Sunny Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer of GladAge, is an engineer responsible for launching ZEE TV in the UK in 1994. He launched several TV stations in Europe prior that. In 1999, he built a care sector company from scratch, witnessing its growth to multi-seven figures. In 2014, he sold it to an MNC but was retained as a director for expansion and control of operations. He has been involved with numerous care institutes based in the UK, attending forums regularly to decide how the care sector should operate in that nation. We chatted with Kapoor about GladAge. The Q&A is below:
Alex Yong: Who is GladAge going to help? I assume the eldercare sector of today uses technologies which simply don’t impress you the way blockchain has?
In a world where the senior population will leap past the three billion mark in 2100, there’s a lot we can do for the senior care sector. The dependency ratio is rising as we’re talking; this means rising responsibilities in one’s career, financials, housing, loans, family, health — the list can go on. A platform like GladAge aims to help our younger ones who juggle multiple tasks at once. With the best options for personalized care and fully vetted senior homes to choose from, families will be surprised to experience ease in caregiving. GladAge will redefine old age and make the globe more friendly to aging.
I have been involved in the care sector for over 20 years and I actively contribute to several institutes in the space. Looking at it so closely, I observed that our seniors repeatedly experience neglect, a lack of companionship, and even abuse. The sooner we start, we’ll have better chances of winning the battle against the appalling reality. When I saw what blockchain could do for it, we decided that GladAge would lead this much-needed change.
If other technologies could do what blockchain can, then there would be no buzz around this technology. Simply, blockchain is a distributed ledger which inherently ensures immutability and safety of data. We define GladAge as a ‘decentralized senior care ecosystem powered by blockchain.’ The unique features of blockchain including transparency, immutability, enhanced efficiency, increased capacity and unmatched privacy are in one ecosystem. Traditional systems or databases often have a single point of failure. Enter blockchain — it decentralizes the ecosystem and ensures that there is no one point of failure. It’s also helping to keep all sensitive data like health records, financial transactions and credit scores secure. We are also utilizing the open source transparent platform to garner collaborations with CSR funds.
Alex Yong: How do persuade the groups you’re trying to serve to care about the mission of GladAge? Geographically, where will the focus be?
We are first focusing on four countries — the UK, Australia, Japan and Korea. That’s because these countries are on the verge of what’s being reported as a demographic time bomb. Socioeconomic factors are as important as other things, and that should not be a problem in the GladAge ecosystem as we have a clear roadmap ahead for each country. Instead of channelizing our efforts at different locations at the same time, we will do it in a step-by-step manner to understand the needs of each geography. The checkpoints in our system are capable of adapting to local needs so that seniors get the best services.
As I said, the senior population is rising at an exponential rate. We don’t have enough senior homes and the sector suffers from a missing support system and an acute shortage of trained professionals. So everybody on Earth needs to care about this. With records and finances on a blockchain, the lives of property owners and workers will improve through fair and timely contracts, which is a powerful motivation for them.
Negligence, abuse and other problems of the current system will be confronted with a transparent scoring system where families and seniors will be able to review and score a product or service genuinely. Another core challenge that we are solving is a lack of profiling. The industry is marked with intermediaries and thus participation in it involves complex processes – we envision streamlining such processes along with adopting incentivization at every step across the value chain.
Alex Yong: On the big list of challenges, which takes priority?
The biggest challenge is, of course, global adoption. Hype surrounds blockchain, yet not many people understand what it means today or how it can solve complex problems. To have every stakeholder on the same page, or block, has been a difficult task. The other Herculean mission has been to enter an unorganized sector with a vision to make it well-ordered, regulated and efficient.
However, I also believe that awareness about this technology will gradually become widespread, and adoption will no longer be a challenge. As for the market structure, we see some successful partnerships with real estate organizations in the near future. Also, we have successfully partnered with Blockchain Centre & RMIT University from Melbourne.
Alex Yong: So the families will have a mobile interface for GladAge?
Yes, a fascinating part about GladAge is that the families won’t need to understand blockchain or even know it even exists. As a user, they will get to select the type of care needed, shop for equipment and even review caretakers whom they can also hire on demand. Being in control through its simple smartphone features, GladAge users will see that processes are faster compared to the traditional senior care sector. Also, this will only improve with time as UX is one of our core values. In fact, our platform operates on tokens that will be transacted like money in the virtual world. You can contact us for more information; just go to our website GladAge.com and our contact information is at the bottom of the homepage. Our video and whitepaper are at the top of the homepage.