The demands of daily life are increasingly getting in the way of a working professional's capacity to address the caregiving and medical needs of their ageing elderly parents. To better address, this gap, ParentsCare Ltd CEO Sams Abu Shomen, along with co-founder Sarmiz Fatema opened up their web-based medical service platform.
Their collective professional experience gave them the insight required to start ParentsCare in December 2019. With a 3-lakh taka grant from Startup Bangladesh Ltd., ParentsCare was able to open up its web-based service for customers around the country.
ParentsCare has its own drug trade license and has made agreements with many pharmacies. However, the main focus of their business is service-oriented, with a patient guide, online doctor, caregiver, nurse, and physiotherapy being their main offerings. Their panel comprises 100 caregivers, 50 nurses, 60 doctors, and 50 physiotherapists.
Since its inception, ParentsCare has serviced 15,000+ customers. At the time of the interview, Sams informed The Business Standard, "Just today I have appointed 18 caregivers, and 3 physiotherapists are booked to go provide home service. And we have six appointments for Online Doctors."
The Patient Guide service they offer is for patients who cannot move by themselves. "Our patient guide will visit your home, take you to the hospital, get you checked up with the doctor and then guide you back home."
ParentsCare also does a mandatory 3-day training with the caregivers before employing them, and after verifying the completion of their training, their services are then offered on the website.
To further their business, ParentsCare joined Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center's (BYLC) Acceleration Program in September 2020. BYLC has been standing by the young men and women of Bangladesh, equipping them with the leadership, professional and entrepreneurial skills that will enable them to have a high impact in the public, private, and civil sectors.
Out of many hopeful startups in the September 2020 Cohort, BYLC picked nine, with ParentsCare being one of them. Partnering with BYLC allowed Sams to upgrade ParentsCare into a Limited Company. Since the collaboration began, BYLC has been beside ParentsCare, providing advice, monitoring their business reports, and consistently following up with the young business.
Sams' professional career spans 10 years, with his profile boasting renowned telecom industries like Cityell, Airtel, and Robi, where he worked in the Sales and Distribution department. Sarmiz, on the other hand, has extensive experience in the e-commerce and health sectors. She has worked for Daraz, ekhanei.com, and Telenor Health.
In 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit Bangladesh, ParentsCare saw the demand for their Product Sale and Online Doctor skyrocket, with the former being inundated with customers looking to purchase hygiene products.
"That's when I truly understood the potential of our platform, ParentsCare, and that prompted me to leave my corporate job and focus solely on developing the business," said Sams.
Their core strength lies in having renowned doctors who operate in well-known medical institutions on board. Alongside this, they have Non-Residential Bangladeshi (NRB) doctors who want to enrich the healthcare infrastructure of Bangladesh. With notable names like Dr Khaja, Dr Firoz Amin and Dr Deb Chandra, etc., on their panel, customers can rest assured that they are receiving expert care.
ParentsCare is the only service provider working towards creating an ecosystem of care for the elderly in our society. "We create a value for time and stress management through our efficient and working program."
Sams also shared that before the collaboration with BYLC, there was a knowledge gap on how to maintain their financial accounts. Initially, ParentsCare did their transactions through bKash, but with BYLC's mentorship, they can now conduct their financial transactions entirely through the security of banks.
BYLC helped ParentsCare organise their business and equipped them with the knowledge on how to secure the scale-up funding they will require going forward. The company is receiving an estimated 5 lakh customers per month.
When asked about expansion plans for ParentsCare, Sams explained that "If our service is good, then the business will grow organically." ParentsCare is currently focusing on improving its technology and becoming agile by transforming its business into an app-based service.