Startup Idea for High Quality Eldercare in India

When I wrote Vision India 2020 back in 2009, one of the projects I had developed for the book was called Care. The premise of the project was that the number of millionaires are increasing in India by leaps and bounds. At the same time, many of these families have need for in-home caregivers to take care of their ill, mentally-ill, or elderly family-members. Care would provide trained in-home caregivers in domains such as Alzheimer’s. And Care would source its staff from among women in disadvantaged situations — battered, abused, abandoned women who needed safe, secure family situations to be part of. [Related reading: High-Quality Eldercare For Families In India]

The project was designed to scale to very large numbers, become a billion dollar enterprise.

I took another look at that project with the lens of developing small, bootstrapped businesses, and found the idea to be quite amenable.

What’s more, highly specialized offerings in different areas where families have need would be of great value.

For example, a focused offering for Alzheimer’s care in the Delhi-NCR region would be an excellent business opportunity to pursue. Or, a specialized offering for Stroke patients in Bangalore.

Let’s do some numbers.

My assumption is that the caregivers will be given room and food from the family. In addition, the company would charge, say, $300/month [~INR 20,000]. Let us say, the company pays 75% of this to the caregiver, and keeps 25% for its operating expenses.

To get to $1M, the company would need to recruit, train and place 300 caregivers.

This seems to me to be a perfectly doable small-scale business. If you want to scale beyond, you certainly can. More interestingly, I could see 50–100 such businesses being developed with different domain focus.

Of course, the scalable vision of this is being pursued by Portea Home Healthcare. The company is heavily venture-funded with $46.5 billion in capital. They operate in 24 cities. To compete, you need to do three key things: (1) Figure out how you can go deep in one expertise area and provide higher quality service and value (2) Understand the pricing structure within that particular expertise area and see if you can compete in price (3) Come up with a recruiting, training and retention strategy that gives you an edge.

If you want to pursue something like this and need help, please come discuss with me at one of our weeklyroundtables.

Photo credit: Harsha K R/