Ratan Tata launches Goodfellows which helps senior citizens make friends
- The start-up is designed to pair
senior citizenswith young graduates to form meaningful friendships. Goodfellowsoffers a freemium subscription model.
- The platform also offers short term internships as well as jobs to graduates that allows them to apply their knowledge in this space.
The platform raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Ratan Tata, the Chairman Emeritus of
“Over the past 6 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,” the company said in a statement.
The startup is designed to pair senior citizens with young graduates to form meaningful friendships. It provides all the services that a grandkid would do.
There are 15 million elderly citizens in India living alone, either due to loss of a partner, or families moving away for unavoidable work reasons, the statement said. Goodfellows will help address the issue of loneliness or lack of company, which has been the primary reason for deteriorating mental and physical health of senior citizens.
“The bonds between the two generations created by Goodfellows are very meaningful and are helping to address an important social issue In India. I hope the investment helps the young team at Goodfellows grow,” Ratan Tata said.
During the beta testing phase, it had received over 800 applications from young graduates looking to be employed at Goodfellows, of which a shortlisted cohort of 20 provided companionship to the elderly in Mumbai, the company said.
Senior citizens can avail the services by signing-up on thegoodfellows.in or can give a missed call at +91 8779524307.
“The startup 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 quiet company sitting around doing nothing together, and we are here to accommodate it all. Mr. Tata’s investment in our venture further is a huge source of encouragement to our dedication to this concept,”
The platform will also host monthly events to encourage its users to participate with their fellows to make the bond deeper and enjoyable in a different environment.
AdvertisementThe company offers a freemium subscription model. The first month is free only to understand the concept without actually going through it. The second month onward, the user has to pay a small subscription fee that has been decided based on the limited affordability of pensioners.
The platform also offers short-term internships as well as jobs to graduates that allows them to apply their knowledge in this space while having a sense of purpose or fulfilment from the work that they do. The graduates are given the autonomy to ideate and create and make the company their own.
“The major percentage of funds from investors are currently geared towards scaling up the human capital, which is a slow process since empathy cannot be vetted quickly or by the traditional recruiting process,” the company said.
It also plans to offer travel companions for seniors who are holding back from making trips due to lack of security or company, and the startup also plans to extend its services to people with disabilities facing similar or more challenges.
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