This healthcare startup aims to reevaluate at-home elderly care in India
Back in April 2020, brothers Sandeep and Naveen Gulati, who were both working in the UK at the time, could not visit India because of the COVID-19 induced lockdown in the country. Their elderly parents, both aged 70+, were finding it difficult to do even the simplest of tasks like bill payments and cooking, let alone handle medical emergencies during the pandemic. In November 2019, their mother had suffered a stroke, which resulted in kidney damage and paralysis on the right side, and required her to visit her doctor regularly - a huge task during the lockdown.
“We were in a fix as to how we could reach out to them and relieve them of their everyday stress. We couldn't see them juggling the outdoor chores especially, given that the risk was too high for the elderly. Groceries were delivered via online platforms and bills were sorted online too but everything else was a challenge,” recalls Sandeep.
As they searched for a full-time carer to look after their mother, they realised that the care industry was controlled by agents or hospitals who charge an exorbitant sum of money and no guarantee of continuity or choice on candidates. “We were not alone, many other families were facing the same dilemma. We decided to challenge the current status quo and give options, affordability, flexibility, and transparency to both care-givers and care-receivers, and this resulted in the marketplacein July 2021,” states Naveen.
The idea for the startup started in January 2020 in the UK, and once things were normalised, the brothers finally moved to India in April 2021 to set up a base in New Delhi.
A win for care-givers and care-seekers
For care-givers, the platform provides the choice of flexible working hours, and an opportunity to earn during their free time.
For care-seekers, the platform gives the opportunity to interact directly with different care-givers before hiring them, and also check prices.
“There is no third-party intervention between both the players, giving them the flexibility to decide amongst them,” states Sandeep.
Karewise connecting carers and care-seeker
The different services provided by the platform include 24-hour elder care, dementia care, personal care, overnight care, nursing care, transportation facilities and many more. Apart from these, it provides special care services to asthma patients, autism spectrum disorder, people with visual impairment, cancer patients and likewise.
With a team of 16, Sandeep in his role as Marketing Head, takes care of marketing, digital media and growth marketing, while CEO Naveen helps with product development and strategy.
KareWise’s services are free for care-seekers, while it charges a commission of 7 percent from carers.
“We charge a minimum amount to make sure carers get the maximum from the services offered by KareWise. For instance, we help carers or job seekers with bettering their job prospects by helping them write better profiles, a service offered free of charge,” says Naveen.
Currently, the platform has 500 carers signed up on its platform and nearly 200 customers who are in need of eldercare services. The startup is working aggressively to onboard more carers on its platform.
YS Design Team
The carers are background verified and KareWise does due diligence by checking educational qualifications, references and Aadhaar card.
Market size and the road ahead
The healthcare market in India is expected to reach $372 billion by 2022, driven by rising income, better health awareness, lifestyle diseases and increasing access to insurance.
The startup aims to establish its presence in B2C compassionate care by creating a marketplace in India and other EU markets within the B2C space.
It further plans to enter the B2B space for partnerships with corporates so the latter can extend these benefits to employees who are required to work abroad and away from families. A B2G (business to government) collaboration model is also on the cards, tying up with local government hospitals to provide carers.
Currently catering to most cities in India, the startup aims to expand to Europe, UK, US, Canada and Australia by January 2022.
The startup is also in talks with investors to raise funding and would not like to disclose much as it is in early stages.
In India, the startup competes with the likes of Portea, Emoha, Alserv, Care4Parents.