As economies evolve, new challenges and new opportunities present themselves. One such opportunity in India’s current stage of evolution economically and demographically is senior living. Old age homes have been around in India but with rising affluence and social acceptance, there is growing demand for a better quality of retired life for our seniors such as this one in Bangalore:

“Primus Senior Living’s ‘Primus Reflection’ project, which is spread over 2.5 acres on Kanakapura Main Road, and targeted at people aged 55 and above. It is an active or independent senior living community, and provides special services such as meals, concierge, physiotherapy, regular health checkups at home and an in-house medical team.”

But how big is the opportunity?

“India’s senior population—people aged 60 and above—is growing fast and will constitute an estimated 17% of the world’s elderly population by 2050. Between 2000 and 2024, the country’s senior count is estimated to have doubled from 73 million to 159 million. This is forecasted to touch 195 million by 2030, and 348 million by 2050, according to the UN World Population Prospects report, 2022.

…There are just about 20,000 senior housing units, valued at around $2-3 billion, in the organized sector. The current demand is much higher at 18-20 lakh units, as per property advisory Colliers India’s estimates, indicating a massive demand-supply gap.”

Whilst the numbers look staggering, much like everything else in India, only a small segment of the population has spending capacity.

“The pandemic did give a push to senior living and eldercare facilities, but experts believe a lot more needs to be done. “We expect senior living supply to go up to 90,000 units by 2030,” said Vimal Nadar, senior director-research, Colliers India. While that will be more than four-fold growth from today’s low base, it will be woefully short of the demand. “The demand is significant. (But) senior living has to gain scale to make profits. Senior housing projects in the market today are affordable only for high networth individuals (HNIs) and those with strong savings,” said Nadar.

India’s current penetration rate for senior living stands at less than 1%, in contrast with the UK, which has an 11% penetration rate, and the US, with over 6%. This signals huge growth potential in an untapped market. The penetration rate is measured by diving the current senior living housing stock by total senior living housing demand.”

As one would expect, the affluent Southern part of the country leads here as well:

“Currently, the southern states have a higher concentration of senior citizens and the highest old-age dependency in India. That perhaps explains why Coimbatore, Bengaluru, and Chennai account for nearly 40% of the country’s total senior living inventory, per property advisory CBRE’s figures.”

Nonetheless, the growth runway is long. The article talks about the various models that are emerging to cater to this inevitably growing demand.

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Note: the above material is neither investment research, nor financial advice. Marcellus does not seek payment for or business from this publication in any shape or form. Marcellus Investment Managers is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a provider of Portfolio Management Services. Marcellus Investment Managers is also regulated in the United States as an Investment Advisor.

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