Failure is a stepping stone to success, but how we treat failure determines our success. Sampriti Bhattacharyya, who was told that she was good enough only to be a housewife for being an average student, is a tech entrepreneur and CEO in the United States. Born and brought up in Kolkata, Sampriti had once failed in physics. Today, she is using physics to revolutionize America’s water transportation with her groundbreaking innovation, the Navier 30.
Not having scored even the passing marks in physics at Kolkata’s South Point High School did not dissuade her from studying engineering in later years, though it fetched her negative remarks from the school teacher and others. Armed with a BTech degree from West Bengal University of Technology, Sampriti travelled to the USA in 2010 for postgraduate studies at Ohio State University. She further strengthened her foothold on the land of American Dream with her move to join MIT for PhD.
There was no looking back for her, thereafter. At the same time, there was no dearth of hurdles to her progress. While pursuing her PhD at MIT, she applied for as many as 540 research internships. Her applications met with rejection, except the one to Fermilab, a leading particle physics research laboratory in Illinois. As rejection comes often as a blessing in disguise, the opportunity to work as a research assistant at Fermilab became her passage to NASA.
At NASA, she interned in robotics and aerospace engineering, thereby giving wings to her aspirations to make it big in space technology. She thought she would design and develop great things to assist on space exploration, but fate had something else in store for her ambition, career and life. Sampriti Bhattacharyya became a maritime inventor and gifted America the first-ever electric, zero-emission, eco-friendly, hydrofoiling boat of the future with commercial potential.
While working on underwater drones during her internship at MIT, she had an epiphany that “maritime presents a trillion dollar opportunity” if a game-changing technology could revolutionize and speed up waterborne transportation without consuming fuel. That epiphany propelled her into entrepreneurship in a direction opposite to space exploration. In 2020, she launched her startup Navier and became CEO with a vision of transformed waterways.
In 2021, Sampriti Bhattacharyya’s Navier based in San Francisco started developing the world’s longest-range, all-electric, hydrofoiling vessel that glides above the surface of water. The Navier 30 is an airplane-like watercraft with an all-electric engine and an advanced software system. Unlike conventional boats, the Navier 30 has three wings that operate under the water surface to create momentum that lifts the boat upwards, thereby reducing friction by 90% and allowing the boat to sail at a 10x faster speed.
Her award-winning invention came to be known as a flying boat that she says will “our waterways as accessible as our highways and reduce operational costs drastically.” One of the top 30 powerful young change agents in the world according to Forbes, Sampriti Bhattacharyya is on a mission to usher in a new era of scalable, sustainable and comfortable transportation. Available in three modes: Eco mode, Comfort mode, and Sports mode, the Navier 30 can be customized based on the profiling of different customer segments and their individual purposes.
With physics at the core of the Navier 30, Sampriti believes, “Hard things are worth solving because if you solve them, it really makes an impact.” She has also collaborated with a water taxi operator to run Navier boats on West Coast waterways and make American waterways the newest highway. Having space for six passengers, the Navier 30 will not only foster sustainable economy but also free waterbodies from fossil fuel pollutants.
This exclusive story is part of the series, Indians Living American Dream, by Indian Eagle that hundreds of thousands of Indian Diaspora members have chosen as their reliable air-ticketing partner for US-India travel. Subscribe to Travel Beats, a community portal by Indian Eagle, for Indian Diaspora stories, US-India travel news, visa and immigration updates.