Ratan Tata’s Goodfellows investment for our Grandfriends is winning hearts everywhere
Industrialist Ratan Tata recently launched India’s first companionship startup for senior citizens, Goodfellows, to encourage intergenerational friendships. Tata’s initiative is backed by his 30-year-old assistant Shantanu Naidu, and most probably the idea behind this initiative is only inspired by the intergenerational bond that Ratan Tata shares with his general assistant. The startup aims to promote friendship between elders and young graduates and is the first-of-its-kind initiative that has been undertaken in India. The companionship startup aims to expand the project within Mumbai to Pune, Chennai, and Bangalore and will also offer travel companionship to senior citizens who hesitate to take trips due to a lack of companionship.
“You do not know what it is to be lonely until you spend time alone wishing for companionship,” commented the Indian industry mogul Ratan Tata, appreciating Naidu’s creation and forgiving him for the time he spends away from the office. Tata has been an active backer of emerging startups that resonate with the principles he stands for and surely the Goodfellows startup is something that he deeply identifies with. This initiative will prove to be a blessing for elderlies living in India. Their lack of companionship and loneliness are the primary reasons for their deteriorating mental and physical condition. Goodfellows is created in such a way that will help elderlies fight these troubles and lead better life.
How will the startup operate?
The Goodfellows business model promotes a freemium subscription model. The first month is free with a focus to enable senior citizens to experience the service since it’s hard to understand the concept without actually going through it. Then, from the second month onwards, a small subscription fee has been decided based on the limited affordability of pensioners. The startup’s working model ensures that the senior citizens bond with their companions and do not keep rotating these companions since it would adversely impact their emotional health.
Over the past six months, the company had successfully run a beta run and its services will now be available in certain parts of the country. During the beta test run, Goodfellows received positive responses from over 800 graduates who are seeking to be a part of the startup. Besides this, Goodfellows also hosts monthly events that are created for the enjoyment and engagements of the Grandpas, making the bond deeper and enjoyable in a different environment. These events will also help the Grandpals to meet each other as well as young graduates, establishing a sense of community.
Reports claim that at least five percent of India’s elderly population started experiencing ill-treatment in 2020. LASI, an initiative that conducts the scientific investigation of the health, economic, and social determinants and consequences of population aging in India reveals that abuse against elderlies is a growing international problem with several manifestations in different countries and cultures. It is simply a fundamental violation of human rights and leads to several health and emotional problems. The abuse can be physical, sexual, and even psychological. Ratan Tata’s program will directly enhance the living standards of several senior citizens residing in the country. Their emotional well-being is the responsibility of the younger generation of the country.