India has been a country, where the status of the family has been of utmost importance for ages. India is known for its diversity and collectivist culture. Families in India are tied up with an unseen bond, cooperation, harmony and interdependence. Togetherness is what rules over here. There has been a long-standing tradition in the Indian culture to live in extended families with family members taking care of our elderly.
While India’s population is growing at 2% year-on-year, the senior population is growing at 4% every year. Today about 8% of India’s population is above the age of 60. By 2050, senior citizens will account for 20% of the country’s population. This surge in the total addressable market will drive growth in the senior care market in the coming years. The senior care market is at a nascent stage in the country, and in the next few years, it is likely to see a lot of new product and service launches and expansion of categories.
Today’s seniors are a far cry from senior citizens 30 years ago they are fiercely independent and want to live in the comfort of their own homes rather than at a senior centre. Nuclear families are a norm in metro cities. Families are handicapped in providing care for their elderly with women joining the workforce and people migrating to different countries for careers. This was the thought behind the venture Anvayaa Kin Care. To provide a one-stop elder care platform for emergency care, daily care and emotional care for senior citizens living independently in their own homes. To use technology to provide peace of mind to elders who are living independently as well as to their kids who are living away from them.
Anvayaa Kin Care an eldercare startup based in Hyderabad was founded by Mr. Prashanth Reddy and Mrs. Deepika Reddy in 2016. It is a pioneer in this segment. The highlight of the conversation with the founder Mr. Prashant was his down-to-earth nature and his focus on empathy. His motivation to care for not just his family but provide the same services to many others and his drive to create an empathetic society is inspiring. Excerpts from the interview are below.
Q 1. Prashant, tell us a little bit about your startup and what made you start it.
Anvayaa is India’s First Elder- tech start-up started by me and my wife Ms.Deepika Reddy in the year 2016. We started this as we personally faced the difficulties of staying away from our ageing parents and caring for them. Being an only child, I decided to come back to India leaving my permanent residency in USA and Canada to take care of my parents and in-laws. Our passion for social enterprise and serving senior citizens, bundled with the fact that we were not alone and a lot of other people similar to us had the same issues, we ventured into this opportunity to provide care, comfort and convenience to the elderly. Anvayaa is spearheading the eldercare and healthcare digital transformation in India, it is an online eldercare platform for the elderly people, and it has more than 400 partners in multiple categories such as healthcare, travel, home needs and utility services. Anvayaa aims to help those children who are unable to look after their parents due to the physical distances. It aims to be the support system for all ageing parents who live by themselves. Team Anvayaa assists the elderly in health, emergency, daily care and payment management. We provide physical and emotional care for elders and work towards engaging them in social activities. Anvayaa is currently operational in 30+ cities and has served over 10000 families over the past 6 years.
Q 2. What was your early life like and how did you transition into an entrepreneur?
I am from Hyderabad and like most people I did my engineering from the University of Mysore – Malnad College of Engineering. I then went to the Anderson School of Management – UCLA, California, USA for my MBA. I started my entrepreneurial journey in 2008 and Founded an IT Service Company – XRG along with an Ed tech company – Sudaksha Education, focussing on creating employable graduates. I served as the CEO of AP-Online Limited (A Joint Venture of TCS and Govt. Of Andhra Pradesh), and as a Global Program Director at Tata Consultancy Services(TCS). Along the way I was exposed to industrial sectors like FMCG, Public Sector, Telecom, Financial Services, Market Research, and Education which helped me in making Anvayaa a successful venture. At Anvayaa as the founder and managing director I am working towards creating a robust ecosystem for elder care in India.
Q 3. Who are the competitors in the Eldercare market? How different is your company from existing models and how do you want to compete with them?
Some of our competitors are Independent Home Health Care Providers and few Elder Care companies which have regional level presence such as ElderAid, Emoha, Yodda etc. In-fact we partner with our indirect competitors like home healthcare providers to provide bedside assistance and other nursing care services for our users ensuring it is a win-win for them and us.
