Ratan Tata invests in start-up that offers companionship to senior citizens
Former Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata has announced an undisclosed amount of seed funding in Goodfellows, a Mumbai-based start-up founded by Shantanu Naidu, which offers companionship to senior citizens as a service.
“You do not know what it is like to be lonely until you spend time alone wishing for companionship,” Tata said at the launch of Goodfellows. Appreciating Naidu’s ideation, Tata said that no one cares about getting old until they actually get old. “Getting a good-natured companionship is a challenge,” he said.
Goodfellows’ founder Naidu who also works as a general manager in Tata’s office, said there are 50 million old people who are living by themselves and have no one to share their lives with.
How Goodfellows works
The company hires youngsters having skills of empathy and emotional intelligence to act as companions to senior citizens. Their work is to ease the day of these senior citizens or help them with their tasks.
The work can also comprise playing carrom, reading the newspaper or taking naps with the senior citizen.
The company is currently in its beta stage or testing stage. For the past six months, it has been working with 20 elders in Mumbai. They are also planning to offer services in Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru.
Naidu said he wants to expand his business across the country but prefers to go slow without compromising on the quality of the companions it hires.
Tata said he would be delighted to see the service grow and mature into something which changes people’s lives.
Also Read: Tata Motors hikes passenger vehicle prices
Tata, 84, is an active investor in start-ups. He has, till now, invested in over 50 companies. He funded Ola Electric Mobility Pvt Ltd (Ola Electric) in 2019 as part of its Series A round of funding. He was also an early investor in ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, Ola’s parent company.