Business

Elder care takes the tech route

Elder care services venture Alserv is pitching itself as an alternative to assisted living options for senior citizens.

“If you look at senior assisted living services, the only option for people is go to a retirement community,” said Alserv co-founder and director Jagadish Ramamoorthy. “Choosing this option poses varied challenges to different people. For some it’s the problem of investing capital, in buying a place or renting one in a community. For others, it is the challenge of being uprooted from a location and routine that they have been used to for 30-40 years to move to someplace far outside the city.”

Alserv, promoted by the founders of one of India’s early BPO firms Allsec, aims to use technology to connect demand and availability of resources. “We aim to provide all necessary services required on a day-to-day basis.”

Alserv has five offerings: food and grocery delivery; repairs and maintenance which includes cleaning services; medical emergency homecare which provides for doctor-on-call, nurses, equipment, hospital beds, IVs, oxygen services as well as monthly medicine delivery; safety and security services including safety audits, gadgets and equipment needed for security; and concierge services such as driver-on-call, payments help, transportation, ticketing and the like.

The firm has 15 full-time employees, but has stitched up a vendor network comprising more than 70 vendors, of whom 20 are only food vendors. To a query, Mr. Ramamoorthy clarified, “Ours is not a marketplace. Alserv takes responsibility for whatever is promised.”

Mr. Ramamoorthy highlighted some statistics that point to the potential for business in this area. “There are about 20,000 retirement home units in operation today across the country. Of these, about 10,000+ homes are in the south – Chennai, Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Hyderabad. This piece of statistics may be about a year old but it gives you an idea.”

And the addressable population in, for example, Chennai alone is “about one million families”, according to him.

Alserv currently has in excess of 400 subscribers and is operational in Chennai. It is planning to expand soon into Bengaluru.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 4:21:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/elder-care-takes-the-tech-route/article33394541.ece

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