We come to this world as toddlers, grow as youngsters and eventually grow old. Old age is a part and parcel of life. As Shakespeare said, we all are visitors on this planet and one day we have to go back and elders being very close to the end of their journey need special care & concern which is often deprived.
Many people feel elders as a burden but at the same time, we cannot forget the fact that they have served this world for quite some time and have taken utmost care of us when we were young. It is our due responsibility to respect their retired life and extend the care and dignity that was bestowed on us. Meet Mr. Sathyanarayanan Parthasarathy & Mr. Srinath Venkataraman of Vibrant 3H Elder Care, a services organization who are doing a commendable job for improving the lives of elderly people.
Senior people require extensive care in addressing physical, psychological and emotional needs and Vibrant 3H Elder Care’s main focus is on providing health, housing and hospitality for elderly people. Melur Meadows Retirement Village is a completed and fully functional project of Vibrant 3H Elder Care, operating at Mettupalayam near Coimbatore at the foot hills of Nilgiris providing a healthy, comfortable and aesthetic atmosphere for seniors away from the buzz of city life. The company is also planning to come up with such projects in other locations.
Housing : Facilitates in creating communities that offer housing specially designed / modified to meet the physical, mental and medical conditions.
• Renting and subletting of individual houses, apartments or group homes.
• Modification of homes to meet individual requirements
• Create documentation, terms and conditions that bring together the personal, legal and commercial conditions.
• Vegetarian food including diet support, room service
• Housekeeping, Laundry
• Shuttle services
• Non nursing attendant.
• Nursing attendant
• Geriatric care
This initiative is a step to provide better care and ambience where elderly people can re-live their life in a safe, neat & clean environment, enjoying the golden period of their life by sharing their peace and happiness.
Let’s check with their initiative and about the excellent idea behind this startup.
1. What is the Name of Your Venture?
Melur Meadows Retirement Village is the name of the place and Vibrant Health and Hospitality is the name of the business which manages the various services.
2. Who is your target Audience?
Senior Citizens and children or the next of kin of senior citizen, who are fed up of cities or towns their pollution and are looking for a safe, affordable and healthy place for senior citizens.
3. Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your target areas?
Our first project has been operational from 2008 is at Mettupalayam at the foot-hills of the Nilgiris and about 30 km from Coimbatore. Only now we are looking to branch out.
4. What problems does your venture solve? What are your products or services.
Housing, Health and Hospitality for senior citizens.
Housing: We have a green serene 9 acres on which we have built a uniquely designed community of just 124. The whole concept has been around healthy independent living from the location, the ambience and the various plants and trees that are constantly contributing to the health of the residents.
We have sold many of the houses. Some of the houses here are still available on rent (both short and long term) or lease (rent free against a refundable deposit).
Even those looking for a short term get away or recuperation place will find this a great place.
Hospitality: While our location is a major draw, it is also the affordable services, such as food, housekeeping and personal attendants that is another blessing for senior citizens. These are available on tap as required or can be subscribed to with the latter being very reasonably priced. We also organized transport, travel, picnics, treks etc.
Health: Today for senior citizens, health is number one issue. When something goes wrong, the whole experience of being stuck with a hospital, the financial and physical drain itself is worse than the ailment.
We have made the first effort of helping maintain a good health through the environment, the food and plenty of place to walk and good people to share one’s feelings and emotions with.
However, when there is an ailment, we have a tie up with a hospital nearby, where the owner himself takes a personal interest in ensuring quick and affordable treatment. When he feels that the scope of treatment require some other hospital he organizes it at the best possible rates. This is why some of our residents prefer to come here and get treated rather than at other corporate hospitals in the cities.
5. Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it come to an existence?
In 2007, a few of us were discussing how it would be to have our own gated community to spend our old age with friends and family around. One thing led to another. One thing led to another and we thought of a retirement village.
