ParentCare is a WhatsApp chatbot that helps NRIs book and manage doctor appointments, caregivers, lab tests and errands for their parents in India, from miles away. Most importantly, they have all services on a single platform and on-demand which saves NRIs time, stress and costs. They are building a WhatsApp chatbot that allows for a transparent, direct connection between verified service providers and NRIs.
ParentCare was founded by Bharat, an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) living in London. In 2017, Bharat’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. Bharat was about to become a father himself, so he couldn’t travel to Mumbai regularly to support his mum.
The following months were filled with doctor appointments, endless diagnostic tests, conventional and holistic treatment. Bharat felt like he was never fully aware of what was happening and could not contribute as much as he wanted to. He believed there would be an easy way for NRIs to support their parents in India, so he reached out to hundreds of other members of the Indian diaspora but discovered that they were facing similar problems.
After speaking to more than 300 NRIs from different parts of the world, Bharat realised that most of them didn’t know where to start when their parents needed help. They couldn’t think of anything other than doing it themselves or constantly asking family and friends for help. A few would sign up for a subscription package which ended up being unused or too expensive. This was the starting point for ParentCare.
Now, the focus of Bharat and the ParentCare team is on developing processes to suit long-distance caregivers. ParentCare’s solution removes the middle man from the system, improves transparency and decreases the cost of providing care from far away. If comparing this new model with a typical subscription package that an NRI is forced to pay for, a basic package costs Rs.36,000-40,000 per year while ParentCare intends to at least halve these costs with technology and process enhancements. All that without impacting the quality of services for the elderly parents.
ParentCare not only helps with routine doctor appointments, homecare or diagnostic tests but also offers customised solutions at a low cost. An example of such multi-step request could be:
- Arranging a verified nurse to accompany parents to medical procedures at a hospital, speaking to the doctor and then sharing all reports with the NRIs.
- Using the services of a virtual assistant to arrange a hospital bed and oxygen cylinders.
- Selecting and buying medical insurance for elderly parents.
- Sending medicines abroad to the NRI without disturbing the elderly.
- Organising a virtual party for an elderly parent’s birthday during the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Managing background verification of a new domestic helper at parents’ house.
The business has served NRIs in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, and Hyderabad. In a short span of time, the ParentCare team has completed more than 7000 hours of nursing care across India. Most of ParentCare’s regular NRI clients have been from the USA, the UK, Singapore and Australia, whilst some requests are also coming in from Canada, and the Middle East.
ParentCare has been funded and mentored by the start-up factory Nova and Deepbridge Capital, both based in the UK. So far, the investment has allowed the business to start building a strong team and developing a technological solution. The user base has been growing consistently which is yet another positive sign for investors and future funding.
“We do not want to limit ourselves to a booking platform but to develop a sustainable caregiving ecosystem with customised solutions. Eventually, we want ParentCare to be used not only to arrange medical services but also to buy travel insurance, store the latest medical reports digitally or even connect to nearby charity volunteers for non-medical help. In the next few years, we see more NRIs taking the responsibility of providing care to their parents in India knowing that with ParentCare it is easy and quick with the ability to customise solutions,” recites Bharat.
You can check out this recent case study that explains how NRIs can use ParentCare to finally provide care to their parents