Girish Gupta

Girish is an entrepreneurial polymath with insatiable curiosity, a maverick mind and a tenacity for getting to the truth. He enjoys bringing disparate fields together to solve problems from first principles, learning new skills and deepening old ones.

Girish has a Master’s degree in physics, more than two decades of full-stack programming experience and his investigative and multimedia reporting from Venezuela, the Americas, Middle East and Asia has been published by every major news outlet in the world, from Reuters to the New Yorker. He has written software, set up companies and now leads data science at a think tank.

Girish taught himself to code at eleven, writing software and building database-driven websites from scratch. A popular music website he created in his early teens, in 2000, was listed by MTV as one of the then nascent web’s top twenty sources.

In physics, which he studied at Cambridge and Manchester, his interests lie broadly on the theoretical end of the spectrum—spacetime, quantum mechanics and particles. His Master’s project, the abstract to which was published, was a simulation of the heart to investigate atrial fibrillation.

As a reporter, Girish was based primarily in Venezuela for nearly a decade where he produced groundbreaking investigations, covered daily clashes and reported on a humanitarian crisis. From Caracas, he traveled the world and published reporting across TV, photos, radio and text.

As a freelancer, he investigated diamond smuggling from illegal jungle mines in the Amazon, Glencore profiting from a Colombian paramilitary massacre and the killing of wildcat gold miners there. He worked for some 40 news outlets and stood up to sloppy reporting, slow payments and unpaid work in his own industry. As a Senior Correspondent at Reuters covering Venezuela, Girish demonstrated high-level, multi-billion-dollar government corruption, exaggeration of electoral results and that the country’s Chief Justice was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He went beyond traditional media by bringing math and code to journalism, automating story-writing and, wanting to properly understand the roots of Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis, creating software to provide live and historic data on the country’s dire economy. This became the go-to data platform on one of the world’s most opaque countries.

He expanded his Venezuela Econ platform into a company, Data Drum, which offered automated, clean and elegant data to explain the world—intersecting data science, journalism and finance.

From Mumbai, he now leads data science at a public policy non-profit think/do tank where he heads teams working directly with government in applying modern technology and policy to everything from urban planning and mapping to private and public data.

Girish has lived and worked across the world, often in its most hostile environments. As well as Venezuela, he has spent time in Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and many others.

Photo: Oil wells set ablaze by Islamic State before fleeing Qayyara, Iraq. January, 2017.