Sometime during that time, I had an interaction with a Senior General of the Army in Chennai and after the meeting was trying to help him cross the road. Despite there being a zebra crossing, no one was willing to give the time of the day. It was then it struck me, that no matter what you have done for your society, unless one has a place where one is at least recognized for who one was, whole of life becomes meaningless. That is why the whole design of Melur Meadows Retirement Village is also about being able to be free and independent and recognized for who one is.
Today, we run it as a gated community for senior citizens with as much independence and choice rather than as a hostel style old age home that most places are styled on. Hence we proudly call it a Retirement Village, where the residents invite their kith and kin to spend time with them and enjoy the serene atmosphere.
6. How did you identify your co-founder?
We have been doing business for several years. He is also my brother in law.
7. What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
2 year plan – We have already hived off our service component into a ready to use model for other places. We are now starting to look around at other properties to manage. We also want to create a help desk to guide people in planning their retirement.
5 year plan – Help more people create such niches of peace and health amidst all the chaos and concrete that life is getting to be. Want to create similar units with focus on more breathing space, waste management, being a part of nature, preserving and developing organic/native cultivation technics.
8. Where do you want to see yourself in next 5 years?
Five years older and closer to becoming a permanent resident in a retirement village.
9. Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
So far no. We are now planning to raise funds to enhance our service business.
10. What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
We faced two problems. The first was with the industry itself. When we started out the Old Age Home had a stigma to it. Today all of that has changed. It is now accepted as a convenience even a necessity at a particular stage of life. A lot of my effort in designing has been to create a different feeling in people. The first thing that people say when entering into our place is that this is no way an old age place, it is a resort. And we say yes, it is a ‘last resort’.
The second thing that is there is the location. We chose rural so that we could get some open space and it would be healthy. Selling this to people especially from the towns has been a big challenge. People want malls nearby as though one shops every day. Over a period of time we have stuck to our advantages and not tried to convince people about things, which are not there. This brings a sincerity to what we say and credibility to our organization.
11. Are you married, single or in a relationship?
12. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I read, travel a bit, try repairing some gadgets. I also try to teach people Manthan an exercise about body mind attentiveness.
13. What’s your Favorited food & holiday destination?
South Indian and Dhal Roti. Holidays, love both the beach and mountain. Prefer a place where one can walk a lot and play games.
14. Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
I am more of an ideal man. So have quite a few people. Ideally the world needs Lord Ram type of persons who are willing to sacrifice the personal for public good. At the same time what works is Lord Krishna’s approach. Be charming, try to stay in the zone and don’t fret over things you cannot control. Be prepared to fight for what you believe.
15. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
I alternate between both roles. I think in working as an employee one is constantly working within a framework set by someone else. As an entrepreneur one is working without a framework or of one set by themselves. This both empowering and frightening.
16. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
17. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
It is a struggle to find the balancing equation. One needs to have one’s priorities clear. Sometimes work takes precedence, sometimes family. Thankfully am not too much of a party goer. More the quite get togethers at home type.
18. Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
One create a personal life sustenance system for atleast two years. It means finances, people to take care of your kids etc.
Second wait for the big risk moment. Starting a business is not the risk, The real risk opportunity will come sometime in the first few years, when you will have to take a huge leap of faith and take the big risk, put all you have, your contacts, your skills and your money into that decision. It is as though you are being tested to join the biggies club. I think most big time players have gone through it atleast once and many several times.
Third: Find a good mentor who you can talk to and who can tell you when you are bullshitting.
19. Tell us something about your education & family background
Middle Class, Joined National Defence Academy, served with the Gorkha Rifles Regiment and really proud of having served with the finest. Post that a lot of different work and jobs and businesses.
20. What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains
Our USP is we are sincere and committed. We are not motivated just by money and more by the opportunity to make a living by serving others. This comes through in our interactions and efforts.
21. Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of your Business & Contact Person
V. Srinath, Address : B-11, Chester Fields, Casa XS Real, 149/1 C,Shanti nagar Main Road, Ramapuram, Chennai – 600089, phone number : 09940287574, email id : [email protected] , website of your Business : http://www.melurmeadows.com