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Amit Patankar – Award winning automotive design engineer from a small town in India

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August 2022

Here is an inspiring story about Amit Patankar.  Amit grew up in Sangli, Maharashtra.  With hard work and grit he is now an accomplished and award winning automotive designer in Michigan.  Here is his story below:

Amit Patankar - Industrial Designer | IP Creator | Dreamer
The Fascinating Story of a Milkman (doodhwala) to a globally acclaimed automobile designer!

Hailing from a humble background, Amit was always a dreamer and an achiever. Born and raised in a small town like Sangli, he was not offered opportunities on a platter; he had to work for them. During his school days, Amit realized he thoroughly enjoyed drawing. Amit also contributed by delivering milk at dawn before school, with his father being a milkman.

Growing up, he had an epiphany of getting himself enrolled in a field that would harness his creativity. Although finishing his schooling in a Marathi medium, language became a huge barrier to entering the creative field. Amit had to pull all-nighters to ensure he was ahead of the spectrum and that it wouldn't be a barrier in the long run. Completing his architecture degree in Sangli allowed him to hone his technical knowledge about his first love – design. His next dream was to complete a master's degree from a reputed college. And, with his hard work and constant dedication, he got through NID on merit.

This was his beginning in the world of industrial design. He learned his best lessons & philosophies at the institute, which remain with him today.

After completing his master's, he entered the world of automobiles. He got his big break while working with Tata Elxsi - a design-engineering agency that serves many automotive manufacturers such as Mahindra, Tata, and Maruti. He played a significant role in designing the Mahindra Arjun tractors and Mahindra International trucks. After this, the sky was his limit. He worked with brands like BMW, MINI, Land rover, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Renault, and a few others during his stay in Germany. He currently drives a Mini Cooper 2016 model, of which he designed the seats!

This exposure opened gateways for him. From working in the motor city of India, i.e. Pune, he charted his roadmap to the motor city of the USA. He currently resides in Detroit and works at Yanfeng Global Automotives, making interiors for car companies around the world such as Tesla, Ford, GM, Toyota, Daimler Chrysler (Mercedes), Audi, and Toyota.

He has received the most prestigious award in the design industry, which is the Red dot design award that he won in 2019 in Singapore and 2021 in Germany for the best design concept for the xim20 concept car. Amit holds over 13 international patents, 7 US patents, 3 World patents, and 3 China patents for his innovation in vehicular interior design and technology. He is often invited as a speaker from design institutes to talk on future mobility, conduct masterclasses, and on design jury, including NID and CCS-Detroit - two of the best automotive design schools in India and globally.

Amit's journey teaches us that it doesn't matter where you come from but where you go from there. He hopes he can inspire more and more people to have the courage to dream big and always try and give it back to society. It is a story of hard work, clear vision, and the strength and bravery to keep working till your dreams become a reality.




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