This Social Enterprise Acts Like Extended Family, Offers Comprehensive Elder Care

This Social Enterprise Acts Like
Extended Family, Offers Comprehensive Elder Care
If Christmas is the time to bestow the gift of love and support unconditionally, this one-year-old start-up from Delhi-NCR could not be doing anything more appropriate. We all know how crucial elder care is but very few organisations in India are into organised geriatric care management. The country has a vast population of 100 million-plus people past the age of 60 who are tagged as senior citizens. But ‘life’ past one’s prime tends to be difficult as aged people require constant help, care and other emergency facilities to live quality life. In contrast, the traditionally close-knit Indian society is changing fast and many of the old people are left to their own resources to manage their life. The social infrastructure of the country is also not adequate, which means the government does not have adequate resources to ensure affordable elder care across India.

This is precisely where WhenAt60 Solutions steps in. An elder care initiative for seniors (those who are aged 60 or above), the start-up provides a whole bunch of essential, at-home services, so that people don’t have to leave the comfort of their homes. A group of trained professionals with patience, empathy and a firm conviction to change things for the senior citizens are at the core of this organisation. Here is a snapshot that captures the start-up’s vision and viability.

Who runs WhenAt60 Solutions ( A team of former corporate honchos from IT and finance space, led by Joydeep Chakraborty. An NIIT alumnus, Joydeep is an IT professional with 20 years of experience and expertise in commercial business applications and software products. Prior to starting the venture in October 2012, he had worked with companies such as CPA Global, RMSI and GrapeCity. Its service facilitators are called Whispering Warriors – a team of trained professionals such as lawyers, chartered accountants, finance professionals and more, who believe in the cause and work for the elderly to make their life more hassle-free, independent and fulfilling. The firm’s expert panel also includes doctors, gerontologists and yoga instructors.

What inspired the venture: The current social situation in India and the numerous problems faced by the senior citizens here. “They have some specific needs, both social and otherwise,” observes Joydeep. “These could be as simple as having someone to talk to or participating in events with like-aged and like-minded people. Or they could be complicated ones like legal problems, finance management, health issues, etc. If the grown-up children are staying in a different city or country, the situation could become worse,” he adds.

That was the key reason behind this initiative and the founders decided to focus on the educated, urban people at first as they are often fending for themselves. “Their children are mostly corporate employees and have their own challenges to cope with – work, kids, daily chores, money… Aged parents don’t get the kind of priority they deserve and we thought they could be our target audience at this point,” explains Joydeep.

What’s the pitch: To help senior citizens ‘rejoice life and not retire from it.’ WhenAt60 Solutions endeavours to bring vital information, key services and essential products to senior citizens to strengthen and prolong productive and good quality independent living. The bouquet of ‘at-home’ services is not only convenient, but also changes people’s perspective and happiness quotient.

How it works: If you are seeking these services for yourself, your friends or loved ones, the access points are many. There’s the website, social media, referrals and word-of-mouth that bring service seekers to WhenAt60 Solutions. Getting a membership is quite simple and each member can choose from more than 32 complimentary and paid services (legal, financial, medical, leisure & recreation, access to unique products, etc).

The start-up has also initiated a unique corporate awareness programme – so that employees get to know about the geriatric services it offers and opt for the same for their aged parents and relatives. “That’s a great way to reach out to people who need our help,” says Joydeep. “If corporate employees require those services for their aged parents and relatives, they can easily contact us. Our dedicated team of trained, full-time workers will then take care of every requirement,” he explains. One can also become a volunteer or a sponsor to support the initiative.

Claim to fame: Awareness creation and concept branding are the key focus right now and the start-up is doing well that way. Since it was set up, the organisation had been invited to conduct more than 20 corporate sessions. It had done 500 hours of road shows, besides holding awareness campaigns at five universities. “WhenAt60 Solutions is gradually gaining traction. We have a great YouTube channel in place now; more than 13,000 visitors have already come to the site and we have 1,000-plus active followers on Facebook, people who are our constant source of new ideas and thoughts,” details Joydeep.

Show me the money: As of now, it is a self-funded initiative with revenues coming from annual membership fees and corporate sponsors. In addition, the start-up is looking for alliances with like-minded organisations who want to help senior citizens. “We have started in a small way but hope to break even by the end of 2014,” says Joydeep. The company will also expand its operations to Kolkata, Mumbai and Chandigarh during the first phase.

Biggest challenge: Reaching out to more people and pinpointing their needs are going to be tough. The target spectrum is 10% of the country’s population, but that size is more than the population of some countries like the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Thailand and South Korea. To cater to such a huge number is no easy task but WhenAt60 Solutions is committed to do its best. But what about market competition? “We don’t have any competition in this space – we only have a few collaborating and complementing initiatives by like-minded entrepreneurs who equally feel for the cause. Together, we hope to improve the current state of things,” says Joydeep before signing off.