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Ratan Tata backs India's first senior citizen companionship startup Goodfellows

The startup appoints young graduates, 'Goodfellows', who help in assisting the senior citizens and provide companionship, "similar to what a grandkid would do". Ratan Tata said, “You do not know what it is like to be lonely until you spend time alone wishing for companionship", as he launched the startup which would connect youngsters to provide companionship to the elderly.

Ratan Tata backs India s first senior citizen companionship startup Goodfellows gcw
First Published Aug 17, 2022, 1:37 PM IST

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, announced to invest into startup firm Goodfellows, which provides companionship to elderly people. Ratan Tata has been investing in or supporting startups actively ever since he retired from the helm of the salt-to-software Tata Group. Since stepping down as CEO of the salt-to-software Tata Group, the 80-year-old industrialist has been an enthusiastic supporter of startups. To date, he has invested in more than 50 businesses.

Shantanu Naidu launched the most recent investee startup. The general manager in Tata's office, 30-year-old Naidu, a Cornell University grad, has been working with Tata since 2018. He like dogs and stray animals just as much as Tata does, and this is his fourth business endeavour, one that involves animals.

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No one worries about becoming older until they really do, according to Ratan Tata, who added that finding the kind of companionship that most people take for granted is difficult. Ratan N. Tata once observed, "Until you spend time alone yearning for friendship, you do not know what it is like to feel lonely."

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Young graduates are employed by Goodfellows to provide older folks with companionship as a service. These graduates have the sensitivity and emotional intelligence necessary to serve as the senior clients' companions, making their days easier by helping them with any duties or simply spending time with them.

Goodfellows has been conducting its beta phase in Mumbai with 20 seniors for the past six months. In the upcoming phase, it intends to provide services in Pune, Chennai, and Bengaluru. The services will be expanded throughout the nation, according to Shantanu Naidu. The companions should perform a variety of duties with the customers, such as playing carrom, reading the newspaper to them, or even taking naps together, according on Naidu's experience up to this point. It is challenging to create the link between a grandparent and a grandchild, according to Naidu, but the company will make sure that real bonds can develop.

It should be highlighted that charitable trusts, which promote livelihood generating, art and culture, health, and education, own 66% of Tata Sons' equity share capital.

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