The gold in old

Manisha Jha | Updated on June 28, 2013

Senior citizens at the country’s first Retirement India Expo 2011 in Hyderabad listen to a representative offering options for housing. _ MOHAMMED YOUSUF

There’s much money to be made from real estate projects for senior citizens.

When Uday Nanda returned home after completing his MBA from Harvard Business School, he chose to chase his entrepreneurial dream rather than settle for a high-flying corporate job. Thankfully, he did not have to venture far for his business idea. He found it right at home by just observing his own grandfather’s life.

“I noticed that even at 83, my grandpa had an active social life that revolved around his club and community activities. This point highlighted the need for senior citizens like him to be happy and independent and be among like-minded people. Like him, a lot of people who retire at 62 are fit and active people who want to be engaged in clubs and community,'' said Nanda.

As life expectancy increases and nuclear families rise, there is less family support for senior citizens. In many cases, their children live abroad or have moved out so there is a need to provide them with crucial support. “To plug this gap, we plan to launch the first project under our senior living venture ‘Jivanna Life Resorts’ in Bangalore, and are in the final stages of finalising land for it'' he added.

According to industry estimates, by 2016, India is expected to have 118 million senior citizens, as life expectancy will cross 70 years by then. It is further estimated that more than three out of every five households today are nuclear, as per the National Family Health Survey.

These seniors who live alone face a lot of challenges - security, managing the household, accessibility to healthcare facilities and finding reliable domestic staff.

In addition, they often have to deal with social isolation, loneliness and lack of activity or engagement leading to a decline in their mental health. Given this, it is hardly a surprise that apart from aspiring entrepreneurs and local developers, even corporates such as Tata Housing, Tata Realty and Max India are now jumping into the fray to cater to the burgeoning demand for senior living projects.

While Tata Housing has already launched its ‘Riva’ project in Bangalore, Max India has launched Antara Senior Living venture at Dehradun at a cost of Rs 520 crore. Riva, built at a cost of Rs 60 crore, comprises 187 units of 800-1,200 sq. ft. The Antara project spread across 20 acres and comprising 217 apartments would be ready by 2015.

Brotin Bannerjee, Managing Director, Tata Housing, said: “We started our research for the project two-and-a-half years years ago to better understand the requirements of this age group. Our findings strongly highlighted the need for this industry to develop in India. Seeing the huge potential in this segment, we plan to launch more such projects in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi-NCR and Chennai.”

There are currently about 30 senior living projects in India, and 30 more in the pipeline, according to a report by realty research major Jones Lang LaSalle.

Senior citizens have truly arrived as a new class of customers for assisted living realty projects in India and are piquing interest among developers to launch projects tailored to their specific lifestyle, healthcare and wellness needs.

Prices of such projects range from Rs 25 lakh to above Rs 1 crore, depending on the homes' sizes which could vary from 500 sq. ft. studio apartments to 2,500 sq. ft. three-bedroom homes and villas. For instance, Max India’s Antara project has apartments priced from Rs 1.25 crore to Rs 4.5 crore and three penthouses priced at Rs 7 crore. Tata Housing’s Riva is priced between Rs 45 lakh and Rs 65 lakh.

Making life easier

Steps-free access throughout the community

15-20 per cent higher lighting through 24 hours

Emergency alarm call buttons/cords

Anti-skid floor material

Grab bars in bathrooms

Club house with cafes, restaurants, spas and theatre

Low-height shelves

Nurse/servant rooms

Ambulance and primary healthcare facility on campus


Published on June 27, 2013

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