Meet Shantanu Naidu, Ratan Tata’s young assistant and friend

Meet Shantanu Naidu, Ratan Tata's young assistant and friend
Image: Instagram

On Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata’s 84th birthday, a sweet video of him celebrating his birthday with a young boy and a simple cupcake went viral on social media.

Well, not many people know that the boy seen in the video is Shantanu Naidu, the 28-year-old assistant of business tycoon Ratan Tata.

When Shantanu Naidu met Ratan Tata

Shantanu Naidu started working at the Tata Group after he graduated in 2014. Fond of dogs and strays, Shantanu once saw a dead body of a dog lying in the middle of the road.

He was horrified and decided to do something. He along with a few friends designed a collar with reflectors so that drivers can see the dog.

Shantanu Naidu and Ratan Tata
Image: Humans of Bombay

The next day, they started putting the collars on the neck of stray dogs around the city. He had no idea what impact this would potentially have. In a now viral interview to Humans of Bombay, he said he had no idea if it would work but the next day he received a message saying the collar saved a dog.

Shantanu Naidu
Image: Instagram

“I didn’t know if it would work, but when I woke up the next day, I received a message saying that a dog had been saved because of the collar — it felt amazing!”

Shantanu says his noble work got covered by the Tata Group’s newsletter after the word spread like wild fire. He says they started getting orders for collars but they had no funding.

Stray Dogs
Image: Humans of Bombay

“People wanted to buy our collars, but we had no funding.” His father asked him to write a letter to Ratan Tata. Though initially hesitant, he then decided to go for it.

“I was hesitant at first, but then I said to myself, ‘Why not?’ So, I wrote him a handwritten letter and forgot all about it,” he said.

Shantanu Naidu
Image: Humans of Bombay

Interestingly, he received a letter from Ratan Tata himself two months later. Ratan Tata wrote in the letter that he loved their work and would like to meet him.

“My life changed. I received a signed letter from Mr. Ratan Tata himself! When I opened it, it said that he really loved our work and would like to meet me — I couldn’t believe it,” he says.

How did the friendship begin?

A few days later, he got an opportunity to meet Ratan Tata, who admired him for his work and said he was deeply touched.

Shantanu says his friendship with Ratan Tata began when he took him to his place to see his dogs and he even funded their venture.

“I still get goosebumps when I think of it. He then took me at this place to see his dogs, and that’s how our friendship began. He also funded our venture,” Naidu says.

How Shantanu Naidu became Ratan Tata’s Assistant?

Well, Shantanu promised Tata that he aims to dedicate his life working for Tata Trust and left for his masters abroad.

When he returned back home, he got a call from Ratan Tata who offered him the job of his assistant.
“I have a lot of work to be done in my office. Would you like to be my assistant?”

Shantanu Naidu and Ratan Tata
Image: Instagram

Shantanu accepted the offer and has been working with the Business tycoon for 18 months now.
Shantanu says he affectionately calls him the ‘Millennial Dumbledore’.

Naidu tells Humans of Bombay, “People my age have a hard time finding the right set of friends, the right mentor and the right kind of boss. But I can’t believe my lucky stars that I found all of these humans in one superhuman named Mr. Ratan Tata. People affectionately call him Boss, but I like to call him the ‘Millennial Dumbledore’ — I think that name suits him the best!”

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