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Young entrepreneur makes Kiwis proud

The academic and career excellence of Indians is a source of endearment and admiration to all positive-thinking New Zealanders and the latest instance is Dr Ojas Mahapatra, Chief Executive of Photonic Innovations Ltd

Developed at the Dodd Walls Centre for Quantum Science and Technology and the Otago University, the Company is a joint gas detection technology venture.

The company has received funding from business incubator UpStart, Dunedin and venture capital firm powerHouse Ventures Ltd, Christchurch.

Academic achievements

Obtaining his postgraduate degree at SRM University in Tamil Nadu, India, Dr Mahapatra joined the Canterbury University and completed his PhD in 2010.

He is a recipient of the ‘Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojna (KVPY),’ awarded by the Government of India. He was also felicitated by former Indian President Dr Abdul Kalam for academic excellence.

Editor’s Note: Established in 1999, KPVY is administered by the Department of Science & Technology to encourage students of Basic Sciences to undertake research in Science. The Programme also aims to identify and encourage talented and motivated students to pursue career in research.

“Our products would detect toxic and flammable gases in industrial environments such as oil and gas refineries, mines, wastewater treatment plants and metal making factories and alert employees of any potential gas leak. We value the lives of the employees working in hazardous environment and aim to safeguard them from any potential gas leak accidents,” Dr Mahapatra said.

Core responsibility

He said that his responsibility as the Chief Executive was to ensure its growth and service through proper management of human and financial resources. The Company hires highly motivated technical, sales, marketing and administrative staff, he said.

“We aim to become the most preferred gas detection company in New Zealand,” he added.

The Company’s gas detection technology conforms to high accuracy, fast response and calibration and maintenance free features, virtually eliminating false alarms.

Good move

He was born in a family of achievers. His father Dr R B Mahapatra is a retired physician and his mother Dr Manju Sharma is an award-winning novelist.

“Coming to New Zealand was by far the best decision that I took in my life. Kiwis are very kind and extend love and respect to all. It has been a fantastic and humbling experience. I will serve New Zealand and New Zealanders diligently and ensure that Photonic Innovations contributes positively to the growth of the economy,” Dr Ojas said.

Dr George Abraham is our South Island Correspondent based in Christchurch.

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