Naidu (also spelled Nayudu or Naidoo) is a title used by various social groups of the Andhra Pradesh state of India. It is also used in Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. It is a Telugu derivation of the Sanskrit Nayaka, meaning "protector" or "leader".
The Nayaka title was conferred mostly upon warriors who received land along with the title Nayaka as a part of the Nayankara system that recognised services rendered to the court during the Kakatiya dynasty. Nayaka was one among approximately 25 titles used by the Kakatiyas to create a new political infrastructure to undercut the authority of hereditary regional elites. Little is known of the responsibilities associated with the title at that time. The Nayankara system was also used by Rajayyan, wherein land was granted to a Nayaka on condition that they would place their military service at the disposal of the king.
By 1909, when Edgar Thurston was writing, the Naidu or Nayadu title was used by many Telugu communities in census returns, of whom he notes the Balija, Bestha, Boyar, Ekari, Gavara, Golla, Kalingi, Kamma, Kapu, Mutracha and Velama. 
- N. Chandrababu Naidu, former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, and President of Telugu Desam Party
- M. Venkaiah Naidu, politician and Rajya Sabha member belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party
- Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu, film director and producer
- K. Venkataswamy Naidu, a lawyer and Indian National Congress politician from Tamil Nadu. Mayor of Madras in the late 1930s. During 1952-54, he was the Minister for Religious endowments and Registration of Madras State
- Leela Naidu, Indian actress
- C. K. Nayudu, Indian cricketer
- M. Buchi Babu Naidu, involved in cricket in Chennai
- G.D.Naidu, a scientist, inventor and businessman,known as "Edison of India"
- Sinopoli, Carla M. (2003). The Political Economy of Craft Production: Crafting Empire in South India, c. 1350-1650. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 73. ISBN 9780521826136.
- Ratnam, A. Venkata (1972). Local government in the Vijayanagar Empire. Prasaranga, University of Mysore. p. 14.
- Thurston, Edgar; Rangachari, K. (1909). Castes and Tribes of Southern India. V (M to P). Madras: Government Press. p. 138. Retrieved 2012-03-24.