The rise of the Senior Citizen Market in India
Silver Economy - A Rs. 70,000 Cr market!
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This week you will find:
Silver Economy - the rise of the Senior Citizen Market in India
TID’s 3-2-1 (3 Tweets, 2 Podcasts, 1 Article)
TID’s Book Recommendation
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Silver Economy - the rise of the Senior Citizen Market in India
At the moment, India has more than 138 Million Senior Citizens and this number is expected to be 200 Million by 2030. This market is already estimated to be a Rs. 73,000cr market or $10 Billion and is going to grow steeply in the upcoming years as the country ages. The ratio of persons aged 60+ relative to the age group 15-59 rose from 10.9% in 1961 to 15.7 per cent and projected at 20.1% for 2031. This change has been happening slowly but will accelerate in the coming decades as you can see in the graph below.
The Elderly in India 2021 report by the is a good starting point to understand the Senior Citizen market in India.
Why is the Senior Citizen market ripe with Opportunities?
Life Expectancy is on the Rise - this chart says it all.
Higher Education Levels - The Elderly in India report showed that literacy levels among elderly males and females have improved over time in both rural and urban areas. The more literate elderly are more likely to demand better products, services and quality of life.
Increasingly Urban - Senior citizens in the past lived overwhelmingly in rural areas where it was difficult to distribute products and services to them. However, by 2030, we’re expecting an Urban elderly population of more than 30 million which will make it much easier to find these people, ship products and provide services to them.
Higher Spending Power AND Willingness to Spend - growth in income over the past 3 decades has not only accrued in the Gen Z and Millenials - the previous generations were also beneficiaries of this income boom. As a result, people who are now becoming Senior Citizens have a higher capacity to spend than previous generations. They are also more tech savvy and can thus navigate through tech-based solutions.
Needs that can’t be catered by the startups focused on Gen Z and Millenials - from EdTech to D2C, India’s startup boom has focused on the needs of the young. Investment in businesses that cater to the elderly has been limited - even the government recognised this and launched the SAGE programme which we’ll discuss in detail later.
What do Senior Citizens want?
Physical and Mental Health Related Services
Assisted Living & Safety Systems
Effective use of Time - A purpose in life
Is the Govt focused on the Senior Citizen Market?
In June 2021, the government launched SAGE program.
SAGE stands for Senior Ageing Growth Engine. Launched by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerement, the aim of this programme is to encourage startups in the ‘Silver Economy’ and promoting gerontechnology – technologies that suit the requirement of the elderly population.
The ministry has pledged Rs. 1 crore as the initial equity funding for each start-up selected to commence operations under the SAGE initiative. This could be an important source of funding for a space where not many venture funds are active.
The ministry also developed a 9-by-9 grid defining the elder care focus areas for evaluating start-ups and business ideas for the SAGE scheme.
Existing Businesses in the Senior Market in India
Seniority - E-commerce for senior products - 31 Cr Income, 65 Cr Expenses
Portea - senior citizen services
Goodfellows - providing intergenerational friendships
Khyaal - care for your elders when you are away.
Samarth Eldercare - community of active seniors - 67 Lakhs Revenue
Emoha - In Home Elder Care Services - 4 Cr Revenue
Interesting Businesses Internationally
Papa - On-demand Young Pals for Elderly - $241 funding. Maybe $30-40 million in revenue. $15/hr or $15 memberships with additional features.
Deveoted Health - $2B in Funding - Medicare Advantage Plans
Caring Wire - Content Platform
Kuvu - Elder People Renting rooms to younger folks at more affordable rates
GetSetup - $20m in funding, community based courses for elderly.
Chirp - Non invasive sensors for elderly care
Opportunities to Build for the Silver Economy
Build Retirement Community Homes - As per ANAROCK data, there are currently around 4,500 senior living units available in the market, and more than 2,000 units are in different stages of construction. Approximately 10 new projects are slated to come up over the next few years.
Provide Home Caregiving - a good opportunity for a Vertical SaaS play - can you build the Shopify for Portea type facilities.
Continuous Education - why should education stop in your early 20’s? There could be an opportunity to build an edtech platform specifically targeted to help build skills in the elderly population. They have the money, willingness to spend and the time to pick up new skills. In the graph below from the Elderly in India report, ‘Learning’ was one of the least priorities for Senior Citizens - is this due to a lack of infrastructure & opportunity or interest? This is still a huge untapped potential.
Build Customized Insurance Plans for Senior Citizens - as Deveoted Health has shown in the US, there’s a big opportunity to figure out how insurance products can provide more value to the elderly.
Provide Reverse Mortgage facility that can help Senior Citizens get a credit line on by mortgaging the house without worrying about any loan payments. This ensures they’re not dependent on their kids and the kids get an option to either pay-off the debt and get the rights to the house or the bank sells the house to recoup the cost after the senior citizens pass away. Hasn’t been successful in India in the past, but I think the future could be different given the shift in culture.
Provide Will and Trust Management and help with the After Death Process - the bureacratic mess that starts after the death of a loved one is well known to most grieving families in India. Can you find a way to make this process streamlined and easier?
