Ratan Tata Backs Companionship Startup For Senior Citizens Goodfellows The startup plans to expand the project within Mumbai ad to Pune, Chennai and Bangalore and, will also offer travel companionship to senior citizens who hesitate to take trips because of the insecure feeling or lack of company

By Teena Jose

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Ratan Tata Twitter handle

Industry leader Ratan Tata, on Tuesday, announced a undisclosed amount of investment in Goodfellows, a startup that offers companionship to senior citizens as a service. The startup was founded by Shantanu Naidu, a close mentee of Tata and a general manager in his office.

"You do not know what it is like to be lonely until you spend time alone wishing for companionship. No one minds getting old till you actually get old. Getting a good natured companionship, which we take for granted, is a challenge," said Tata in a statement.

Naidu addressed Tata as a boss, mentor and a friend. He also said that there are 50 million elders who are alone. "The startup hires young graduates with the right empathy and emotional intelligence skills to 'work' as the senior citizen clients' companions and ease the day for them with any tasks or just talk with them," said Naidu.

As per reports, Goodfellows was formally launched in Mumbai and has successfully completed a 'Beta Phase' over the past six months. Around 20 carefully-vetted young fellows were on-boarded and paired them with grandpals from Mumbai. As per Naidu's statement, the startup plans to expand the project within Mumbai ad to Pune, Chennai and Bangalore. It will also offer travel companionship to senior citizens who hesitate to take trips because of the insecure feeling or lack of company.

"I salute this effort that gives one's time and effort to make another person's happiness more secure, without expecting anything in return. I salute the fellows who are doing this, but don't have to do it. A group of young and intelligent young people who could do other things for themselves," said Tata, during the launch of the startup.

As per reports, for the programme's Beta Phase, the startup received 800 applicants from young graduates, out of which 20 were shortlisted. The applicants were carefully vetted with a in-house psychometric test for empathy, kindness and reliability. The team also conducts background checks of applicants and police verification of the finalists.

Teena Jose

News Desk Reporter with Entrepreneur India

Teena is a post graduate in financial journalism. She has an avid interest in content creation, digital media and fashion.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Related Topics


International Security Firm Welcomes Female India Native to an Essential Leadership Position

Yasmin Brar has been appointed as the Operations Strategy Director, a role that underscores the company's commitment to innovation, expansion, and strategic management

Business News

Here Are 3 Strategies Startup Founders Can Use to Approach High-Impact Disputes

The $7 billion "buy now, pay later" startup Klarna recently faced a public board spat. Here are three strategies to approach conflict within a business.

Science & Technology

These Are the Top 6 AI Threats to Your Business Right Now

The modern workforce is forever changed by artificial intelligence. If you fail to understand that we will all need to learn AI to some degree, you haven't been paying attention.

Business News

I Tested the 'Invest As You Shop' App to See If It Really Makes Investing Less Intimidating

Grifin is an app that tailors a user's investments to their spending habits. Now, the app is getting even more personal.

Growing a Business

How to Bridge the Gap Between Aspirations and Reality in Business

Bringing a vision to life requires a good dose of self-honesty and a multi-year plan for incremental progress.

Growing a Business

3 Strategies to Help Leaders Ignite Passion in the Workplace (and Why It's Important)

Here are three proven strategies to help you motivate your team and bring passion into the workplace.