In our model we are offering many of our services through a tie up with partner networks. We assist in upgrading the skills of the partner network and establish capacity in the new location. The ecosystem is connected on our technology platform. We have a “Web application/mobile application” where the customer is able to sign up and update the information. The application enables seamless information flow with all the stakeholders. To grow & launch our services in any new location, we just recruit a care manager in that location, who does the local liaison for operations. Our 24X7 Care Coordinators – multi lingual support team is centrally placed and coordinates in delivery of the services across any location. We also have centralized partnerships which have a pan India presence making us scale seamlessly.
With our competitors we compete with our strong technology platform: We believe technology has always been an enabler for us. By far, we have the most innovative technology platform in the entire country in the elder care space for efficient care and predictable service for senior citizens. Technology keeps our user updated with medical reports, emergency information, and daily activities. It empowers them to conveniently track these in the web portal and mobile apps both on iOS and Android. The Tech Platform consists of Customer Care (CRM) / OA&M for internal operations. Emergency Handler, Payment Management- Wallet, Customer Request Handler, Customer Plans Management, MIS Reports, GIS / GPS Interfaces, Automatic Reminders module, Vendor / Partner eco-system Interfaces and third party Integration Layer for subscription payments. This helps us ensure that we are able to be operationally efficient and have checks and balances in place at all stages, using technology.
Q 4. What is the traction so far and when did you start breaking even.
We have over 10000 families across 30+ locations in India, we have about 3850+ ambulance providers on the platform, have a robust partner eco-system of over 400+ health and non health partnerships to support the elderly, have a retention rate of about 85%. Our review and CSAT has been greater than 4.5 since our inception. We have attended over 450+ medical emergencies and saved over 97% lives. Our average response time to attend to an SOS is less then 3 mins. We have provided over 800K hours of logistics and companionship support for elderly since inception though our care managers and Elder Care Coordinators.
Recent Launches and traction : Anvayaa’s at Home Dementia Care for Senior Citizens: We have developed a customizable module to provide personalized care for people with Dementia(PWD) and help them live with dignity. The disruptive use of the innovative technology platform built using Artificial Intelligence, the Care Platform constantly guides the care giver by giving them the ability to ensure the PWD is meaningfully engaged. The platform suggests dementia stage appropriate activities automatically and the directions in order to increase their physical, emotional and cognitive well-being. The process enables efficient care and predictable services for senior citizens with dementia supported by a network of trained clinicians and Care Managers.
The funding for Anvayaa is essentially bootstrapped. In March 2019, we raised INR 1.5 Crores between ourselves and friends and family. The revenue in FY 2019 was INR 2.5 crores. We are currently breaking even.
Q 5. What is your vision to scale your business like funding and marketing plan?
In the fourth quarter of 2022 we aim to launch a unique Lifestyle Disease Management Plan for elders and ASERS – Anvayaa’s Smart Emergency Response System. A wearable smartwatch for elderly to provide real time and pro-active SOS assistance. In the next 2 years Anvayaa aims to have a PAN India level presence, focusing on community building and launching innovative solutions to serve elders. By 2025 Anvayaa aims to achieve its Mission of “Making the lives of the elderly peaceful and convenient and Build Senior Citizen Friendly Cities & Country. Anvayaa envisages to serve 1 Lac families with an internal team size of 1000 employees.
We are currently looking to raise funds to support our expansion journey and also for the launch and marketing of our ASERS smartwatch for elders.
6. To end our conversation, why did you name your venture Anyavaa?
Anvayaa is a Sanskrit word that translates to “Family”. Anvayaa’s core values translate to “Honesty, Empathy, Patience and Transparency which help the company deliver “Predictable Services” to its beloved elders.
- Awarded HYSEA best software product under the social impact category
- Recognized as the Hy 10 most to-be-watched startup by HYSEA for the year 2019
- Global Top 10 social impact sector at the City Preneurs-2019 Award Seoul, South Korea-the only international start-up platform in the world that focuses on building the capacity of young entrepreneurs to offer revenue-generating solutions that help solve urban challenges within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- Awarded Social Enterprise award by Action for India 2019
- Awarded Best Start-up’s Pitch among 250+ start-ups across India, at E-Summit 2020 @IIT Madras