He has had the clarity of his life’s disposition absolutely dialed in right from a very young age, 9 years young to be exact. At an age when most boys were into football and miniature scale model, Nandakumar Puspanathan was already learning the introductory stage of driving which he’d dispatched off promptly. Mastering the finer points of driving within a few years Nandakumar’s pure blooded passion for cars inevitably took him places over the course of his life, during which he’s had successful dual careers as a brilliant rally driver as well as an extraordinary engineer.
After school Nandakumar opted to further his studies at TAFE College Seremban before taking his degree in Automotive Engineering at Coventry UK. Throughout this period in his young life Nandakumar continued to hone his driving skills with regular stints at Batu Tiga (the good old days) locally and during his time studying in the UK –Hill Climbing events. It was obvious to those around Nandakumar that his skills were growing, and his full-fledged rallying career germinated as he scythed uphill at the wheel of a souped up Caterham.
That rallying career began at the MBM Zaifa car park Rally back in 2001 driving a privateer Satria although Nandakumar had his first proper experience as a co driver one year earlier. Over the next few years, his run in the Malaysian Rally Championship saw quite a number of successes in as much as they were spectacular examples of his devastating speed. In 2004, Nandakumar started getting a series of class victories and notable finishes the same year he was awarded the “Malaysian Most Promising Rally Driver Award for 2004” by the Automobile Association of Malaysia.
What was interesting during his early rallying career, his other career was also in full bloom as an engineer at Lotus, working in automotive R & D.
At the same time Nandakumar was hired as a works driver for the Perodua Rally team while also being a Lotus Engineer. It was clear that Nandakumar had the potential to excel in both fields – as a full-fledged rally driver and with his brilliant mind, a gifted engineer.
Having ‘been there and done that’ in the rallying scene, Nandakumar’s career shifted focus to engineering. He focused more on the inner workings of an automobile and with his pure blooded passion, his education background, his hands-on experience as a racer, and his deep technical knowledge and understanding Nandakumar established Deus Automotive Sdn Bhd – an automobile and parts company whose excellent Deus Mini Rallye 4WD Turbo special was featured by Hypertune sometime back.
He has been involved with other automobile projects internationally as well including Geely & Volvo in China, as his career as an engineer developed further to where he is now – the Principal Engineer of Prodrive Asia Pacific, and the Director for the aforementioned Deus Automotive Sdn. Bhd. Nandakumar Puspanathan – the epitome of passion and talent in a true Malaysian.
Career & Achievements last 2 years
Vehicle dynamics projects
Detroit Electric & Proton collaboration – 1st Electric vehicle Proof of Concept.
Detroit Electric & Geely collaboration – EV project for mass production.
Geely & Volvo collaboration, Complete platform engineering, testing and development. A global project shared between Sweden and China.
International Patent for a Passive – Adaptive suspension system. The 1st of its kind in the world. Prototypes are being made for testing as we speak here in Malaysia.
International Patent for a lightweight vehicle architecture/platform that is low capital and tooling intensive yet able to be produced in high volumes.
Vehicle dynamics training courses for engineers and students.
Subjective evaluation/test driving courses.
Principal Engineer, for Prodrive.
So let us all wish him our best in making the country proud for years to come be it locally or at the international level. Hoping to see your Passive – Adaptive system break into the OEM market very soon. To anyone or parties wishing to inquire more on his Vehicle Dynamic Training Courses feel free to contact him at 012-923 2782.