At 20, when most of us are busy deciding which college to go to, Susant Pattnaik from Bhubaneswar has more inventions to his credit than his age. He has had a paper published in the MIT Technology review, was recognized as one of the youngest speakers at the TEDx event and has been rewarded with the President’s Award thrice. He is an inventor, entrepreneur and motivational speaker.
Even after so many feathers in his cap, there is no stopping him. He owns two start-up enterprises, one of which provides inventors like him a platform to properly commercialize their inventions across the country and reach their target audience.
“It is said that good things come to those who wait. I don’t believe in that. Why wait? You can succeed right away or make mistakes and get there eventually; so why wait till 40 to be successful?” he asks, whilst explaining his motivation to create.
We spoke to him about his inventions, the start-ups he owns and what the future holds for him:
Q- When and how did it all begin?
A- The passion to create has been there since I was a child. Every time, I faced a problem, I always tried to visualize it and come up with a practical solution. Inventing just became a part of problem-solving. I tried my hand at inventing for the first time when I was 15 years old. Today, I have about 9 inventions to my credit and a few more in line.
I like to devote my time to inventions that are capable of bringing about a drastic change in the lives of people all over the world. Through my technical inventions, I aim at providing simple, easy and convenient solutions in the busy and hectic lifestyle of people.
Q- Your first major invention, a wheelchair operated by breathing sensors was at the age of 15. What inspired you to come up with his idea?
A- When I was studying in class 10, I went to a hospital where I saw a paralyzed person in a wheelchair and was assisted by a nurse. He was unable to communicate properly as he had lost his ability to speak. The nurse was unable to understand him. She ended up handing him a glass of water every time he asked for something, which he would throw away to indicate that he didn’t need it. That incident disturbed me and I kept thinking about it long after I came back home. I wanted to do something to help people, who were differently-abled or were suffering from paralysis, so that they could carry on with their day-to-day activities without relying on other people completely.
I began listing things that were common between a disabled person and a normal individual. I realized that brain and lung functions are common aspects. I worked on perfecting the concept for a ‘Breathing Sensor Apparatus’, which when breathed into, would assist the user in doing the necessary activities.
Q- How does it feel like to be recognized by organizations like National Innovation Foundation MIT Technology Review at such a young age?
A- It gives me immense pleasure to get recognition in any form for my talent at a national or international level. This drives and motivates me to come up with more ideas and innovations that can empower and provide effective solutions to people in need.
Q- You also own two start-ups: Spintrotech and San Zurich Fashions. What triggered their start? Tell us more about the services you provide through them.
A- Sometimes just inventing is not enough. Invention is useless unless and until it reaches its target customer. To make that possible, I founded Spintrotech (P) Ltd in 2012, a social venture company where the in-house inventors develop products which are then commercialized. Even my inventions are commercialized using Spintrotech in collaboration with Intel, Techpedia, National Innovation Foundation (NIF), IIT- Gandhinagar, etc. Through Spintrotech, I aim at providing entrepreneurs with an experience to start something of their own.
I also own a merchandise company, San Zurich Fashions, where people can design their own T-shirts which will get delivered to them within 4 working days. It is a profitable venture company and has been a merchandise partner in many events of reputed colleges like IITs, other companies, NGOs and more.
Q- What are some of the other things you devote time to?
A- I like to inspire the young minds through my journey and motivate them to question everything around themselves so that they can come up with innovations that would be useful for generations to come. I first spoke to a large audience when I was 17, in the conference organized by INKtalks held in Lavasa. Since then, I have been invited as a guest speaker to many colleges including the IITs and IIMs, various companies, self-organized events, TEDx, etc. where I gave a live demonstration of my inventions apart from the usual motivational speeches.
(Originally published on Letsintern.com)