Devdutt Pattanaik Biography, Author, Net Worth, Awards And More!
Devdutt Pattanaik (Odia:ଦେବଦତ୍ତ ପଟ୍ଟନାୟକ) is an Indian physician turned leadership consultant, mythologist, author and communicator whose works focus largely on the areas of myth, religion, mythology, and also management. He has written over 600 articles and 30 books on the relevance of sacred stories, symbols and rituals in modern times, including Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology, Jaya: An Illustrated Retelling of the Mahabharata, Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana, Business Sutra: An Indian Approach to Management, Shikhandi: And Other Tales they Don’t Tell You.
He is the former chief belief officer of Future Group, one of India’s largest retailers,. He writes columns for the newspaper MiD DAY.,
Swarajya magazine., Scroll.in, DailyO and Speaking Tree
Devdutt Pattanaik’s Early Life and Education
Pattanaik is an Odia, born and brought up in Mumbai, he spent his childhood and student life in Chembur, Mumbai. He graduated in medicine (M.B.B.S.) from Grant Medical College, Mumbai and subsequently did a course in Comparative Mythology from Mumbai University.
Devdutt Pattanaik’s Career
He worked in the pharma and healthcare industry (Sanofi Aventis and Apollo Group of Hospitals, respectively) for 14 years and spent his spare time writing articles and books on mythology, which eventually became his full-time passion. He has also worked as a consultant at Ernst and Young. His first book Shiva: An Introduction was published in 1997. Devdutt illustrates most of his own books.
He was a speaker at the first TED conference in India held in November 2009.
On August 2010, he was invited by the ICCR to Colombia. He presented a paper at a conference on “Subjective World or Mythology of Identity” to an audience of 400 people, including members of the Indian community in Colombia, members of the Association of Friends of India, special guests, and the academic community. The illustrated lecture served to explain the cultural differences between East and West. On 27 August Dr. Pattanaik gave a similar talk at EAFIT university in Medellin.
He has done 2 television shows on CNBC-TV18 and CNBC Awaaz called Business Sutra and “Shastraarth” respectively. These shows drew business lessons from Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and were presented in English and Hindi respectively.
He is also a story consultant to Indian television network Star TV and Epic channel, where he presents Devlok with Devdutt Pattanaik. He also serves at the Culture Consultant to Reliance Industries Ltd.
Devdutt Pattanaik’s Reception
Fiction author Ashwin Sanghi has said that Pattanaik attempts to “explain mythology in simple words”. Psychologist Urmi Chanda-Vaz, who calls Pattanaik “India’s most beloved mythology explicator”, praised his book ‘My Gita’ as “a book of many firsts” and said that in this book Pattanaik made a transition from mythology to philosophy with deftness and skill. Intellectual Shiv Visvanathan has praised Pattanaik by saying that he has made myth-reading “an open, playful, almost domestic game, like Chinese Checkers or Scrabble”.
Devdutt Pattanaik’s Criticism
Investment banker and Sanskrit scholar Nityanand Misra has criticized Pattanaik’s ‘My Gita’ as a “marvel of scholarly ineptitude and a travesty of Hindu philosophy”, saying that the book is a sloppy work replete with factual, conceptual, philosophical, and linguistic errors. Saying that Pattanaik lacks even basic knowledge of Sanskrit, Misra has questioned Pattanaik’s ability to understand Sanskrit and translate from it.