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TNF India - North organises an insightful session on Entrepreneurs’ Contribution to Communities

Published on August 04, 2023

Tata Network Forum (TNF) India - North conducted a session on ‘Contribution of Entrepreneurs in Building Communities’ by Shantanu Naidu, General Manager at the office of Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus, Tata Sons, on July 26, 2023, at the Ambassador, New Delhi - IHCL SeleQtions. An engineer, a social entrepreneur and an author, Mr Naidu has been closely associated with Mr Tata in driving various social endeavours. The event witnessed the participation of over 60 executives from various Tata companies.

The afternoon commenced with a welcome by Uma Gupta, Convener, TNF India - North, encapsulating the highlights of the forum, the purpose of its existing and past programmes. The opening address was then delivered by Rohit Khosla, Executive Vice President - Indian Hotels (IHCL), and Chairman, TNF India - North with setting of the context and introduction of the guest speaker.

During the session, Mr Naidu spoke about ‘Nurturing Entrepreneurship with Empathy’ and shared the journey of launching his first startup - ‘Motopaws’. There was a problem of dogs being run over or hit by vehicles at night, but no one thought of a solution so that the innocent creatures could be saved from such accidents. Mr Naidu decided to address the issue by identifying the cause behind it, that is, the lack of visibility of dogs during after-hours. Being a design engineer in the automotive field, he and his batchmates developed reflective dog collars crafted with old denims collected through a donation drive. From a humble beginning of a few hundred collars in the initial months, Motopaws is now producing thousands of them that are being distributed across India. Mr Naidu also threw light on the genesis of ‘Goodfellows’ – another startup that sprang from his innate sense of affection for the elderly. Goodfellows is a companionship company that offers not just an empathetic service, but also a meaningful experience to senior citizens.  

“The best ideas are in the biggest problems,” shared Mr Naidu. He went on to speak about the lessons learnt from his Mentor – the revered Mr Tata – and how he has inculcated these learnings into his day-to-day life and work. The underlying Tata values resonated while he shared his thoughts and mesmerised the audience with the idea of building ‘business with empathy’. 

The session was followed by a fun-filled quiz centred around IHCL’s impressive portfolio of palaces, hotels, resorts, safaris and homestays. While IHCL sponsored the event, winners were felicitated with gifts sponsored by Titan and Vistara.   

The programme concluded with closing remarks and a vote of thanks by Kshitij Gandhi, Associate Vice President - Business Strategy and Operations, IHCL. The event was a showcase of benefits derived by leveraging the ‘One Tata’ initiative and harnessing the synergies within the group.