It is not everyday that an octogenarian goes viral on Instagram. It really is even more uncommon if that octogenarian is a billionaire businessman with a thoroughly cultivated name as a reclusive tycoon.
But perhaps the most abnormal little bit of this distinct tale is the friendship which led to Ratan Tata’s emergence as India’s most recent social media star.
Certainly, without the need of the assist of Shantanu Naidu, the 27-12 months-aged who released him to the social media platform and taught him about hashtags and tendencies, the world would not have identified their hottest “man crush”.
Mr Naidu hopes that the combine of previous loved ones images, snapshots of canine and pictures of the mogul’s youthful days – which include one particular from 5 decades earlier which garnered far more than half a million hits – will give persons a glimpse of the guy powering the tycoon.
The guy who led the salt-to-software package conglomerate Tata Team for 21 several years, who he now courses amongst his closest buddies.
These times, the two of them do every thing collectively – from finding haircuts to seeing movies. Their “intergenerational friendship” might be rather abnormal, but, Mr Naidu suggests, it is also pretty distinctive.
“He is been a tough boss, a main mentor as very well as an being familiar with close friend,” he explained to the BBC.
So how did this doe-eyed, curly-haired millennial come to be business enterprise assistant and best friends to just one of India’s most internationally-recognised organization leaders?
Mr Naidu is, in actuality, a fifth era Tata worker. However, although his relatives has a robust relationship to the Tata brand name, he never believed he would stop up doing the job so carefully with the person dependable for so a lot of it.
It was a mutual like of dogs which brought the two together though the younger man was doing the job for just one of Mr Tata’s providers in the town of Pune, west India.
At the time, Mr Naidu was also functioning a social initiative called Motopaws, which helps make glow-in-the-dark collars for stray pet dogs. His perform was highlighted in the company publication, prompting Mr Tata to write him a letter inviting him to Mumbai.
“Shantanu and I initial fulfilled for the reason that of our typical problem and affection for stray canines,” Mr Tata stated in an e mail to the BBC. “He has led a crew of youthful university students to ‘adopt’ these dogs and give them affection, food, find houses for them and give them a perception of belonging.”
The assembly would demonstrate to be the 1st of many.
“Although Motopaws was scaling up, we grew to become closer. Do the job e-mail slowly turned into asking issues about one particular another,” Mr Naidu mentioned.
But before long following their friendship took off, Mr Naidu experienced to depart India for college in the US.
“I was definitely unhappy for the reason that it felt like I had just found a pal in Mr Tata,” he said.
But the relationship in between the two strengthened. Mr Naidu ended up at Mr Tata’s alma mater, Cornell University, and before long begun function on the businessman’s aspiration project, setting up a veterinary healthcare facility in Mumbai. The development for this healthcare facility is established to commence later this 12 months.
Mr Tata even attended his graduation.
“I had stated it to him in passing and he explained of course,” Mr Naidu remembers. “Minimize to the actual day and there he was!”
On his return to India, Mr Naidu took up a task as as Mr Tata’s small business assistant.
“Almost everything for me changed in a single moment. I had under no circumstances imagined my existence would pan out this way,” he reported.
Mr Tata informed the BBC: “I get pleasure from observing Shantanu’s freshness and issue. We never ever see adequate of this in the ‘dog consume dog’ globe we stay in.'”
So, what does a typical working day seem like as enterprise assistant to Mr Tata?
“At meetings, I just take copious notes and maintain data for potential conversations. As Mr Tata walks in, I’m there to quick him on the happenings of the day. He provides me his plan and we get started attacking it one particular by 1. He’s a quite concentrated employee – non-end, no breaks,” Mr Naidu defined.
The Tata Group patriarch is regarded to have invested in additional than 73 Indian start off-ups, like journey-hailing company, Ola. Mr Tata now employs the Instagram profile Mr Naidu served established up to link with the youth and has also shared “a recipe” for prosperous get started-up pitches.
The 82-year-old has also employed it to share the aforementioned photo of him in his 20s – employing the popular hashtag Throwback Thursday – to established the world wide web alight.
But it isn’t just organization. The two continue to be quick buddies.
Mr Naidu now lives across the avenue from Mr Tata. “Weekend dinners have turn out to be a tradition – which is when we decompress. Sometimes we just enjoy motion pictures – something on the Entire world Wars is a favorite.”
He extra that they also like motion comedy movies these types of as The Other Fellas and The Lone Ranger. A sequence about ordeals in the Israel Defence Drive referred to as Fauda is Mr Tata’s favorite Netflix binge, Mr Naidu said.
Very last calendar year for the duration of a radio job interview with the BBC, I fulfilled Mr Tata and Mr Naidu.
It was effortless to perception a heat bond amongst the two – there seemed to be a great degree of camaraderie and mutual respect. Mr Tata spoke about his retirement programs and like for canines.
Currently, Mr Naidu continues to also operate on the challenge that brought Mr Tata and him together in the to start with area.
Motopaws has expanded in excess of the a long time and it now operating in 4 countries. But it isn’t just the non-gain that’s evolving.
“If anything were to hassle me or make me content, he would be the 1st human being I would contact. The foundation is there, but it truly is like a frequently blossoming tree. Mr Tata has usually been there for me and I test to do the very same for him,” Mr Naidu said with a smile.