How does it all started?
I have been conducting experiments on scientific projects. As my childhood being boring, I researched on technology to make my life interesting. I would hack and break electronic gadgets like cell phone and iPod. I would redesign them in an innovative way. My childhood sparked my desire and passion to be innovative. While others would be playing with their cell phones, I would be dismantling them to discover the scientific principles and mechanisms behind their functioning. I usually didn’t get any technical support or help to complete my projects. I would always dream of giving modern technologies, of my choice, with a different look.
When I was in 5th standard and you people know how excited a child could be to know anything different apart from the academics during that age. My father used to gift me remote control cars. While other kids used to play with that stuff, I used to survey how it works without any wire connections. Initially I was afraid to do so as I believed it to be haunting once I had brutally murdered it. It’s a simple fact that a motor works only via battery along with wire connections, but when I saw that car-running wireless, I was awestruck as well as motivated to explore further. I think that was the dawn of my love for science and technology. After that I started opening big things like TV, Laptops, Computers etc, but I was never able to mend them back. Being spanked by my parents each time.
I was no miracle to my family instead I was a little nuisance for them. One fine day when my parents were out for a stroll. I tried my hand on our television set. Amused by the inside of the device I kept questing deeper. Once I came out my quest I realized what I had done and I was terrified to my bones. I tried fixing it and was succeeded too but when my mother switched on the power….. it boomed! I was quite crazy in my childhood.
My School life was like a guitar without strings. You are taught to build the foundation of your life that can be compared to the body of guitar. No fun, no enjoyment, only studies. But once you step in for your graduation life becomes a musical affair with strings attached to various rhythm and notes of life. You discover the crazy side of you get into troubles and find a way to get out of them. Whereas most schools expect their students to score grades and good grades that’s it and alas the most creative period of ones life is usually wasted.
I completed my schooling in the year 2010 from DAV Public School Unit-8 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Later I joined IISER Bhopal. After one year of studying pure science, I could not figure out the value of what I was studying because deep within me ideas were struggling to come out and I realized that an engineering degree could very well harbor my dreams. Oriental University, Bhopal was the next big thing happened in my life, where I got wings to soar high in the flight of technology.
I am an engineering student of Electronics and Communications. I never topped my class rather I am an average student of my class because I believe that grades can never grade you, they are only meant to create a hierarchy among students. Our education system lacks uniformity and is more of grades oriented. Even today theoretical knowledge is considered more important than practical leaning.
The idea behind Susant’s Breathing Sensor Apparatus?
Once when I had gone to a hospital with my father at the age of 16 and I came across an old age paralyzed person who was being assisted by a nurse. He was completely depended on the nurse. The man was just like a vegetable. He was slightly moving his fingers, which indicated that he wanted something, but that nurse without knowing what exactly he need, just handed him a glass of water. Poor elderly spilled the water all over him because that was not what he actually needed. This small incident moved me completely. For days after that scene I was able to feel the man’s pain and despair. I felt their lives are worst than death. My conscience provoked me and I decided to do something for such people. Thinking about the common activities between a disable person and a normal human being I found that brain and breathing are common activities, which they both share. Hence I invented the Breathing Sensor Apparatus device, which helped the disabled people.
Tell us about your family?
My father is a veterinary doctor and mother is a homemaker. We belong to a simple middle class family. My family still lives in the bygones and they are reluctant to move with time. I owe this to generation gap. Mostly Indian parents still yearn for their child to become an engineer or a doctor and are hesitant to let their child do something different. It’s again not their fault since like my parents most parents are risk avoiders rather than risk takers. Even now I am unable to reveal my glory to them as they want me to live a normal life with 9 to 5 job. I know it’s next to impossible for me to convince them right now. For them it would be like if I already had a girl friend and telling my parents not to find any girl for my marriage. Convincing my parents at this stage would be like Tsunami attacking a centre place like Bhopal. But one day they’ll be proud of me and will not complain me.
Describe your struggle phase and how you manage to overcome it?
