Interview by Visual Collaborative
July 2019 5 min read
Dario Giuliani’s work and passion meet at the intersection of socio-economic impact and technological change. As founder of Briter, he has been working with innovative companies across sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia, mainly researching the role of technology and growth creation. As a feature in our Vivencias interview series, Dario discusses the intersections of his work and observations on emerging markets.
(VC) Hows does your company Briter quantify growth and utilize its data? You are on 3 continents with emerging and frontier markets.
(Dario) Briter’s mission – putting information into digestible data – is grounded in the idea that investment and creativity, hence beyond the mere startup and Venture Capitalist world, depends on the availability not only of data but also a conducive narrative and a knowledge infrastructure. Our data are collected through a variety of methods, including crowdsourcing, collaboration, and thorough desk research – though offline methods and ‘eyes on the ground’ are crucial in that these markets are likely to have little availability of data and information usually has to be gathered directly from people and only than it can be digitized.
(VC) How does your passion and work intersect. Are you a bespoke connoisseur of some sort?
(Dario) I like to see my passion for research, photography, technology, and the so-called emerging markets as the reason that made me stumble upon the type of content narrative and visual that is now at the core of our company’s culture. I do not see myself as a connoisseur of anything specific, the work and research in innovation within emerging markets, coupled with objectives, literally stockpiles information giving me lots of insights in this space.
(VC) What kind of datasets do you use. Are you connected to any statistics Bureau for data updates?
(Dario) We are using several resources, from local partners to existing and regional datasets. We are not yet connected to statistics bureaus but we are starting conversations for data sharing with local organizations and institutions, so perhaps before the end of the year.
Innovation is a process, a system, a mindset, though it has recently become a buzzword that is often used as a proxy for technology.
(VC) Whats your relationship with Innovation?
(Dario) No primordial relationship of any sort. Innovation is a process, a system, a mindset, though it has recently become a buzzword that is often used as a proxy for technology. Innovation is founded on discovery and research and I find these elements essential for any type of development.
(VC) Southeast Asia is an interesting space to be in. How is your business model fairing in that ecosystem?
(Dario) We are not yet active with a physical team in Southeast Asia but we launched the South Asian Ecosystem Maps as we think this region comparatively lacks the degree of exposure the Eastern side has – perhaps due to China and Singapore’s weight in the global technology debate. The model is similar. We act where (we think) adequate data are missing. Several organizations from the UNDP to the World Bank and many corporations are looking at the region because of its untapped talents and opportunities (e.g. in Pakistan or Bangladesh).
(VC) Some mention the renaissance as an art period they admire. If you can time-warp back to any era, what time would it be and why?
(Dario) I have always been deeply fascinated by the thought of merchants and travelers riding for miles along the trade routes from Venice to Beijing through Samarkand and Baghdad. Not sure I would like to permanently re-settle in that era, but I’d love to witness the journey these people would embark on. Why? Same reason why I love cities like London, Nairobi, and Singapore. It might sound very hippie but I find physical relief and intellectual inspiration knowing I am standing at the centre of several cultures, languages, and backgrounds.
(VC) At this stage of your professional career and accomplishments, If you could work alongside any creative, public figure or company, who would it be and why?
(Dario) Briter has been on a positive roll recently and although at its very early stages, I’ve told myself there is absolutely no reason to ever stop dreaming or to hold ideas back. You just have to make sure you work hard enough to create the conditions for these dreams to materialize. I have never thought about a specific person to work alongside, but I am fascinated by multifaceted founders such as Elon Must or Richard Branson, who simultaneously tinker with space technology, transport, energy and life sciences, building large functioning systems around them.
(VC) What kind of work can your target industries expect from you and Briter within the next 36 months?
(Dario) The attention has been shifting towards technology and the trend is not likely to slow down – hence the goal for Briter over the next 2-3 years will be to position itself as the one stop shop for explanatory and comparative content on market opportunities from Rio to Dhaka, as well as a data partner for all the major international organizations looking to tap into these markets.
(VC) Is there anything you would like to add or share with the Visual Collaborative community?
(Dario) I believe we are living in a world of fast change and deep re-thinking of ourselves as humans and professionals. Briter has helped me define myself as a person and I have used Briter to interface with people I would have otherwise never engaged. Seeing all these self reliant and inspiring communities is really refreshing and beneficial.