Getting a call from Ratan Tata himself asking you to join him on-board. Sounds like a cliched Bollywood story, right? But for Shantanu Naidu, it’s a non-fictional experience that he would never forget.
“I still get goosebumps when I think of it,” says Shantanu, recalling the moment and telling the story we were eager to listen.
In a post shared on the Facebook page ‘Humans of Bombay’, 27-year-old Shantanu Naidu explains that he met Ratan Tata for the first time in 2014.
This was after he began making dogs collar with reflectors on them, post witnessing a tragic incident of a dog losing his life. The idea was that reflectors would help drivers see dogs from afar. His work was applauded by people who gained knowledge of the same.
“Word spread like fire and our work got covered in the Tata group of companies’ newsletter,” says Shantanu. “Around that time, my dad asked me to write a letter to Mr. Ratan Tata, since he loves dogs too,” recalls Shantanu. “I was hesitant at first, but then I said to myself, ‘Why not?” he adds.
Shantanu adds in the post that 2-months after sending the letter, he received a response from, Mr. Tata, himself, inviting him for a meeting. “I couldn’t believe it,” he says.
Days after, Shantanu met Mr. Tata in his office told him that he is “deeply touched by the work you do!”. He also took him to his residence to meet his dog and also funded his venture.
After that, Shantanu says he flee aboard to complete his masters but promised Mr. Tata that he would return and dedicate his life to working for Tata Trust.
“As soon as I came back to India, he gave me a call and said ‘I have a lot of work to be done in my office. Would you like to be my assistant?’ — I didn’t know how to react. So I took a deep breath, and a few seconds later said ‘Yes!'” says Shantanu.