Success measures for senior care startups in India
According to the World Data Lab, India’s silver economy spending is expected to increase from $100 billion to $1 trillion by 2030. It shows that India’s economy is ripe for startups who are willing to address the needs of the ageing Indian population, which is expected to reach about 330 million individuals by 2050.
Ageing Indians today are different to past generations. Many are healthier and living longer by almost decades. Furthermore, for many Indian families, the family structure has shifted from where the whole family lived close to each other to just offering support as members of the family aged. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to have a few of your children (or even all of them) living in other cities or countries. Therefore, connecting with both relatives and grandkids from a distance in a meaningful way is a growing need.
Senior care startups should guard against lumping all older adults into one homogenous group, because the population spans decades and has a wide variety of capabilities.
Senior care startups will need to look at addressing the needs of seniors on a holistic scale, which includes not only their physical and mental needs, but also their needs for socialization, connection, and a sense of purpose.
To start off, senior care startups need to make sure they aren’t lumping all older adults into one homogenous group, because the population spans decades and has a wide variety of capabilities. Therefore, as startups reflect on their success, they should consider a couple of key metrics.
Have a clearly defined target audience
Have you clearly defined your market within the older adult community? Not all older adults are the same and it will be almost impossible to attend them all with one product or service. A FICCI report titled 'Catalysing & Reforming Senior Care in India' categorised them into three key groups—'Young Old' with limited ageing issues, 'Old' with some physical or mental decline but overall very active, and 'Oldest-old' who require ongoing care to support mobility and cognitive functions.
Clearly defining which of these target groups you plan to support, and how you plan to do that, will assure you can custom design your product or service to meet the needs of the exact people you want to serve.
Focus your message on empowerment
There is a lot of ageism and age-related discrimination out there. Focus your product and service message on how you empower people to age healthier or happier through your services. This helps to break ageist stereotypes and make older adults an active part of your product or service even if it is long-term care support.
Offer a sense of purpose
Everyone needs to feel valued and have a clear sense of purpose. Older people have wisdom and knowledge to share and utilise. Consider how you ensure the older adults you serve feel their value and purpose through your products and services.
Listen to your target audience
One of the best things we have done at GetSetUp was listening to insights from seniors in our community. This has helped us improve our product and our services. Be sure you’re getting feedback from the audience you seek, not just from what other demographics may assume your ‘needs.’ This will ensure you have the best possible product and service for your audience or users.
Consider how your product can grow and scale from the onset. Millions of people will be ageing all around the world and you have an opportunity for growth if you build it into your products and services from the get-go.
These five key success metrics are a great way for any startup in the senior care space to truly start to evaluate if they are on track to be the next big thing in India’s senior care space. Ultimately, startups looking to enter the senior care space are responsible for caring for our country's history, wealth, and loved ones so they need to go into the project prepared to make India a better country, through care.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)