Build Wearables like Ultrahuman - lots more opportunity to build wearables that can track hearth health - use existing products and build an analytics layer on top of that. This is Ultrahuman’s playbook.
Provide a sense of Community like Samarth Eldercare - you can read our detailed article on the rise of private communities in India - why it’s happening and the opportunities it presents.
Build an Obituaries listing portal to help the families remember their elders who’ve passed away. The current system of publishing obituaries in newspapers is obsolete and needs to be replaced with a permanent destination on the internet Ex: Obituary Today
What opportunities do you see in the ‘Silver Economy’?
For all the D2C founders on this email chain - a mega thread on how various aspects of running a D2C store.
SEO is straightforward - you need to build a process and make sure you’re consistently hitting the basics. Sahil’s niche B2B industrial goods website is driving 150k impressions per week on Google, why can’t you? A good guide for the basics of SEO.I've created $10,000,000 in traffic value: Here's everything you need for a *simple* SEO strategy that works: 🧵
For our more advanced readers, an even more exhaustive process guide for SEO.
Content creation will be the foundation of digital marketing growth for all businesses of the future - we spoke about it in our very first Podcast episode.
TikTok vs YouTube with Hank Green
Amazing episode where 2 veteran YouTubers discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the YouTube and TikTok platfroms from a creator’s perspective. Unfortunately TikTok is banned in India and we have to rely on Instagram Reels but still a fascinating discussion. One of the most fascinating parts for us was the discussion on how monetisation works on TikTok vs. YouTube - the former has a static pool of money which they divide amongst creators while YouTube gives all their creators a percentage of Ad revenue.
The Rise of Creator Economy ft. Manish Pandey, Co-Author - Booming Digital Stars by The Indian Dream
In this episode , we talk to Manish Pandey, co-Author of the book Booming Digital Stars to talk about the rise of creator economy and what it takes to be a creator in this day and age. Manish has been the force behind some of India's biggest creators and has helped them with content and distribution strategy. In his new book, Booming Digital Stars, he explores the life's of India's biggest creators and talks about the learnings from their journeys.
The Economics of Spotify
Another deep dive into the creator economy but this time it’s all about Music. Huge celebrities from Taylor Swift to Neil Young have protested the distribution of profits to music artists from the Spotify platform - this article is an insightful look into why they are protesting. This is especially prescient at a time when Spotify is paying Joe Rogan $100 million for his Podcast which also brings with it a lot of controversy.
Bonus Article: Traditional B2B Sales and Marketing Are Becoming Obsolete
We’ve added this bonus article because it covers an important topic.
B2B sales & marketing are slowly going completely digital and Indian businesses are still struggling to digitise these functions. Take a look at Faire - they’ve raised $1.1 billion by turning B2B Home Decor buying into an e-commerce activity. People place orders worth 1000’s of dollars without ever seeing the product or talking to a salesperson. This will hit other industries, even those that are still dominated by traditional marketing such as Exhibitions. And this will come to India.
Questions to ask yourself:
How ready is your business for the shift to digital sales? Is your knowledge base and sales process digitised? How can you start the process?
How can you accelerate this shift in your own industry? Can you be the first mover and leave your competitors in the dust?
Book Recommendation of the Week
7 Powers: The Foundations of Business Strategy
The name of the book pretty much tell’s you everything you need to know. It lists through 7 Powers that companies can use to distinguish themselves from the competition and thus create a source of long-lasting profit - a moat. Not only should businesses know which of the 7 Powers will be their strategy, but also how and when to build and execute on them.
This book is one of the simplest frameworks to understand & analyse businesses but at the same time, one of the most powerful. Think about your own business - which of these 7 Powers do you use?
Scale Economies - A business in which per unit cost declines as production volume increases. Think of any manufacturing business - they all rely on scale economies.
Network Economies - The value of a service to each user increases as new users join the network. Social Media - Facebook, Instagram, etc. all get better as more users join.
Counter Positioning - A newcomer adopts a new, superior business model which the incumbent does not mimic due to anticipated damage to their existing business. The famous story of Kodak inventing digital cameras first but refusing to sell them because of a fear of disrupting their existing business model.
Switching Costs - The value loss expected by a customer that would be incurred from switching to an alternative supplier for additional purchases. SAP locks you into their product because of how difficult to would be to switch to a competiting product.
Branding - The durable attribution of higher value to an objectively identical offering that arises from historic info about the seller. No better example than Coca Cola - they’re able to differentiate themselves in a market of simple sugar water.
Cornered Resource - Preferential access at attractive terms to a coveted asset that can independently enhance value. This could be talent or a natural resource - Meta is currently trying to corner the market for talent in VR and AR by going on a hiring spree across the industry.
Process Power - Embedded company organisation and activity sets which enable lower costs and/or superior product. We’ve spoken in detail before about how process power can dramatically change your business.
That’s it from us this week! Share this with your friends, family and colleagues who want to stay on top of Market Trends and Business Ideas & Opportunities!
Until next week!
Sahil & Sid