In a conversation between Tara Singh Vachani, Executive Chairperson of Antara Senior Living and Vice Chairperson of Max India, and C.B. Ramkumar, Vice Chairman and Board Member for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council on The Senior Social Network, she emphasized the importance of providing seniors with a sense of relevance. Vachani highlights the need for seniors to make choices about how they age and what they want, offering them a sense of luxury. “One thing seniors want is the sense of relevance. We studied what people want to feel as they get older. Is it to be cared for? Is it safety or security? Is it mental or intellectual stimulation? Is it spiritual stimulation? We found that they want the feeling of relevance. And therefore serve that feeling of relevance. One of the important steps is to let them choose how they want to age and what they want to have. They want to have that luxury,” Vachani said.
Ramkumar questioned Vachani about the impact of separation on residents from their children and if there’s anxiety among them regarding them. Tara explained that Antara consciously engages with individuals who don’t live with their children, deciding to move into a community like Antara independently. Initially, children were seen as hindrances, but now, with family-friendly environments and amenities, the perception has shifted, contributing to a positive word of mouth.
Moving on to the topic of cost and value, C.B. Ramkumar inquired about how Antara justifies its expenses. Tara acknowledges that cost is always a concern for an ageing population. However, she highlights the value proposition by comparing the overall costs of maintaining a separate residence versus living at Antara. She mentions the efficiencies gained by consolidating services and appreciating senior living assets, which adds value. “The cost conversation with an ageing population is never out of the door. So, no matter how much of a value conversation we have, costs will always be a preoccupation of people getting older,” she said.
“When they downsize the space and move into one of our locations, they can spend less and move some of that money that they have gotten from the sale of an asset into some of the products and services we discussed. We do the math with them as to what it costs to continue to live in the assets they’re living in. The cost of a guard, a caretaker, a nurse who comes in six hours a day to cook, the cost of groceries, HLP, if you live in an independent house, the cost of diesel when the electricity goes off, all of those costs we compare it to what it costs at Antara with all its services. So, that is helpful in the value discussion.
Lastly, senior living assets appreciate and have a premium over other real estate assets worldwide. I never imagined that to be true in India, but it happened. Antara Dehradun has appreciated (price rise). We are at almost 150 per cent premium to anything in that market. Similarly, Antara Noida is at a premium already. There is the value,” she explained.
Considering Antara’s target audience, Ramkumar questioned the transition from larger homes to downsized living spaces. Tara noted that while 80 per cent of individuals find relief in downsizing due to the challenges of managing larger homes, there’s still a segment for whom it’s a heartbreaking decision. Antara provides emotional support, storage facilities, and options for personal belongings, understanding that downsizing is a significant and emotional decision.
Seniors will account for 19.5 per cent of India’s population, or around 194 million by 2050, providing immense opportunities for growth in senior specific services, while also posing challenges on account of living issues as a result of loneliness and rising instances of nuclear families