Caring for the elderly has become more difficult over time. Gone are the days of multi-generational “shared” Indian households where the elders in the family took good care of all of their needs. In view of the drastic changes in family structures, the rise of urbanization and the busy life of the younger generation, holistic care of the elderly has become an even greater challenge today – a challenge posed by the startup agetech Khyaal is on a mission to solve.
Khyaal, which means “care” in Hindi, aims to do just that – prioritize and provide holistic care for the elderly by providing them with comprehensive physical, mental, social and financial support.
Founded by Hemanshu Jain, Pritish Nelleri, and Alok SoniKhyaal offers virtual services to the elderly through a variety of subscriptions that cover six broad categories of care: emotional, essential, nutritional, digital literacy, insurance, and medical care.
The Khyaal co-founders Hemanshu Jain, Pritish Nelleri and Alok Soni with some team members
There are currently several actors in the elderly care sector in India, but they are mostly focused on providing physical care and hardly addressing the emotional needs of the elders.
With the vast majority of the younger generation separated from their parents, or immigrated or relocated to other cities, Khyaal’s holistic care solutions that put their emotional wellbeing first provide children with an easy way to ensure that their parents and elders are well maintained.
Khyaal dissolves for the current elderly population living in the urban areas of India. They make up around 10 percent or over 140 million of the total Indian population. That number is expected to reach 20 percent by 2050. The elderly care market in India is valued at nearly $ 10 billion and growing by more than 20 percent CAGR.
How Khyaal was born
Khyaal was launched in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic after Hemanshu recognized this need firsthand over the years. Speaking to YourStory, Hemanshu said he personally encountered this problem when he found it difficult to look after his father every time he had to travel out of town for work.
Hemanshu knew how many elders either live away from their children, who may be in a different part of the city, or have moved to another city or country to work, and believed he had to find a solution that did it makes it easy Children take care of their elders during their absence and improve their quality of life.
Hemanshu, a serial tech entrepreneur whose first startup, Diabeto, was acquired by Livongo Health in 2017 and then partnered with Pritishwho also founded Convercycle and Nellerism Ventures based in Mumbai, and Alokwho was previously part of YourStory’s core team to launch the beta program, the successful completion of which led to the launch of Khyaal in early 2021.
Khyaal co-founders (from left to right): Pritish Nelleri, Hemanshu Jain, Alok Soni
“It all started with a simple beta program in mid-2020. We started enrolling seniors, learned and standardized all of the problems they shared, and tried to find solutions. We created a subscription-based service for the elderly. Usually the children sign up for the Khyaal subscription and present it to their parents as a gift, ”says Hemanshu.
Khyaal recently completed its beta program, which ran for almost six months. “We received excellent feedback, support and conversions of over 70 percent. It has been a few weeks since we started and there is a strong pipeline of leads from India and abroad, ”explains Alok.
As expected by the Khyaal team, most of the interest comes from the Indian metros and countries like the US, Australia and Canada.
Khyaal subscription plans and traction
With the subscriptions, users can choose between different prices Basic, VIP and Premium Nursing services for one member or more for a period of a quarter, six months to a year. These cost only Rs 6,999 for a member for three months under the basic plan to Rs 14,999 under the premium plan.
The team is working to give subscribers more flexibility so they can customize their own plans. The agetech startup subscription plans are usually bought by the children who give these services to their parents as a gift.
The support and care services offered include emotional care in the form of regular care / camaraderie calls for the elders with dedicated Khyaal caregivers, digital literacy and empowerment through online community events and learning sessions, nutritional guidelines and suggestions from nutritionists, medical care such as Teleconsultation, appointment booking and medication reminders as well as basic services such as bill payments and online ordering for groceries, groceries and medicines.
Once on board, the elderly citizens will be given a welcome kit that will be personalized based on the details shared by the elders’ families. After onboarding a dedicated Khyaal caregiver is assigned to each end user who calls them regularly and provides them with the support they need.
In addition to the various care services offered under the various subscriptions, family members are provided with a weekly summary report or update. In addition to these services, the team offers additional thoughtful gifts and measures to further personalize the experience for the elders and their families.
For example, when a Khyaal elder, who had received a smartphone as a gift from her son as part of an exchange program, was afraid that she would not set it up on time, a Khyaal caregiver helped her throughout the process.
In another heartwarming experience, a 66-year-old Khyaal member sparked her love of crochet and knitting and eventually started her own crochet business after the Khyaal team gifted their crochet kit during the pandemic.
And that’s not all. The Khyaal team has also made the birthdays of some of its members memorable by organizing surprise birthday parties. More recently, due to concerns and questions related to the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, Khyaal has organized special online sessions with medical experts to answer these questions.
“I feel good every time I talk to a Khyaal nurse. The Khyaal program stays true to its name and literally takes care of us. I never celebrate my birthday. But this year Khyaal made my birthday very special. It was one of the best days of my life. If necessary, Khyaal is very quick in providing the necessary services. The Khyaal supervisors ask about my well-being on a regular basis, so I am sure that Khyaal is always there for me when I need something, ”says one Khyaal end-user.
The end users of Khyaal are already spread all over the country, for example in Kolkata, Guwahati, Mumbai, Behrampur (Odisha) and Pulwama (Kashmir). The company exceeded MRR 1000 worth of subscriptions in the first month of operation.
Future plans and goals
Khyaal is a team of 15 that includes three co-founders and five caregivers. He hires on-site supervisors to provide multilingual support across the country. Going forward, the agetech startup plans to expand its team to include all functions, including engineering and product, operations and sales, to support its growth.
The Mumbai-based eldercare startup, which is raising funds to advance its future growth plans, is targeting more than 100 percent QoQ growth and an ARR of several million dollars over the next two years. With India’s elderly population projected to grow to 30 crores by 2050, Khyaal plans to work with more than 50 different partners across the country to provide the holistic care and support that elders need.
Khyaal is currently building its mobile application, which is expected to launch in the next quarter. Once launched, users can use the app to book services and follow real-time progress reports.
In addition to Khyaal, EMOHA Elder Care, ElderAid, Seniority, ElderEase and Altserv are among the notable actors in the field of elderly care.
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