Taking Care

A chat with Romi Datta, CEO of Sahara Care House


Sahara Care House is a specialized service launched late last year in Singapore and the United Kingdom for NRIs with an eye on their ties to family and friends in India. It is a single window service platform offering more than 60 products and services, including healthcare, utilities, personal necessities and relationship building to its members at an annual cost of $1,000. It currently has 100 members and is now headed to the US. Little India sat down with CEO Romi Datta in New York to get his take on his company and its promises.

Little India: How does Sahara Care work?

RD: The reach is in 197 cities in the country. We have 249 offices and 3,500 service providers. Once you actually ask for a service there’s a warm body that actually goes and delivers the service. In the U.S. you’re very used to going to the grocery shop for yourself; in India we’ll go for you and deliver to your family.

The people who have come here 5 to 7 years ago, what they fear about and what it is they miss is that their parents are back there. The biggest insecurity they have is what if something happens to them in the middle of the night, who’s going to be taking them to the hospital? They will have to depend on relatives, friends or neighbors. In India if something happens in the middle of the night there’s so much of a panic.

Rather than running helter skelter, you could call one number and an ambulance could come and get the ride to a hospital, the life of a guy that’s here would be much easier by having that burden off your head – if I’m not there there’s somebody that I can reliably trust on doing something for us.

Little India: Could you describe competitors and other players in the business?

RD: The kind of services we’re offering and the kind of reach we’re offering in the country, there’s no one that offers that.

Little India: How would you gauge customer satisfaction and have you had any feedback?

RD: We have good checks in place, which monitor our 3,500 people’s performance. Performance can be measured in two ways: One is that when the service is executed, the person who gets the service calls back the person who provided them service so your feedback comes to us as an endorsement from your side. There are also checks designed where a manager would go one day to each house and ask if the customer is happy with us and if there’s anything more we can do.

Little India: Final word on the business?

RD: The thought is very noble, it’s a good business opportunity no doubt about it. I’m talking about giving you $1,000 that you’re taking as an advance for services which you’re going to be taking in the next few months. You’re actually making people happy, which actually gives you happiness. Be it telling somebody to go to the doctor or getting somebody flowers. And at what cost, under $3 a day? Even if you spend $1,000, whatever you spend it gives you happiness. At the end of the day emotionally connecting with families, even on a level like once a month, is good. Otherwise loneliness is what strikes everybody in life my friend. 

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