Devdutt Pattanaik

Chief Belief Officer, Future Group
Mumbai, India

About Devdutt

Bio

I am a medical doctor by training, a business adviser by profession and a mythologist by passion. The Future Group hired me as Chief Belief Officer with the mandate to construct the Retail Religion. Before this I was in Ernst & Young as Business Adviser and before that for over a decade in the Pharma Industry in various capacities from content generation to marketing. This is the first job where my passion has become my profession - using mythology to empower business.

Languages

English, Hindi, Marathi, Oriya

TED Conference

TEDIndia 2009

Areas of Expertise

mythology

An idea worth spreading

Every body seeks meaning in life. Meaning comes not from logic but from myths, or subjective truths, expressed through stories we hear and tell. But stories told in the West since ancient times were fundamentally different from those told in India. Greek stories were dominated by the notion of the hero. Biblical stories were dominated by the notion of the Promised Land. Both these storytelling traditions presupposed one life, hence were imbued with a sense of urgency. Stories from India, however, constructed a world view where this life is but one of many. The point of life then is not aspiration but introspection. Different cultures, different stories, different ways of giving meaning to life. We are still telling the same stories as our ancestors because, despite advances in technology, we still wonder what is the point of existence. No one is sure. Solace continues to rest in myths, not logic. From myths comes the stories that we then deem sacred.

I'm passionate about

Mythology - the decoding of stories, symbols and rituals that construct the myth or subjective truth of a culture, and applying the knowledge to modern business.

Talk to me about

Myth and Mythology, story telling and culture building, leadership, role of discourse in culture building

People don't know I'm good at

Illustrations

My TED story

Every culture has a story to tell. These stories contain subjective truths or myths that shape the way we see the world. For some, there is only one life - hence life is urgent, and must have a purpose. For others, this is but one of the many lives we are supposed to live. Each culture considers its myth to be logical and objective and the ultimate truth. While this ensures the survival of the culture, it also is the root of conflict. Different people will always see the world differently. Only few will realize that : Within infinite myths lies the eternal truth. Who sees it all? Varuna has but a thousand eyes. Indra a hundred. And I, only two.