Meet Shantanu Naidu, Ratan Tata’s Millennial Friend Who Guides Budding Entrepreneurs


The 28-year-old Shantanu Naidu has made his place in the business industry at a young age. The legendary business tycoon Ratan Tata is one of his fans. He is the brain behind the startups in which veteran Tata Group icon invests his personal capacity. While Tata is an octogenarian, Shantanu is a millennial but they both share a unique relationship.

Shantanu, an MBA from Cornell University is the fifth generation of his family, working in the Tata Group.

Every Sunday, Shantanu holds a show/webinar titled ‘On Your Sparks’ on his Instagram handle. It is a live show and seven shows have been held so far. He charges Rs 500 per person for the webinar. He started this online talk show amid COVID-19 pandemic to help aspiring entrepreneurs.

The money collected from the webinar attendees goes towards his company, Motopaws, which designs and manufactures dog collars that glow in the dark to save their lives from being run over. Motopaws has its business in more than 20 Indian cities and four countries.

Tata noticed Shantanu for his attachment to dogs

Shantanu saw many dogs dying in pain after being hit by the high-speed vehicles as the drivers could not see the dogs in time. To save dogs’ lives, Shantanu made collars with the name Motopaws. The dogs wearing these collars made by him could be seen by drivers from a distance even without street lights at night and hence the lives of street dogs were being saved.  The newsletter of Tata group companies published Shanatanu’s work that was noticed by Ratan Tata, who himself is very fond of dogs.

From meeting to working with Tata

After a few days, Shantanu wrote a letter to Ratan Tata after his father insisted him to do so and he got an invitation for a meeting with him. They met and Ratan Tata made an undeclared investment in Motopaws and the company is now doing good business.

Tata group has offered him a job in 2018 after he finished his MBA at Cornell University. Shantanu says it is an honour to work with Ratan Tata. According to Shantanu, he does not feel any generation gap while working with Tata and gets to learn something new every minute.

Ratan Tata (81) has a strong belief in the country’s startup ecosystem. In June 2016, Ratan Tata’s private investment company RNT Associates and the University of California’s Office of the Regents (UC Investment) joined hands to fund new startups, new companies and other ventures in India as ‘UC-RNT Funds’.

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