Home / News / India /  Watch: Ratan Tata's Manager Shantanu Naidu shares his opinion on 18-hour workday debate

Shantanu Naidu on Thursday has shared his opinion on the recent 18 hour work day post by Bombay Shaving Company's CEO Shantanu Deshpande saying that he believes work is something we do and not who we are.

Shantanu Naidu who manages Ratan Tata’s office and his startup investment portfolio as a general manager, said, “'Work is something we do, not who we are' is something I heard once and I really believe in that."

Deshpande in his LinkedIn post had said to prioritize work for ‘18 hours a day for at least 4-5 years’. He asked freshers to stop doing “random rona-dhona, take it on the chin and to be relentless." His advice to freshers attracted much criticism on social media with many questioning ‘how much is enough.’ However, he later clarified saying that the statement was not meant to be taken literally.

His post also came at a time when the world is talking about the concept of quiet quitting. The trend simply speaks about doing the bare minimum expected at work. However, that does not mean avoiding work, this has to do more with ‘avoiding a meaningful life outside of work.’ Several studies have shown that the method helps in increasing productivity significantly.

Also Read: 18-hour work debate: Why Shantanu Deshpande's LinkedIn post is the brutal truth

Sharing his opinion on LinkedIn, Shantanu Naidu said, "I think the problem with this 18-hour workday or toxic hustle culture is that it brings down the value of a person only to his achievements and productivity. I think as human beings, we are worth much more than that."

Shantanu Naidu
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Shantanu Naidu

Naidu also added that people who still want to do the hustle and want to do the 18 hours work days and not sleep are free to do so because they believe that's the way to do it.

However, he further added that, "But to preach that to young, impressionable minds is not a great idea because that's not what makes us individuals and human beings."

“I think, in the end, it's more relationships and love and what we leave behind for other people that really makes us human beings, and not being valued at how much work I did today," he said in a 1.05 minute video.

Recently, Ratan Tata also announced an investment in startup Goodfellows which was founded by Shantanu Naidu. The investment has not been disclosed. The startup offers companionship to senior citizens as a service. At the launch of Goodfellows, Ratan Tata said, “You do not know what it is like to be lonely until you spend time alone wishing for companionship."

Meanwhile, in a post shared by 'Humans of Bombay' on their LinkedIn page, Shantanu Naidu had also shared how his hand-written letter got him a chance to work for industrialist Ratan Tata.

In 2014, Shantanu joined Tata group after completing his graduation. On his way back home from work, he saw a dead body of a dog lying on the roads. This unfortunate incident prompted him to make collars for stray dogs which has reflectors on them, so that drivers could see the stray animals from distance while driving at night. His work for stray dogs got covered in the Tata Group of Companies' newsletter.

"Around that time, my dad asked me to write a letter to Mr Ratan Tata, since he loves dogs too. I was hesitant at first, but then I said to myself, 'Why not?'" said Shantanu. Shantanu wrote a handwritten letter to Ratan Tata.

Two months later, he got a reply from Ratan Tata himself with an invitation for a meeting. Few days later, he met Ratan Tata at his office in Mumbai. Tata said "I’m deeply touched by the work you do!"

"I still get goosebumps when I think of it," says Shantanu. Tata took him to his place to meet his dogs. Later, Ratan Tata also helped him to start his venture Moto Paws. Moto Paws make reflective collars for stray dogs that make them easily visible.

After that, Shantanu left for his masters and promised to join Tata Group once he complete his studies.

Once he returned to India, he received a call from Tata with a job offer to become his assistant. "I didn't know how to react. So I took a deep breath, and a few seconds later said ‘Yes!'," says Shantanu.

Naidu was working as deputy general manager at Tata Trust since July 2018. As per his LinkedIn profile, he is currently General Manager at Tata Group.

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