Senior care has become an important activity these days. Nuclear families and overseas opportunities have separated the elders from their children. This gap has created a crisis of sorts and has been addressed by the entrepreneurs who have founded the senior care ventures. Several senior citizens and retirement homes have sprung up all over the country. Coimbatore has been leading the way in this commercial vertical. There are thousands of retirement homes in Coimbatore and the city holds the largest market share in this sector.
While some seniors move over to these homes, there are many who wish to stay back in their respective dwellings. However, age and a diverse list of requirements have made life complicated for the elders. “A number of senior citizens wish to avail retirement home facilities without changing their residence. All they need are food, medical care, service providers who will take care of cleaning their homes, assistants who will address their other needs and a person to whom they can talk to. This tall order is being addressed by my startup, Alserv (Assisted Living Services),” chuckled Atul Jagadish.
Atul is the only child of the well-known entrepreneur, R. Jagadish, and Jayashree. The family hails from Thirukadayur. Jagadish and his cousin, Adi Saravanan, are non-practicing chartered accountants based out of Chennai. Both managed a strong financial services venture for many years (Allsec financials). The venture, Allsec technologies, was founded by them in the year 2000 and it was one of the first BPO services in India. Allsec technologies is listed in the stock exchange and has been a successful venture. This BPO had diversified into anti-money laundering services and payroll processing.
Atul was born at the time when the visionary Prime Minister, P. V. Narasimha Rao, had launched the liberalization program in 1991. “I grew up in a fast environment and it was the time to grow big. I observed my father and uncle taking risks and I wanted to assimilate that quality. One had to have a fire in the belly. My father and uncle taught me how to walk, trot, and run in the world of entrepreneurship. My charted accountant mother used to head the finance department of Taj hotels in the south and this added to my motivation,” stated Atul Jagadish.
The founder of Alserv is a marathon runner, an avid golfer (Ten handicap), and a rower (National, international, and club level). He has been inspired and motivated by the interesting people who had met up with him. His father’s entrepreneurial background drove him to think out of the box and thus Alserv was born.
“Our venture Alserv is heralding a new concept. When one thinks of senior-living, the thought ends up in a retirement home. For a change, we offer something different. It is retirement from home, and it is akin to ‘Work from home!’ Our company tries to keep elders in their respective homes happily ever after. Thanks to an elderly couple in their autumnal years who helped us mark our pilayar suzhi. Their son was living in Delhi, and he wanted someone to attend his parents. This is where the concept of Alserv came in, for the role played by the relationship manager is quite large. The son at Delhi wanted our relationship manager to speak to his old man on a topic of his interest for about 5 to 8 minutes every day and this was done,” smiled Atul over a cup of coffee.
Most of the elders wish to live by themselves but they find it difficult to clean, cook, and shop regularly. Many of them find it a hassle to visit the doctor’s during these difficult times. Covid has made life even more complicated. Atul’s venture has been of great use to more than 700 senior citizens households.
Alserv has played an active role in home delivery of foods, groceries and other kinds of services like cleaning and maintenance. Maid servants, home nurses, plumbers, electricians, security guards and car drivers are made available to senior citizens. Doctor appointments, tele-medicines, and home visits by doctors are also organized by the team. Covid afflicted people were served diligently, and it was thanks to the slew of nurses, attendants, and doctors, who looked after the sick. This helped the company earn a lot of goodwill and more and more elders became part of the Alserv family.
“Numerous situations, several permutations and combinations had to be addressed and it gave us a lot of experience and learning. Therefore, we emerged smarter and wiser. This gave us the confidence to add other cities to our network. We are now entering Cochi, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. Also, it is a registered startup. We are carving a niche for ourselves in the elderly care strata and are eligible to call ourselves as complete elder care service providers. While we are ready to serve people in their home, we also help them to move into a senior citizen community. Our team will get the best deal possible. The Alserv app is available in both android and iOS,” added Atul.
Atul Jagadish is a fan of the ‘Asterix Comic’ book series, and he likes the character Geriatrix (The senior-most character in the series). Atul defines his core competence thus, “We make all the requirements available for a household. The senior-most client at Alserv is 99 years old and the youngest is probably 32 years old! This venture basically serves all age groups. Subscribers can choose the period of service. They can even subscribe for a month.”
Atul offers a list of services which include safety and security (Safety audit, safety products, and gadgets, guard services, security systems), food and cooking services (Regular food delivery, one-time catering services, on-call cooks, grocery delivery), medical and emergency services (Nursing/care taker, medical checkups, on-call medical services), House-keeping and maintenance (Cleaning, home maintenance, laundry, repair and breakdown maintenance), concierge (Travel and ticketing , driver on call, tech help, logistics and entertainment, banking and payments, property management).
“We are cost effective, quality-centric, and our services are personal and customized. Our senior-friendly digital platform uses a stringent vetting/rating system, and offers unparalleled access to the best service partners, while seamlessly integrating payment and order management. All our vendors undergo rigorous verification before getting empaneled. Each of our service partners are made to adhere to stringent information, security practices for sustained excellence. We also ensure that there are no hidden fees or delays in our offers. We are always on the customers side in demanding service excellence,” mentioned Atul.
Goddess Abhirami of Thirukadaiyur happens to be the kula deivam for Atul. Was it not in Thirukadayur that Markandeya was blessed with immortality by Lord Shiva? Markandeya was meant to live only for 16 years but the grace Shiva as Kalasamharamurthy bestowed him with immortality. The grace of Amritha Kateshwara ensured that Markandeya would live even after sixteen. The senior citizens of our ancient country are repositories of knowledge, wisdom, skill, maturity, and what not? Proper care to these denizens is sure to endow one with name, fame, and prosperity. The effort of entrepreneurs like Atul Jagadish of Alserv will surely be beneficial to the senior citizens and the ones who take good care of them. The kind of entrepreneurship practiced by Atul Jagadish can aptly be called entrepreneurship backed by care.
Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of the Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.
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