Ratan Tata presents the start-up Goodfellows dedicated to the elderly

The Ratan Tata-funded startup “Goodfellows,” which provides companionship to older people through educated young graduates who are intensively vetted for empathy and emotional intelligence, was officially launched on Tuesday in the presence of Mr. Tata, who highlighted the need of said service. for elderly people who are left alone.

Mr Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, which has made an undisclosed investment, said: “The links between the two generations created by Goodfellows are very significant and are helping to address a major social issue in India. I hope the investment will help the young Goodfellows team to grow.”

Mr. Tata said: “You don’t know what loneliness will be like until you spend some time alone wishing for company. I’m also saying you don’t mind getting old until you get old. Then you discover that it is a different world.”

Speaking about this initiative, he said: “I salute this effort. I greet all those who have committed themselves to being companions of people who are alone. For me, the wonderful feeling is that a group of smart young people who could do a lot of other things for themselves have chosen to do this.”

“I’m sure it will grow in intensity and image. I will be delighted to see this effort grow and mature into something truly innovative and I will be delighted to see happiness evolve from this,” he added.

The start-up has been founded by Shantanu Naidu (30), who works as General Manager in Mr. Tata’s office. Mr. Naidu, a fifth generation Tata employee. he is known for his affection towards older people and dogs.

Over the past six months, Goodfellows has taken the time to complete a successful beta and will now be available in Mumbai with Pune, Chennai and Bangalore as the next target cities.

During the beta testing phase, it received a positive response with over 800 applications from young graduates seeking employment at Goodfellows, of which a shortlisted cohort of 20 provided companionship to the elderly in Mumbai.

Seniors can make use of the services by registering at thegoodfellows.in or you can give a missed call on +91 8779524307 either take a look at his instagram handle.

“In terms of services offered, Goodfellow does what a grandson would do. There are 15 million elderly people in India who live alone, either through the loss of a partner or families moving for unavoidable work reasons. While many of them have caregivers or start-ups for utilitarian needs like e-commerce, the problem of loneliness or lack of companionship has been the main reason for their deteriorating mental and physical health, Naidu said.

“The startup emphasizes that fellowship means different things to different people. For some it might mean watching a movie, recounting stories from the past, going for a walk, or just sitting around doing nothing together in quiet company, and we’re here to accommodate it all. In its beta phase, we discovered how organically the Grandpals linked with the Goodfellows. Mr. Tata’s investment in our company is a great source of encouragement for our dedication to this concept,” he said.

The Goodfellows business model is a freemium subscription model. The first month is free for the sole purpose of Grandpal experiencing this service, as it is difficult to understand the concept without going through it. Starting from the second month, a small subscription fee will be charged which has been decided based on the limited affordability of retirees to encourage young people to choose this profession.

“Several nonprofit models in this space have failed as volunteering happens on a volunteer basis and no one spends enough time with an older person to form an authentic bond. Once the wish is over, volunteers walk away, severely impacting seniors,” the startup said in a statement.

In the near future, Goodfellows will offer travel companions for seniors who are reluctant to travel due to lack of security or companionship, and also plans to extend its services to the disability community facing similar or greater challenges.

Efforts are underway to raise more funds to sustain and expand this service. The short-term goal is to hire 100 good colleagues who can influence the lives of 300 seniors. Discussions are underway with two large companies that have shown interest in adding this service for their retiring employees, Naidu said.

Add Comment