Santosh Abraham, CoFounder at ElderAid Wellness Pvt Ltd
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Santosh Abraham: The idea for ElderAid comes from our personal experience. My co-founder and friend, Vandana, who is fortunate to live in the same city as her parents, is also the point of contact for her friends and family who live abroad, should anything happen to their parents in India. My parents, who live in Trivandrum and are fiercely independent, have no inclination of living with me or my USA-based sister. This helped us realise that there was a gap in the market, as children were having to remote-manage their elders. It showed us the market potential for a service that catered to those who desperately needed, but lacked, reliable and trustworthy support for their aging parents.
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by ElderAid Wellness Pvt Ltd
Santosh Abraham: We position ourselves as the Proxy Child. This means that we do everything that a child would normally do for their parents, from providing healthcare support to running errands, bank work, fixing doctor appointments, accompanying the elders to hospitals or any social engagement, concierge services, handyman services, pill box management, or supporting the elder during any medical emergency. These are only a representation of our services - really, we will go above and beyond to ensure that every elder is cared for, and is able to live life fully.
Great Companies: What makes ElderAid Wellness Pvt Ltd different from hundreds of other Health Care Firms?
We are very customer centric and service oriented. We offer personalised and customised solutions for our elders and their families. We know that each household has its own dynamics and one size fits all strategy won't work in this sector. Our aim is to provide the best possible holistic care to our elders, and the social impact we can generate through this is far more important and fruitful than profit making is.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Santosh Abraham: When we started our services way back in 2015, we faced several hurdles. At the time, ElderAid was one of its kind. Even today, there are very few organisations that offer all elder care services under one roof. The concept was new, and so, there was a bit of a push back from the elders, who feared losing their independence and privacy. Asking an organisation to take care of their elders' well-being was also somewhat of an alien concept for the children, since culturally, that was considered their duty. In some cases, the family was even worried about what the neighbours or their extended family members would think. This is changing today, to some degree, but this cultural mindset has been one of our biggest obstacles.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for ElderAid Wellness Pvt Ltd?
Santosh Abraham: ElderAid currently operates in 7 cities across India, and we plan to be in 10 cities by the end of this year. We are working through like-minded partners who are committed to helping us further the cause of holistic elder care. Our goal is to bring our care model to senior citizens across the country, bringing comfort and peace of mind to both the elder and their child.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Santosh Abraham: You need to be clear why you are doing it. It is crucial that you are 100% committed and have the conviction to persevere. Carefully define short term long term goals and never lose sight of your business's financial viability.