With India’s senior population set to account for roughly 19.5 per cent (around 194 million) of the country’s total population by 2050, there will be a greater need to focus on them.
That aside, the spending power is also expected to increase from $100 billion in 2020 to $1 trillion by 2030, the Association of Senior Living India (ASLI) said in a press conference on September 27, 2023, in Delhi
In hindsight, this suggests more demand from seniors for their specific needs and the potential of the market pertaining to products, services, and facilities pertaining to senior citizens.
ASLI said that the demographic shift from young to old population has caught the attention of investors and businesses who want to capitalise on the aging population’s needs. According to the data provided, the senior population or Generation S constitutes around 45 per cent of the urban population and has a strong ‘affinity’ to lifestyle products, and spends more than Rs 6,000 crores on such products.
Seniors’ needs may have influence on the grocery market, which is valued at Rs 11,150 crores. Further, there is an untapped addressable market size of Rs 2,031 crores for medical products, where online sales are expected to grow because seniors are getting increasingly accustomed to the digital modes of transactions. The digital channel growth is anticipated to rise to a significant Rs 39,488 crores, ASLI said. Incidentally, seniors constitute about 35 per cent of the pharmacy customer base, accounting for Rs 43,685 crore.
Ankur Gupta, co-founder ASLI, and joint managing director, Ashiana Housing Limited said: “As Indians live longer and healthier, there is a huge demand coming for lifestyle, travel, health, medical and senior living. We, as the private sector need to develop our strength to service this oncoming demand.”
Senior living or senior housing, which could be considered a part of senior care, is also expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 per cent in the next 6-8 years. In 2022, the market value of senior living was approximately $10.15 billion.
There are a few other factors that are important to be considered while thinking of senior citizens and their requirements. One is Life expectancy, which hovered around 32 years at the time of independence, and has now increased considerably in the last 76 years.
According to ASLI, life expectancy is projected to increase from 67.5 years in 2021 to 75.9 years in 2025. Another factor is the rise in number of nuclear families, which are increasing, while the joint family structure is simultaneously on the decline. According to estimates, less than 52 per cent of Indians are living in a joint family structure.
While joint family structure is on the decline, loneliness is gradually becoming an issue for the elderly. So, whether senior housing is a probable solution or not for elderly people to spend their golden years, Adarsh Narahari, chairman of ASLI and managing director, Primus Senior Living, says that these homes provide all the facilities senior people may require, but they come at a premium which could be around 20 per cent higher than the general housing projects.
However, there is a high demand for these houses. According to Gupta, there is a demand for approximately 3.2 lakh senior living homes, whereas the supply is only around 20,000. The gap is huge, and at the same time, there is a potential area of growth.
Says Narahari, “Addressing the needs of our aging population is both a social requirement and a significant economic opportunity.”
So, while senior care, senior housing, senior-related products, senior insurance, and other perks and facilities for seniors are expected to be in demand in the future, there could also be various challenges at the same time.
Says Rajit Mehta, chairman-elect, ASLI and MD and CEO, Antara Senior Care, “India’s senior living industry holds immense potential, but it’s not without its challenges. Regulatory frameworks, societal perceptions, and infrastructure development are hurdles we must address to ensure a brighter future for our elders.”