‘All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them’ was the attitude of the person who inspired me to achieve success despite of all hurdles and barriers. He got selected in a prestigious Indian Institute in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh to complete his degree. His parents belonged to a middle class family so he faced financial problems to continue his livelihood & to start any new project. But as he was a student of Indian Institute, so he got scholarship of Rs 5000 / month and along with the Rs 3000 sent by his parents, he was able to pay his semester fees and carried out his extra expenses. All this continued only for a year as he decided to leave that prestigious Indian Institute. He was interested in applied engineering which that institute didn’t support. He realized that he had taken a wrong road and that too after 1 year. Now He had 2 options, either to continue in that college by postponing his dreams for the next 4 years or to leave that college and join any engineering college of his choice. Well he took the second path as he soon wanted to make his dream a reality.. As soon as he decided to join an engineering college in the same city of his choice, his parents & relatives created problems for him. His parents called him back and forced him to pursue rest of his career at his hometown. He wanted to continue his dreams in Bhopal only as he had already started a company there and it was really difficult to even think of shutting down the company and to say goodbye to his experienced team members and the network he built. But his parents were angry as he left a prestigious Indian Institute and joined an engineering college without any reason. Everyone attacked him with their questions of 90?s ideology. His parents wanted him not to dream big and to continue life like others… school, college, degree and a 9 to 5 job with a normal life. He was completely against a normal life as his dreams were too high. He got tired of explaining his parents that he had taken the right decision for his dreams. But the difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination. His parents later realized that it’s next to impossible to forcefully change the mindset of their boy and finally gave him 2 options. The first one was either to continue his career in his home town, with all his expenses including his college fees managed by them or to continue his career in Bhopal , by managing all his expenses on his even college semester fees . What you people think? What decision he would have taken next? He chose the 2nd option proudly and finally came back to Bhopal.
Later he realized that private colleges don’t give scholarships like Indian Institutes do. He did not appear for engineering entrance exam and also belonged to general cast. So there was no chance of getting an engineering seat on merit basis and that too with fee concession. So there was only one option left i.e. to get admission via College Level Counseling or management quota. He had exceptional talent in the field of engineering and had lots of achievements and recognitions in his field. Fortunately he met the chairman of that engineering college. And By looking at his work and achievements the chairman not only gave him a seat in special category but that too free of cost. He was on cloud nine as he climbed the next ladder towards success.
He immediately gave this good news to his parents and the very next moment they asked him how he will manage extra expenses? He lied that he is doing a part time job in a MNC and he don’t need any money from them. But before he got into the college he had to face a really hard time. He had to manage every single thing independently. He had to manage his room rents, his lunch & dinner, his traveling etc on his own. this was not all. He also had few pending projects of different clients in his company and when he returned back after 2 months from his home, he developed a bad relation with his clients. He had taken responsibility to complete their projects in 1 month but as it got delayed, those clients withdrew their current projects and also informed that they are not interested to continue any more business relations. Their demand to return their advance money rubbed salt on his wounds. He asked for an extension of 2 weeks but they had just made their mind not to continue any work with him further. Finally somehow he managed to return all the money to his clients and he was hardly left with any money for his expenses. To cut down his daily expenses, he rented a low grade house, managed most of his traveling by walk and the worst is he managed only one day meal just to survive. He was talking only dinner and that too only 2 samosas or noodles from fast food stalls on road sides.
But despite all he said it’s necessary to face the darkness to enjoy the beauty of light which made him the real achiever.
His belief in the saying- if winter comes is spring far behind? Became stronger when he met his business partner Shashikant Dubey from Indore, Madhya Pradesh who was IIT-B graduate. By observing his potential and enthusiasm towards innovations & entrepreneurship Mr. Dubey decided to make him business partner.
They together put all their efforts to get back company to its original position. They were only able to bring back the company to its original position but they also took it to the next level.
