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Home > News > Retirement Homes A Business Opportunity About To Explode

Retirement Homes: A business opportunity about to explode




Sep. 10, 2012, 09:44 AM



Retirement HomesIn India, senior citizens often have to live in obscure old-age homes or probably stay crammed in the hustle and bustle of the city. Real estate developers seldom entertain the notion of creating spaces for them. But things are steadily changing as there are townships being launched with a view to facilitate this particular demographic.


According to a report by Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM), there are over 81 million elderly people in India. And this figure will rise to 177 million by 2025 and further to 240 million by 2050. These figures only suggest that there will be a sizeable unattended market and the need for senior citizen homes is imminent. Owing to this need, the developers have started planning integrated townships especially for senior citizens. But what exactly do this townships offer that differentiates them from the others?


These integrated townships and its amenities single out the necessity of medical care and personal wellness as an obligation of the developer which is not often the case. Moreover, it demands concentrated efforts on behalf of the developer to avail of a staff dedicated to hospitality management. In a way, the developer will replace charitable institutions create a retirement living that leads self-sufficient communities and integrated townships.  Can this be an USP – a unique selling point for a project? Sure why not!


Athashri‘Athashri’, a senior citizen township started by Paranjpe Schemes Construction Limited (PSCL), is located in Baner near Pune. It offers a wide-array of facilities designed for the wellness of the elderly. Some of the amenities are wheel-chair friendly rooms with anti-skid flooring and hassle-free facilities. In addition, there are restaurants, libraries, club houses, wellness centers and doctors and nurses on call. Moreover, it hosts an International Longevity Centre, a volunteer's bureau associated with the United Nations & International agencies, for geriatric care. Paranjape Schemes is developing a similar township in Whitefield in Bangalore too.


Renaissance is another integrated township in Bardhaman in West Bengal. It is developed by Bengal Shrachi Housing Development spreads over 254 acres, of which, 30 acres are allocated for the development of a retirement community. The real estate group has big plans for running it like resort which will include a state-of-the art 100-bed hospital within half a kilometer of the township. Rahul Todi, MD, Bengal Shrachi said, “We are trying to run it like a resort where everything is taken care of from day-to-day administration to maintenance.”


Vivara ResidencesVivara Residences is a retirement township coming up at Arpora in Goa developed by Mumbai-based Acron group. It will have 52 apartments with age-friendly features. The group believes that saturate and overcrowded cities do not offer the kind of style of living which the aged population look for. Also these overpopulated cities are increasingly becoming unsafe for those living alone. John Britto, Director, Acron group said “In the past, cities like Bangalore and Mysore were viewed as good locations for senior living but these have become highly overpopulated and increasingly unsafe for older people, especially those living alone. People prefer scenic locations where they can stay with like-minded people in a vibrant community.” Features at Vivara Residences include a lounge area, a clubhouse, swimming pool, a wellness centre, library, conference hall and landscaped gardens.


Retirement community is an integrated township where builders can operate like a mall. They can construct a mall but prior to this can even sell space to “anchor” brands and these brands have the option to choose its space at discounted prices making the mall viable. Similarly, wellness centers, hospitals, food chains can be anchors for such a project. Each service can be offered by a “service provider” and then the entire package can become a USP. Imagine an old age commune serviced by the likes of Apollo Hospitals, Talwalkar Gyms, Various food chains etc. This way the elderly can get the living style that they deserve. All these seem like a dream, but it isn’t? But this has been a reality in the US. The market size of retirement homes grew from US$13.5 billion in 2005 to US$17 billion in 2010. The market for this service has reached a level of maturity whereby the services are now being offered across class and economic barriers.


Can this also happen in India? Yes, as the number of affluent senior citizen is on the rise and the community is a feasible market waiting to be tapped. What's more, it is an opportunity to serve people awaiting their second life. After all, a retirement Home is a place where the elderly can live and not just stay.

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