Senior citizens coping with pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes and blood pressure or any other chronic ailment are more prone to COVID-19 infection. With restrictions being relaxed and people stepping out of their houses after two months of complete lockdown, the rate of coronavirus infection has skyrocketed within a few days. In these times, taking care of the elderly mass and keeping them safe from the pandemic is a serious priority. Senior citizens living by themselves are the most threatened and are facing several difficulties.
Chennai-based eldercare startup Alserv has taken to the task at hand to extend their services to the senior citizen population and assist them to take care of themselves during this pandemic situation. Alserv was co-founded by Saravanan Adiseshan, Jagadish Ramamurthy and Atul Jagadish six months back, a startup which is focussed on elderly assistance and helping them live independently by getting them all the necessities without leaving the comfort of their homes.
According to the website, Alserv is a part of Allsec group of companies which was co-founded in 1998 by Saravanan Adiseshan and Jagadish Ramamurthy. The duo exited from AllSec last year and has joined hands along with Atul Jagadish to help the senior citizens through Alserv.
Alserv provides services under five specific categories- food/catering, housekeeping, security, medical and concierge services.
It connects the users with vendors who deliver home-cooked meals right at their doorstep. The members can opt for daily, weekly or monthly food delivery service. They can connect with catering service providers for events and functions as well.
They also connect the members with doctors or healthcare providers to get the scheduled tests or checkups done. The platform also gets medicines delivered to them or provides provisions to hire trained nurses for personal care. It also provides company for someone heading for a doctor visit.
Using the Alserv’s platform (web or application), the elder community can also request for security services such as guards, safety audits and supervision. They can also hire maintenance staff for housekeeping and household chores. Besides this, the platform connects its members with vendors for other concierge services such as ticket booking, courier and logistics et cetera.
Although technology has enabled services right under our fingertips, the elderly community still struggles to come to terms with the same. For those who are not well averse with technology, Alserv provides its users with a personal relationship manager whom they can call up when in need of any service.
Enabling the senior citizens to fight the pandemic
Alserv claims that the recent pandemic has led to a skyrocketing increase in demand for online-based elderly care services. The company witnessed a massive surge in demand for services during the lockdown. The users were mainly looking for cooked meals, supply deliveries and medical services/consultations.
The recent outbreak has led to an increased dependency on such online-based care services, but Alserv has plans beyond that as it aims to be a significant player in this sector even after the situation simmers down. The focus of this company is to enable easy access to essential services to the senior citizen community so that they can live independently and worry-free.
Conclusion- Business side of affairs
Alserv was launched with an initial investment of INR 5 Crore and it is currently bootstrapped. The founders haven’t ruled out the prospect of raising funds from investors and VCs, depending on the need.
It follows a subscription-based service where users can sign up for INR 1k for monthly subscriptions. Following this, the users can access different kinds of services from the vendors listed in the Alserv platform. Alserv does not provide any service by itself and functions as a convenient interface to a network of vendors rendering out necessary services. On the other hand, it charges a minimum rate from the vendors to be enlisted in their platform.
Currently, their service is restricted to Chennai where they are serving a minimum of 200 to 300 users. With time, Alserv plans to expand across other cities and towns in India once the business gains traction.