My motivator’s bad time vanished and good times surrounded him because every cloud has a silver lining. He also got the president of India Award from Shri Pranab Mukherjee for his noble work for society. Soon he also got a placement offer from a MNC of Rs 1 crore per annum too. What you people have done if you were offered the same? You would have accepted it, right? But he rejected immediately. He replied that MNC that his dream’s value is much more than Rs 1 Crore. He will not kill his dream for the sake of Rs 1 crore. He continued to work for his dreams with great dedication more smartly and wisely than before. He achieved success in the field of innovations and entrepreneurship in very short span of time. He recovered from his bad times very soon.
He is a global speaker now. Till now he has spoken for more than 60 organizations around the world. He has now numerous national and international recognitions.
Recently he developed an innovative band to save girls from rape attacks. Now he has 3 start ups with enormous, talented and experienced team and 10 innovations to his name. Some of his innovations being commercialized by different organizations. His age is just 21 year now. No doubt he is my first mentor, my first motivator and first inspiring person for me. Finally unveiling the secret, He is non other than ‘ ME ‘, ‘Susant Pattnaik’.
What was it like to get recognized by MIT’S Journal ‘The Technology Review’, NASA or INTEL and even more?
I felt on cloud nine and this success further catalyzed my passion for change. I felt proud on myself and was motivated to devote my life towards science and technology. I never miss opportunities to follow my passion and when I had invented the Breathing Sensor Apparatus for the Disabled, my first social invention that was the first biggest and memorable milestone for which I was awarded by the president Dr Kalam at IIM- Ahmedabad in 2009. Till now I have got 6 president awards for my different innovations from Dr Kalam, Smt Pratibha Patil & Shri Pranab Mukherjee too.
I try to do innovations which are versatile and that solves numerous problems faced by public. Even I am doing innovations, which are really hard to believe, and would inspire the youth to not only learn science but also to apply it for the benefits of human race. Well wining becomes a habit once you start achieving and same thing happened with me. The appreciation which I get from you people keeps me going. Yes it’s also passion for change which I would like to create in the society through my work.
What kind of hurdles you faced while realizing your dreams?
Society Barrier, whatever you do they will always criticize. Family Barrier, as they lack modernization & privatization. Initial Financial Problem, no one likes to invest on your talent at raw stage. Least Freedom, during your childhood we are bounded with certain rules and regulations which kills our curiosity.
You have an enviable list of achievements, so what keeps you going? Is it your passion for change?
Wining becomes a habit once you start achieving and same thing happened with me. The appreciation which I get from you people keeps me going. Yes it’s also passion for change which I would like to create in the society through my work.
Your plans for long term?
I love my life right now so I plan to continue being a serial inventor, serial entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. In future I would like to start up my own exclusive TV show on any national channel to help young minds come forward to display their scientific brains.
What’s major problem our country is facing now and how you plan to solve it?
The biggest problem that not only our country but also the world in encountering is RAPE! Rape is a crime in which most women cannot defend themselves. The fear of rape plagues every woman at some point or another in her life. The traumatic effects of rape vary from mild to severe, from psychological to physical. It’s like a virus which is getting multiplied by every passing second. Men who do this detestable crime consider themselves strong and feel that a women can be played with. They are psychologically very disturbed and imbalanced. Now it’s high time for girls to show their power and save themselves from rape attacks.
When a person thinks to rape a girl, he doesn’t think of its consequences like he may be imprisoned for life time. Hence when he attempts rape, he doesn’t fear and he doesn’t care whether the camera inbuilt in the previous Raksha Band would put him in trouble later. And in only electric shock band, a person can wear electric proof arm vest, and then can snatch that electric band from the lady and throw it down. So apart from camera/ electric shock features, there should be advanced additional features which will improve the quality of the band .
Finally I developed a special band named as Raksha Band to save girls from rape attacks which has all the additional features. I have many feature options which I can include into the band, but ultimately the best ones I have included in the product form. This innovation is completely sponsored by the MJFF organization of Ahmedabad and this organisation has taken the responsibility of commercializing this product. This is a small initiative from my side toward the safety of the most precious thing i.e. WOMEN .
Message for the youth
I would say follow your passion start working smartly and have an entrepreneurial approach in any field you work since it’s an era of globalization. Keep yourself up to date and do what you want to else you will keep regretting your entire life.