Industrialist Ratan Tata announced on Tuesday to invest in the companionship startup ‘Goodfellows’ for senior citizens. It would be the first Indian startup that aims to encourage intergenerational friendship.
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 the companionship.”
“The startup appoints young graduates to help in assisting the senior citizens and provide companionship, similar to what a grandkid would do,” he added.
Goodfellows is founded by 28-year-old Shantanu Naidu, an MBA from Cornell University. He is a General Manager at Tata’s office and is the fifth generation of his family to work at Tata Group.
Approximately 1.5 million elderly people live alone in India, either due to losing a partner or families moving away due to work. Many have caregivers, but the lack of company has been the primary reason for deteriorating mental and physical health.
Goodfellows is basically a business model where youngsters will assist seniors in working. The first month of the subscription is free. The goal behind freepmium services is to let senior citizens experience the service as it is hard to understand the concept without actually going through it. From the second month onwards, a small subscription fee has been decided and would be charged based on the affordability of pensioners.
Related Post: KKR to sell 25% stake in Max Healthcare
“The start-up emphasises that companionship means different things to different people. To some, it may mean watching a movie, narrating stories from the past, going on a walk or having quiet company sitting around doing nothing together, and we are here to accommodate it all. In its beta phase, we discovered how organically the Grandpals bonded with the Goodfellows. Mr. Tata’s investment in our venture further is a huge source of encouragement to our dedication to this concept.” Shantanu said in the statement.
Talking about the model, the company said that the startup would help senior citizens make friends and share their loneliness, which will eventually keep them mentally and physically healthy.