Devdutt Pattanaik looks at business and modern life through the lens of mythology.

Why you should listen

We all search for meaning in our work and lives. Devdutt Pattanaik suggests we try a tactic of our ancestors -- finding life lessons in myth, ritual and shared stories. When he was Chief Belief Officer at Future Group in Mumbai, he helped managers harness the power of myth to understand their employees, their companies and their customers. He's working to create a Retail Religion, to build deep, lasting ties between customers and brands.

Pattanaik is a self-taught mythologist, and the author (and often illustrator) of several works on aspects of myth, including the primer Myth = Mithya: A Handbook of Hindu Mythology and his most recent book, 7 Secrets from Hindu Calendar Art. He writes a column called "Management Mythos" for Economic Times that juxtaposes myth onto modern leadership challenges. His newest area of inquiry: How is traditional management, as expressed in old Indian cultural narratives, different from modern scientific management techniques?"

What others say

“We're looking at stories that have lasted the test of time, like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Bible. That's proof of their effectiveness.” — Devdutt Pattanaik

Devdutt Pattanaik’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Devdutt Pattanaik


East vs. West — the myths that mystify: Devdutt Pattanaik on

November 19, 2009

At TEDIndia, Devdutt Pattanaik takes an eye-opening look at the myths of India and of the West, and shows how these two fundamentally different sets of beliefs about gods, death and heaven help us consistently misunderstand one another. His goal is to help us all understand these founding beliefs — and use them to understand […]

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The first 5 TEDTalks from TEDIndia

November 17, 2009

Here’s the schedule for the first five TEDTalks to be released from TEDIndia. They’re premiering here on as well as on — and on mobile phones at Live now: Pranav Mistry’s SixthSense demo — and an amazing announcement. Premiering Thursday, Nov. 19: Devdutt Pattanaik contrasts the mythology of India and the West […]

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The Buzz: Devdutt Pattanaik on how myths shape cultures

November 5, 2009

Mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik explained how our subjective truths shape our worldviews. The differences between Eastern and Western mythologies — whether they portray life as linear or cyclical — resonate in the beliefs and behaviors of today’s business world. Check out the reactions on Facebook and Twitter: Brilliant point on “the world v/s my world” by […]

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