“In an exclusive interview to GB, Founder Director Elina Dutta tells how Tribeca Care caters to every elderly need: from health to hospital, to food, caregivers and even to dreams.”
• How did the idea of starting Tribeca Care come up? Was it your brainchild?
The reason for starting Tribeca Care is literally in the name. Like the original Tribeca: in New York whose name stems from ‘Triangle Between the Canals.’Ours too is a coming together of ideas and the people whose dreams aligned.
We are all Bengalis, and we all lived overseas. Infact, a couple of us still commute every month between continents and countries. Each of us at some point in our life faced the heartache of dealing with an ill or ailing parent and the complete absence of professionally managed care. We felt we had to do something that would help the elderly.When we started four years ago,there was such a dearth, such a huge gap between need and supply of elderly care services, that we had more to deal with than we had imagined.
As international B-school graduates, and with the skill set that each of us brings, our expertise dovetails beautifully. My partners are investment bankers and a doctor, and together we are literally a sum of our parts.We started on ground close to 4 years ago, the thinking and planning started much before that though.Last year, we looked after 10,000 parents and logged in two million hours of medical care.
• Who all are at the helm of Tribeca Care?
Tamojit Dutta and Prateep Sen are both investment bankers, who have given up extremely good careers in banking, to focus on Tribeca Care. Prateep has relocated from New York and Tamojit commutes between Kolkata and London. Dr Shibaji Saha is a senior consultant with the NHS and heads ICUs. Based in London, he comes down every 3 weeks. As a trained writer and film maker, my expertise is inmarketing and communication and specifically in patient and healthcare. I have relocated from Dubai after 4 years of shuttling, because being on ground, allows me the luxury of chasing my dream.
• What are the facilities that your organisation provides?
There are 3 things we do and we do them very well. We do them in depth and we do them with passion and compassion.
- Hospital to Home Care
- Rehab [ physio and counselling ]
• What kind of clients do you cater to and which part of Bengal and Kolkata Tribeca Care works?
We look after the vulnerable and the ailing. We look after parents of those whose jobs take them away from home. And we take pride in looking after them exactly in the same way as their own child would.
We are currently in Kolkata, extending to Thakurpukur in south west, Sonarpur in south east and Sodepur in the north and in New Town in the north east.
• Why did you wish to start this facility in Kolkata and not in any other city?
We are Bengalis. Our parents lived here and this is where we first of all wanted to give back our best.
• What are your future plans of expansion?
We are a self-funded organization and we have consciously decided to go deep and wide into Kolkata and then take our learnings to other cities. We are in the process of developing our plans and will share them with you at an appropriate time.
• Do give a brief about the new venture ONCE. Why is it innovative and different?
Eldercare is my passion. I am constantly thinking of ways in which I can enrich lives and add value. Two years ago, we started taking several parents for RajBadi pujos: a day outing with visiting pandals, giving anjali and eating bhog. We also help parents regularly to go overseas and visit their children and their families.
We have a dedicated 24-Hour Emergency Helpline for our members.
Our Care Managers spent Valentine’s Day visiting some of our 85 and 90-year old parents with flowers and cakes.Our culture is always doing something more than is expected. And it is in this spirit that I am pulling together a new offering. ONCE is a gift you give to yourself. For any senior person who has ever wanted to do anything ONCE, we make it happen.
Someone who has battled cancer and gets well and wants to celebrate life by gong to the Antarctica ONCE, we will make it happen.Someone who has lost their life partner after 40 or 50 years of marriage and wants to go and stay by the sea or up in the hills alone, we make it happen.Anyone who wants to celebrate their 50th anniversary with a hot air balloon ride, we make that happen.
Watch Amitabh Bachchan shoot the ex-KBC? Yes of course.
Anything, anyone has dreamt of or wants to do one fine day, we will make it happen. ONCE nurtures you and makes you believe that you are special.
• Why do you feel Tribeca Care is unique when compared to other organisations that provide similar services?
There is no one like us. And this isn’t an empty statement. When we started there were many who thought and said we were making a mistake: what experience did we have in this field? India was not ready for these ideas. But we hung in there and we are still learning.We started with Eldercare. And in doing that learnt that we will always have parents who need to be hospitalized, will need to go home after a fall or a surgery or a heart attack. They will need to be taken care of in their homes, bathed while in wheelchairs, fed while lying down and given medicines while the world sleeps. So, we stepped into Post Hospitalisation Care.
In the beginning we outsourced nurses and ayahs and found that quality wasn’t upto our standards, so we stared to employ our own nurses and ayahs and train them to the level of service we expected of them. Today we have our own training center,specialized trainers, a women’s hostel with a matron and give employment to close to 960 ayahs and nurses every month.
REHAB is an integral and necessary part of getting better. After a stroke, after a hip or knee replacement,for Parkinsons, frozen shoulder, spondylosis, osteo-arthritis, post op, surgical intervention, geriatric rehab, fall prevention, balance disorder: the benefits of physio cannot be ignored.
Rehab is also for the mind. Depression, dementia, loss of a partner, loneliness, family dynamics. We try and be there for each one through their troubled times.
Today our Rehab team has 16 physios and 4 Counsellors. Along with our Home Care services we also have our Eldercare and Rehab clinic at GD 345,Salt Lake Sector 1.
In making sure that we are always ready for every need we invested in our own devices. From Fowler beds, oxygenconcentrators, dvt pump, cardiac monitor, syringe pump, suction machine, IV, fluids, holter machine,cpap/ bipap, ventilator to bed-pans, adult diapers and disposable garments.We are the largest distributors for several of these devices, many of them of international brands.
We are growing and with us others are growing too.We strongly believe we can do well by doing good.We are thus a one window experience. You can come to us for a nurse and ask for a ticket to New York and a car to the airport and we will get it done. We are unique. We are like no one else.
• What kind of caregivers do you hire? Are they certified and do you checktheir backgrounds?
Our Care Managers are geriatric care trained, they are bi-lingual and graduates. We train them and continue to train them with new learnings, with interactions with experts and offer them counselling services to help deal with caregiver stress.
Our ayahs and nurses have their IDs and Aadhar card details logged in with us. However, we always tell every person who uses our manpower services to keep their valuables safe and to get the ids checked by their local police and /or building security as a double protection.
• Why do you feel old age services have become so popular these days?
We are a “sandwich generation.” People are living longer and thanks to advances in medicine and a simultaneous break down of our social fabric, we have had to adapt to a new way of life.Young adults are moving to other countries and faraway cities to earn a living. There are no joint families to lean on any more. Nuclear families mean no infrastructural support and no emotional support either.
One can turn to a neighbor or a relative only a few times before the relationship starts to disintegrate and of course there is no way to ensure that they will respond instantly, or perhaps respond at all. An international quality, professionally managed reliable and responsible service allows children to handover the day to day care of their loved ones to an accountable and responsive organization. One that will be alert to every need and meet every requirement, allowing both parents and children to maintain their homes and lives calmly and with stability.
• Give us a rough estimate about how much a client needs to pay?
Our members spend between Rs 700-70,000/month, depending on their needs and complexity of care. There is no “average” customer for us. Each parent is special and each need is dealt with as an unique one.
CONTACT Tribeca Careservices:
• Registered off and Customer Experience Cell: 2A Ramesh Mitter Road, Bhowanipore Kolkata 700025
•Head office 25 D HarishMukherji Rd 1st floor, Kolkata 7000 25
+91 33 402-77777/ and 8017770323 are our Customer Experience contact numbers. Every call is recorded and a response team answers instantly. Our solution response time is within an hour.