Shantanu Naidu, Ratan Tata’s millenial friend

01:21 PM Jan 10, 2022 | Team Udayavani |

This one millennial, who is a close friend of none other than business mogul Ratan Tata, has an odd friendship, a creative business mind, and an amazing love for dogs. Shantanu Naidu, the 28-year-old man you may have seen hanging around with Ratan Tata, has a fascinating story to tell.


Shantanu is a fifth-generation Tata employee, and while his family has a long professional relationship with the Tata brand, he is the first to work closely with Ratan Tata personally. He graduated from the University of Pune with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and joined Tata Elxsi as a junior design engineer.

Shantanu came up with the idea for Motopaws, the organization that would revolutionize his life, at this time. As a junior engineer, he had to work night shifts and saw dogs being run over by cars on the street. When he sought to figure out why this was happening, he ended up interviewing 80-100 regular drivers in the neighborhood. It was happening, Shantanu discovered, because humans couldn’t see the dogs at night.

Shantanu wanted to construct ‘glow-in-the-dark’ collars for dogs to make them visible from a distance in order to protect them and thus, formed the nonprofit Motopaws to further his effort.


As the effort grew in popularity, it was featured in the Tata company’s newsletter, earning Shantanu a personal invitation from another dog lover – Ratan Tata himself.

Over the years, the two built a close connection, and it was Shantanu’s millennial influence that helped Ratan Tata become a social media sensation! Tata is one of the only 84-year-old CEOs with an active Instagram account.

Shantanu taught him all about social media, including the latest trends, terminology, emojis, and hashtags. Ratan Tata’s Twitter handle currently has over 5 million followers.

Shantanu’s book, ‘I Came Upon a Lighthouse: A Short Memoir of Life with Ratan Tata’, was released last year and recounts the relationship between “the millennial Naidu and the octogenarian billionaire, Ratan Tata.”


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