Business approach to Indian Retirement Home

A number of Indian medical practitioners are of the view that the dream of constructing a Retirement Home embracing Indian culture, cuisine, entertainment and other factors of the Subcontinent, if this concept is implemented as a Business project with commercial interest.

Those words were music to the ears of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust Chairman Jeet Suchdev and Trustee Roopa Suchdev, who were present at a dinner meeting of the Auckland Indian Medical Society (AIMS) held at Nickies Thai Restaurant in Broadway on April 7.

Such a project is a cherished goal of the Trust and its trustees and officials for the past four years but paucity of financial resources has been a major constraint.

Successful experiment

The Trust partially achieved its aim on November 29, 2012, when Mr Suchdev signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of his Trust with Bupa Care Services Managing Director Dr Dwayne Crombie for allocation of a wing at the David Lange Care Home in Mangere East.

The wing, called, ‘Aashirwad’ (Blessing) opened on January 10, 2013 but quickly outgrew the facility, with increasing demand for more beds and rooms.

“The only alternative is to have our own facility, either at an existing property with suitable modifications, or at a purpose-built complex. In either case, the minimum initial investment would be about $5 million. Recurrent expenditure, including salaries and other outgoings have not yet been worked out,” Mr Suchdev said, addressing the members of AIMS.

Commercial angle

Society President Dr Chellaraj Benjamin said that while the concept of an Indian Rest Home was exciting, it should be floated as a commercial enterprise with offer of share capital.

“This Rest Home should be open to people of all ethnicities in New Zealand, although it may be Indian in concept and service. Medical facilities and specialist attention should form an integral part of the Rest Home and hence would evince the interest of our members. Commercial banks such as BNZ, should support this venture, after satisfying compliance formalities and risk factors,” he said.

Bankers’ interest

BNZ Indian Community Banking Head Ansuya Naidoo and her colleagues Dr Rosalie Settle, Nish Vyas and Vic Arora, who were also present at the meeting (read another report in this Section), said that they would consider the proposal when submitted.

Mr Suchdev said that his Trust had to revise its earlier stand of partnership with existing providers since elders in the community were keen to move into a Rest Home that was in consonance with their lifestyle and upbringing.

“They have been specific in their requirements – that they should have the benefit of an ‘Indian Rest Home,’ which is culturally appropriate, with facilities for worship, day and night care, commensurate their beliefs.

“In simple terms, our parents and grandparents are allergic to the unisex approach, although as modern citizens, it would be acceptable to us. It is our duty to satisfy our elders in their evening years,” he said.

Encouraging response

Indian Newslink understands that with encouraging response, Mr Suchdev and his team would initiate the next steps to conceptualise the project, write a business plan, determine the financial requirements, prepare a budget, evolve strategies and marketing programmes and consider public offering of shares.

Dr Benjamin later told us that as well as medical professionals, other businesses in New Zealand would also support the project, provided it has promising prospects as a commercial venture.

Jeet Suchdev and Dr Chellaraj Benjamin at the meeting of medical professionals on April 7 in Auckland

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