_111218079_tata2 Ratan Tata: An unlikely friendship between a magnate and a millennialPicture copyright
Shantanu Naidu

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Mr Naidu and Mr Tata usually watch films collectively


It’s not on a regular basis that an octogenarian goes viral on Instagram. It is much more uncommon if that octogenarian is a billionaire businessman with a rigorously cultivated repute as a reclusive tycoon.

However maybe probably the most uncommon little bit of this explicit story is the friendship which led to Ratan Tata’s emergence as India’s latest social media star.


Certainly, with out the assistance of Shantanu Naidu, the 27-year-old who launched him to the social media platform and taught him about hashtags and developments, the world wouldn’t have found their newest “man crush”.

Mr Naidu hopes that the combination of previous household photos, snapshots of canines and images of the mogul’s youthful days – together with one from 5 many years earlier which garnered greater than half one million hits – will give individuals a glimpse of the person behind the tycoon.

The person who led the salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group for 21 years, who he now lessons amongst his closest associates.

Lately, the 2 of them do every thing collectively – from getting haircuts to watching movies. Their “intergenerational friendship” could also be fairly uncommon, however, Mr Naidu says, additionally it is fairly particular.

“He is been a tough boss, a core mentor in addition to an understanding buddy,” he informed the BBC.

So how did this doe-eyed, curly-haired millennial turn out to be enterprise assistant and greatest associates to certainly one of India’s most internationally-recognised enterprise leaders?

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Shantanu Naidu

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Mr Naidu’s non-profit gives stray canines with glow-in-the-dark collars

Mr Naidu is, in truth, a fifth era Tata worker. Nevertheless, though his household has a robust connection to the Tata model, he by no means thought he would find yourself working so carefully with the person accountable for a lot of it.

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It was a mutual love of canines which introduced the 2 collectively whereas the youthful man was working for certainly one of Mr Tata’s corporations within the metropolis of Pune, west India.

On the time, Mr Naidu was additionally working a social initiative referred to as Motopaws, which makes glow-in-the-dark collars for stray canines. His work was highlighted within the firm publication, prompting Mr Tata to jot down him a letter inviting him to Mumbai.

“Shantanu and I first met due to our widespread concern and affection for stray canines,” Mr Tata defined in an e-mail to the BBC. “He has led a group of younger school college students to ‘undertake’ these canines and provides them affection, meals, discover houses for them and provides them a way of belonging.”

The assembly would show to be the primary of many.

“Whereas Motopaws was scaling up, we grew to become nearer. Work emails slowly was asking questions on each other,” Mr Naidu stated.

However quickly after their friendship took off, Mr Naidu needed to depart India for college within the US.

“I used to be actually unhappy as a result of it felt like I had simply found a buddy in Mr Tata,” he stated.

However the connection between the 2 strengthened. Mr Naidu ended up at Mr Tata’s alma mater, Cornell College, and shortly began work on the businessman’s dream challenge, constructing a veterinary hospital in Mumbai. The development for this hospital is about to start later this 12 months.

Mr Tata even attended his commencement.

“I had talked about it to him in passing and he stated sure,” Mr Naidu remembers. “Reduce to the precise day and there he was!”

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Shantanu Naidu

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Mr Naidu graduated from Mr Tata’s alma mater, Cornell College

On his return to India, Mr Naidu took up a job as as Mr Tata’s enterprise assistant.

“All the things for me modified in a single minute. I had by no means imagined my life would pan out this manner,” he stated.

Mr Tata informed the BBC: “I get pleasure from seeing Shantanu’s freshness and concern. We by no means see sufficient of this within the ‘canine eat canine’ world we reside in.'”

So, what does a typical day appear to be as enterprise assistant to Mr Tata?

“At conferences, I take copious notes and maintain data for future discussions. As Mr Tata walks in, I am there to transient him on the happenings of the day. He provides me his plan and we begin attacking it one after the other. He is a really targeted employee – continuous, no breaks,” Mr Naidu defined.

The Tata Group patriarch is understood to have invested in additional than 73 Indian start-ups, together with ride-hailing service, Ola. Mr Tata now makes use of the Instagram profile Mr Naidu helped set as much as join with the youth and has additionally shared “a recipe” for profitable start-up pitches.

The 82-year-old has additionally used it to share the aforementioned image of him in his 20s – utilizing the favored hashtag Throwback Thursday – to set the web alight.

Nevertheless it is not simply enterprise. The 2 stay quick associates.

Mr Naidu now lives throughout the road from Mr Tata. “Weekend dinners have turn out to be a practice – that is after we decompress. Typically we simply watch films – something on the World Wars is a favorite.”

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He added that additionally they like motion comedy movies equivalent to The Different Guys and The Lone Ranger. A collection about experiences within the Israel Defence Power referred to as Fauda is Mr Tata’s favorite Netflix binge, Mr Naidu stated.

Final 12 months throughout a radio interview with the BBC, I met Mr Tata and Mr Naidu.

It was simple to sense a heat bond between the 2 – there gave the impression to be an incredible diploma of camaraderie and mutual respect. Mr Tata spoke about his retirement plans and love for canines.

These days, Mr Naidu continues to additionally work on the challenge that introduced Mr Tata and him collectively within the first place.

Motopaws has expanded over time and it now working in 4 nations. Nevertheless it is not simply the non-profit that is evolving.

“If one thing have been to trouble me or make me pleased, he can be the primary particular person I might name. The inspiration is there, however it’s like a continuously blossoming tree. Mr Tata has all the time been there for me and I attempt to do the identical for him,” Mr Naidu stated with a smile.

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