Transforming Business With Empathy: The Goodfellows Story
The problem of an ageing population is becoming a significant concern. By 2050, India will resemble Japanese towns in terms of demographics. This societal shift is not something to be shunned or feared; it requires acknowledgement and solutions that combine technology and other means
When we hear the word 'business,' our minds often conjure images of profit-making and financial pursuits. Business is frequently associated with a negative connotation, divorced from emotions. In the world of business and startups, AI and LLMs are buzzwords, while as humans, we are inherently connected by empathy and emotions.
However, amidst the hustle and bustle of the business world, there exists a startup called "Goodfellows" that stands as a beacon of love and empathy, extending compassion to the elderly who seek companionship.
Shantanu Naidu, General Manager of the Office of Mr. Ratan Tata and Founder of Goodfellows, shared his inspiring journey at the BW Festival of Healthtech.
He reflected, "It all began with a deep affection for the elderly community. During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a member of Generation Z, I realised that I couldn't fulfil their material needs. However, what I could give them abundantly was my time. So, I started dedicating my time to the elderly, focusing on what they truly needed, and thus, 'Goodfellows' was born—a kingdom of happiness."
Today, many elderly people find themselves living alone, far from their sons and daughters, who are often unable to accompany them to the nearest park or hospital due to circumstances and the demands of a professional working culture. With an ageing population, this issue is becoming increasingly serious.
Shantanu Naidu commented, "The problem of an ageing population is becoming a significant concern. By 2050, India will resemble Japanese towns in terms of demographics. This societal shift is not something to be shunned or feared; it requires acknowledgement and solutions that combine technology and other means."
While technology plays an integral role in modern life, Naidu firmly believes that genuine human connection remains irreplaceable for senior citizens. Despite receiving interest from investors looking to digitise aspects of senior care, Naidu remains steadfast in prioritising the foundational value of human connection before integrating technology into their services.
In the heart of the matter lies the profound need of senior citizens, and indeed, all elderly individuals in our country—they yearn for someone to talk to, for a friendly face to greet them. They do not merely need a doorbell to ring; they crave the warmth of human companionship.
As Shantanu Naidu aptly puts it, "The crux of the issue with senior citizens is their fundamental need for human interaction and connection."