Amrita Chowdery, co-founder of GAIA, in an exclusive chat with G20, talks about her endeavours and experiences. Excerpts:
Q. Tell us about GAIA and the journey of smart cities in India.
A. As an experienced entrepreneur, it is exciting to bring together various elements that excite and energise me into GAIA. The opportunity space and the business allows me to work with cutting edge technologies, product design, business strategy, and storytelling. GAIA aims to transform and optimize how we live, work and interact with our built environment by bringing the power of the internet of things, artificial intelligence, and digital cognitive automation to Smart Sites and Smart Cities. The company is inspired by the ‘Gaia Hypothesis’: Organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a self-regulating, complex system that contributes to maintaining the conditions for life on the planet. We believe that people, processes, and physical infrastructure can be connected virtually and digitally, to create an interactive and intelligent ecosystem that optimizes, transforms, and improves the quality of life and velocity of business.
Q. In terms of futuristic optimising of operations how are you facilitating solutions for cities in India?
A. Gaia works with multiple enterprise and city clients in enabling digital transformation of operations and service delivery using IOT, Digital, & AI based SaaS platform for e-Governance Monitoring and Operational Service Orchestration. We bring in the expertise and skills to help city, state, and national level governments in two ways. Firstly, we are deploying our core technology platforms to implement solutions that enable governments and enterprises to monitor, manage, and optimize the distributed last mile sites, assets, people, and processes. We have a specific focus in building and operating 2-sided models that enable monitoring between Government to Government entities and Government to Business entities.
Q. What have been the kind of challenges you have faced as a young woman surviving and excelling in a male dominated arena?
A. There is a lot of focus around the world – from education to business – to encourage women in technology. While many more women engineers and scientists graduate today, and there are enough role models of women business leaders in the tech space, the overall fraction of women at senior levels in tech is still low. This requires a two-fronted approach – at the system level and at the individual level. At the system level, a lot more initiatives and efforts are needed to encourage, retain, and provide advocacy for women in tech. At the individual level, I believe that we need to ensure we bring ourselves to the table, create a voice, deliver performance, and showcase impact. Oftentimes, women are reticent and hold themselves back.
Q. Please share some of the successful implementation schemes you have incorporated with varied smart cities across India?
A. Gaia’s solutions for remote monitoring and optimization of distributed sites, assets, and workforce have enterprise and city clients. On the city side, our solutions are deployed in multiple cities and urban local bodies. Remote IOT led monitoring of citizen feedback for Swachh Bharat has been deployed in 105 cities nationally. Citywide IOT platform and LPWAN connectivity has been deployed in Kakinada smart city to bring together multiple third party solutions onto a common platform. Workforce monitoring solutions are running across multiple zones nationally for Indian Railways and for Agra smart city.