Beyond drugs, diseases, and smartphone shopping, start-up developers in India have made little progress in addressing the unmet needs of the elderly. There are e-commerce websites for “senior-centric items” and applications that provide disembodied personal assistants for prescription reminders. Ratan Tata’s new firm, Senior Companionship Start-up for Intergenerational Friendships, aims to have a more significant influence on elderly care by being a “senior companionship start-up for intergenerational friendships.”
The for-profit start-up, Goodfellows, hires young graduates after assessing their emotional maturity, sensitivity, and devotion to the objective of forming friendships with its elder clientele. The subscription-based startup began on August 16 with seed capital from Tata Son’s chairman emeritus.
“Goodfellows” has finished beta testing and will now be offered in Mumbai, with Pune, Chennai, and Bangalore as the next target locations. During the beta testing phase, Goodfellows got over 800 applications from young graduates wishing to work at Goodfellows, with a shortlisted cohort of 20 providing companionship to the elderly in Mumbai. Senior adults may use the services by joining up on thegoodfellows.in, giving a missed call at +91 8779524307, or following them on Instagram.
By making a Goodfellow work like a grandchild, the start-up for the elderly hopes to acknowledge loneliness and mental health difficulties as significant public health challenges in India. In India, 15 million elderly people live alone, either because they have lost a partner or because their families have moved away for unavoidable employment reasons. While many of them have carers or start-ups for utilitarian necessities such as e-commerce, the issue of loneliness or a lack of companionship has been the major cause of their mental and physical health deterioration.
Shantanu Naidu, general manager in Ratan Tata’s office, started the corporation. Naidu also wrote about his connection with Tata in a book called “I Came Upon a Lighthouse,” which was published early last year by HarperCollins. After investing in the entrepreneur’s new enterprise to save stray animals from rushing autos, Tata became Naidu’s mentor. Tata has agreed to assist Naidu’s new enterprise for older folks in order to help bridge the generation gap. “The company emphasizes that friendship can mean different things to different people.” To some, it may mean watching a movie, retelling old stories, going on a stroll, or simply sitting around doing nothing, and we are here to accommodate it all.
“We noticed how organically the Grandpals linked with the Goodfellows in its beta phase,” Naidu stated in a news release.
Goodfellows also offers monthly activities for Grandpals who engage with their Goodfellows in the hopes that the relationships would develop stronger and more fun in a different setting. This allows the Grandpals to meet each other and other recent grads, fostering a sense of community.
Goodfellows’ business plan is a freemium subscription model. The first month is free, with the only purpose of allowing the Grandpal to try out the service because it’s difficult to grasp the notion without first experiencing it. The second month onwards is a minor monthly charge that has been determined based on retirees’ restricted finances.
This is a paid service to provide young graduates with decent, acceptable wages. This also assures that selected goodfellows are maintained, developed, and given a career ladder while contributing to society. The subscription model also ensures that when seniors build bonds with their goodfellows, they do not constantly rotate the graduate visiting them because this does not provide enough time or emotional attention to form a genuine and true friendship. Several non-profit businesses in this field have failed because participation occurs based on volunteer availability and no one commits enough time with one senior.
Goodfellows provides short-term internships as well as full-time employment to recent graduates. In the near future, Goodfellows wants to provide travel companions for seniors who are hesitant to travel due to a lack of security or companionship, and it also plans to expand its services to the disabled population, which has comparable or more obstacles.