It was about 4 years ago, that S. Prithvirajan, K.P. Jayashree, and Sanjay Dattatri came up with a novel idea to open the first-of-its-kind store in India which would focus exclusively on fulfilling the needs of the senior citizens of India.
And that’s how Old is Gold was born.
“From the outset, we were very keen on hybrid model for our business, that included brick and mortar stores as well as an online ecommerce platform.” And because the elder buyers are usually seen to be more comfortable dealing with people as well as tangible companies, rather than doing their purchases – especially their first time purchases – online, “ Our brick and mortar stores help elders try and buy products without having to worry about online payments and returns etc.”
But at the same time, many of the actual buyers are people procuring products for their elderly parents and relatives and would like the option of doing their purchases online and have the products delivered home. And so, in order to cater to their special customers, “we are committed to ensuring all possible avenues for them to check out our products and buy them.”
The Problems They Faced
They say they didn’t face many problems setting up the online store. “After deciding we would not build our own platform, we tried out two or three ecommerce frameworks and found buildabazaar to our liking. We are very happy about having gone with Buildabazaar as we have had very few problems and almost negligible downtime in the over 3 years that we have been using the platform.”
As for the operations, they have an extremely senior-friendly customer service team that goes over and beyond selling products, and takes pride in helping elders choose what is best for them – and this is what has resonated with their customers. “This philosophy of ours has helped us become the number 1 go-to resource for any senior citizen need in areas where our stores operate and this has helped our online presence spread among elders through word-of-mouth.”
Understandably, as a large portion of their customers are not Internet savvy, they have faced challenges in reaching out to the elder buyers; but there again things are changing for the better, as more and more of their customers are coming on board the Internet-wagon and starting to buy online.
Balancing a Social Cause With Entrepreneurship Goals
The people at Old is Gold store are committed to helping the elderly lead a more comfortable, safe, and secure life. “Towards that end, we are ready to do whatever it takes to realize that goal.” They truly believe that going about their business this way will definitely lead them to become a more successful business – both in terms of delivering on their promises to their customers, as well as becoming financially successful and delivering on their promises to their investors.
And when it comes to balancing the social and business goals, they say, “As a social enterprise, we really do not see any conflict between our twin goals of helping senior citizens and building a profitable business.”
“Of course, there are challenges”, they say, but those challenges, they feel are the ones that every retail business faces. The best thing is that they don’t think their challenges are any bigger than others, just because they have a social cause to service. “In fact many of our challenges are diminished because we are doing good.” Even their staff is with them, all the way, in this cause. The say, “the morale of all our staff is extremely high because of the gratitude expressed by our customers. They get blessed by our customers, multiple times each day which results in giving them the kind of satisfaction that very few people can expect to experience at work.”
How Does The Future Look Like
Their goals, they say, are very simple. “We want to reach as many senior citizens as possible and ensure that they know what options they have to make their own lives during their silver years better.”
And to do that, they say that they have to continue to make their online presence felt as well as open more outlets across cities around India. Over the next two years, they even plan to open Old is Gold Store outlets in all the major cities as well as some of the larger tier-II towns and cities.
Additionally, they are constantly looking at new products that are useful to their customer base and adding to their portfolio. They also manufacture products that are not readily available in the market. One such product category is senior friendly clothing, which they recently launched under the brand name, Cocoon. “These are clothes that are specially designed taking into consideration the needs of elders including those with limited mobility, without compromising on style and fashion”, they say.
Old is Gold and BuildaBazaar
Their experience with Buildabazaar, they say, has been fantastic throughout. “The platform does most things for us. It is fairly easy to use requiring very little training for our staff.” They’re also happy with the customer support system, and find it highly responsive. “We have dealt with a single person only till date and we wish to use this opportunity to express our appreciation for all the support that Sumanth Nagar has given us. Thank you.”
And we at BuildaBazaar thank Old is Gold Store for choosing our platform to support a great social as well as entrepreneurial cause. Thank you!