unthinkable.

Slowly but surely things got better or rather, we got smarter and looked at ways to use technology to do mundane tasks and critically, validate it. Maps were sourced and data mapped individually - in the last count, more than 8 lakh polygons.

Teaming up with a Technology Head or rather a self-taught Wizard, we created a unique Product Architecture that helped us mash Big Data and provide Insights at a click of a button. No load time. No processing lag.

Fortunately, we found believers in Mumbai Angels, who funded us early. That impetus was more than adequate. We discovered new possibilities that sprang up out of our obsession with granularity. Data Science and Spatial Image Recognition gave us features that we could only dream of in the past. And after 6 years of toil, we had our complete product and our first license sold to a Client, the largest FMCG company in India.

Suresh Pillai
Founder & CEO