Caring for the seniors on their home turf

NARAYANAN V Chennai | Updated on August 05, 2020 Published on August 05, 2020

Chennai-based start-up Alserv provides a host of day-to-day and ad-hoc services at the doorsteps of elders who prefer not to move to retirement homes

It doesn’t matter whether it is labelled luxurious, serene or independent — senior living or retirement communities carry some amount of social stigma. The idea of sending elderly people to a distant place in their golden years is still frowned upon, particularly in a society where joint family and caring for elders form the bedrock of core values.

Also, while the retirement communities provide a host of hospitality and recreation services to their members, not everyone is affluent enough to invest in such real estate. Relocation to a far-off retirement facility will also have a detrimental effect on the elders’ self-concept.

Alserv, a Chennai-based start-up, tries to address these issues. Promoted by Allsec Group founders Jagadish Ramamoorthy and Saravanan Adiseshan, it is a non-real-estate based assisted living service provider which delivers a host of day-to-day and ad-hoc services at the doorsteps of the elders.

With a technology-powered platform and a personalised call-centre help desk, Alserv aims to be the go-to platform for every senior in Chennai, who can live their life independently in their own familiar community.

“If you are able to provide all services that are available in a retirement community to elderly people at home then they don't have to move out of their community,” said Jagadish Ramamoorthy, Founder and Director, Alserv.

“They have stayed in the place for a long time, comfortable, familiar with the surroundings and people. Why should they leave everything and move outside to start-off a new life and make new friends? ” he asked

He also added that there is no need to incur any capital cost (on buying senior living homes) or any additional living costs since elders are going to live in their own places.

A host of services

Alserv provides a suite of services under five heads — Safety & Security, Housekeeping & Maintenance, Food & Catering, Healthcare & Medical and a range of Concierge Services including travel, ticket booking, banking, bill payments and escort services — to senior citizens. The services are available to a subscribing member for a monthly subscription rate of ₹1,000 per month. The members then have to pay only for the services they utilise and there are no bundled/packaged services.

“There are people who need a lot more medical help and there are people who need day-to-day assistance. There are people who need assistance only in terms of emergencies. You can pick and choose what you want. It is easier to custom fit people’s requirements,” Ramamoorthy said.

A member can either utilise these services using Alserv’s mobile app or those who are not comfortable with technology can reach out to Alserv’s dedicated relationship manager through a personalised call centre.

With a spike in demand for food and grocery delivery due to Covid-led lockdown, Alserv has created a separate category of subscription for ‘food and grocery’ at ₹300 per month.

“Originally we did not envisage this category, but post-Covid we figured out there are a lot of people who are buying only food and groceries. So, we thought to give them only food to start with, at a cheaper price,” Ramamoorthy added.

To support elderly people at the time of the pandemic, Alserv also provided free subscription between April and June.

With 400 customers and 70 service providers on its platform, Alserv, which started in January 2020, plans to have 1,000 customers by March 2021. The company then plans to foray into some of the other major markets for senior living like Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

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Published on August 05, 2020
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