Alumnus Profile: Pratik Gupta

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Top photo: Pratik Gupta (far right) with Strom Motors team. Bottom photo: Strom-R3 model.

UMD Degree: M.S. '06, Telecommunications Engineering 

After earning a Bachelors in Engineering Degree in Electronics and Telecommunications at the University of Mumbai in India, Pratik Gupta chose to continue his education with a Master’s in Telecommunications (ENTS) Degree at the University of Maryland, College Park.  The education he received in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) provided a springboard to founding his own company, Strom Motors, in 2016.

Strom Motors is an electric car start-up based in Mumbai, India.  They have recently unveiled a three-wheeled electric urban car, which they plan to market to a younger generation of professionals who seek a cost-efficient, environmentally-friendly form of transportation for commuters in urban areas.  The Strom-R3 was launched in April 2018 and is currently taking pre-orders.  The car is slated to be available by the end of this year.

The uniqueness of this car is most visible in its three-wheel design with two wheels in front and one in the back.  The design allows for increased stability with the comfort of a cabin with room for two passengers.  The car also features zero emissions, is built for sustainable mobility, and includes about 70% fewer parts than a traditional gas-fueled car.  In addition, its state of the art technology combines cloud-integrated connectivity, customizable dashboard designs, and wear and tear monitoring, which can pinpoint issues with the cars operating systems such as batteries, brakes, drive motor and tires.  Additional special features are an Automatic Vehicle Following System to ensure a smooth ride in stop and go traffic, and a Remote Assisted Parking System which will allow the car to self-park using a cell phone application.  Perhaps most appealing will be the price of approximately $4,500, extremely affordable for young professionals.

Prior to starting his own company Pratik worked as an embedded applications engineer at Techno-Sciences, a research and development company founded by ECE faculty members Professor Emeritus Lee Davisson and Professor and Associate Chair for External Affairs Gilmer Blankenship. (The company was acquired by French developer McMurdo Group in 2014).  It was with Techno-Sciences where he worked on many types of technologies and devices for a variety of organizations, including NASA, the U.S. Army and Navy, and the Department of Homeland Security.  As the company grew, Pratik was given the opportunity to form and manage a team of engineers and lead projects.

Pratik credits the ENTS Program with helping him to advance his career.  By combining classes in engineering with business and management classes at the R.H. Smith School of Business, he learned critical skills that provided a solid overview on how a tech business functions.  He also acquired the management experience needed to oversee a group of individuals and form a team that can accomplish any goal that is sent their way. 

As Founder of his own company, he particularly enjoys the teamwork involved in creating a product that will allow the company to expand as a manufacturer of future-ready cars.   He and his team have faced many challenges over the last two years, but the determination has paid off.  They are looking forward to seeing their cars traveling through the cities of India, and maybe other countries in the future.

Pratik’s advice to current ECE Terps is to embrace UMD's current campaign slogan, Fearless Ideas. “Be a team player professionally and humble personally; but what you create, always make that bold and unyielding,” says Pratik.  Perfect advice for those working on the next big idea!

Published July 9, 2018