From Engineer to Elder Care Entrepreneur And An Author: The Journey of Shantanu Naidu
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From Engineer to Elder Care Entrepreneur And An Author: The Journey of Shantanu Naidu

From Engineer to Elder Care Entrepreneur And An Author: The Journey of Shantanu Naidu

From Engineer to Elder Care Entrepreneur And An Author: The Journey of Shantanu Naidu

One name often surfaces in Ratan Tata’s inner circles: Shantanu Naidu, the youngest general manager and his close aide. He is a close ‘millennial friend’ of the legendary businessman and garnered the public’s attention when a video of him celebrating the industrialist’s birthday with a cupcake went viral.

Shantanu is an engineer, entrepreneur, social media influencer, author and a junior assistant to Ratan Tata. 

Born in Pune, Maharashtra, in 1993, Naidu started his professional journey with an engineering degree from Pune University and went on to pursue his MBA at Cornell University. His innovative idea came up during his job at Tata Elxsi, which landed him a meeting with Mr Ratan Tata.


Shantanu Naidu: A Pawsome Start With Ratan Tata

One day, while returning home from the office, he saw a stray dog run over by a vehicle. Shantanu was dejected upon seeing this. Being a dog lover, Naidu wanted to do something. Along with his friends, Shantanu designed a dog collar and started an initiative named Motopaws. The collar had reflectors on it to help drivers see the dog from afar. The work of Shantanu and his friends became widely known and was featured on various popular social media platforms. The story eventually caught the attention of the Tata group and was later featured in their newsletter, which proved to be a significant breakthrough.

When the budding startup needed funds, Shantanu’s father advised him to write to Ratan Tata. Hence, Naidu wrote a letter to Mr Tata, seeking support for his innovative venture. Surprisingly, Ratan Tata responded to the letter and invited Naidu for a meeting to discuss the proposal. This meeting marked the start of a friendship between two passionate dog lovers and ultimately led to Naidu landing a job as Ratan Tata’s assistant and eventually as a general manager.

Today, his initiative, Motopaws, operates in 20 cities across 4 countries with the simple objective of saving street dogs from accidents.


From Design Engineer to Working For a Social Cause

Shantanu Naidu’s association with Tata Group goes a long way back. The Naidu family has worked in several professional roles at Tata for five generations. Before starting work at the Tata Trust in 2017, Shantanu worked as a Design Engineer at Tata Elxsi and went on to complete his MBA at Cornell. Upon completion of his MBA, Naidu was contacted by Ratan Tata upon his return to India. The businessman offered him a job as his assistant, citing a significant amount of work to be done in his office. Shantanu was uncertain of how to respond to the proposition, taking a moment to gather his thoughts before ultimately accepting the job offer.


Shantanu Naidu &  The Birth of Goodfellows India

Naidu founded Goodfellows during his work at Tata, a startup that focuses on helping senior citizens. The startup reportedly has an estimated worth of Rs 5 crore and was created to provide care and support to the elderly during their retirement years. The Cornell University-educated founder recognised a gap when he realised that senior citizens experience loneliness and need companionship. Ratan Tata has invested in this new venture, demonstrating his support for Naidu’s initiatives.


The Creative Spark Beyond Barriers

His latest initiative, “On Your Sparks,” conducts webinars for young entrepreneurs about to start their business journey. The fee he charges for webinar sessions strengthens Motopaws’ reach.

Apart from his startups, Shantanu has written a book titled “I Came Upon A Lighthouse,” which discusses his experience working with Mr Tata. 


Shantanu Naidu has achieved professional success and forged meaningful relationships by pursuing innovation with genuine passion. He has earned Ratan Tata’s trust and is making significant progress in both corporate and startup domains while serving as his trusted aide and budding entrepreneur.

When it comes to working beyond boundaries, Naidu has been doing it since his youth, from saving the lives of street dogs to taking care of the elderly and strengthening the startup ecosystem in India. Shantanu has won the hearts of many through his humble nature and capacity to think for the greater good of humanity.


Read more: Anant Ambani: From Turning Reliance Green, To Building Vantara Green

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