Singapore’s population is ageing fast. By 2030, 1 in 4 people here will be past retirement age. That’ll make it nearly a million people, which is almost the double the current elderly population. At the same time, life expectancy is expected to increase. So this means that the large population of seniors will be around for a longer time than ever before. So it’s important on a national level to think about how to care for them.
In today’s article, we look at how Gillian Tee co-founded Homage and the challenges she faced.
Who is she?
Gillian tee is the CEO and Co-founder of Homage. Prior to Homage, she co-founded Rocketrip, a business that rewards and pays employees for saving on business travel and CodeUpStart, an online code school that teaches people to code by building MVPs of real apps.
Prior to Rocketrip, Tee helped manage tech startup investments at an investment firm in New York as well as held various business development, product management and technology leadership positions at Amazon and Accenture. Tee studied Computer Science in University of Melbourne and got a master’s degree from Columbia Business School. She loves businesses that help improve lives and grow livelihoods. (Source: Singapore Business Review)
How Homage started
In 2006, Gillian moved home. Her mother is in her 70s now and she wanted to spend more time with her. She has been away for a very long time on studies and work. So she wanted to reorganise her life and focus on her family, and that was around the time she understood that her mother’s needs were changing.
“I fell so ill equipped and ill prepared and that’s where it started – I realized that the approach to aging hasn’t changed in the last 50 odd years. And that’s not just specific to Singapore, it’s specific to the world.” she says in an interview.” said Gillian in an interview. (Source: e27)
Homage is an online platform that provides on-demand caregiving solutions to the elderly in Singapore in combination with technology to make the process of managing and providing easier. Homage was co-founded by technopreneur Gillian Tee in 2016, along with healthcare executive Lily Phang, the service was launched in 2016 and has since amassed over 300 caregivers and delivered more than 20,000 hours of caregiving.
It aims to redefine what aging looks like for our family and loved ones — those who gave so much to us. The team was motivated to start Homage when they saw a clear and urgent demand for in-home care for the elderly, who currently number more than 450,000 people in Singapore’s ageing population.
At the heart of Homage are people, their care professionals who provide the type of in-home care we can trust our own family with, the families we want to provide peace of mind and accessible care to, and their care recipients who they want to help live their lives with joy, dignity and control at home while progressing into a later stage of their lives. (Source: e27)
Lessons she learnt
In an interview, Gillian talks about her biggest lesson learnt with Homage. “Leading by the heart always works, you have to connect at your core with what you put your time towards because there are many times that people don’t see the hard work behind startups. It can seem like startups is all about going to conferences and looking good with press.
Learning to always go back to the fundamentals – keep your head on your shoulders and feet on the ground. Continue being really humble and focused on the core of what you are doing. The very first reason behind why you are doing this and making the impact you set out to do.” said Gillian.
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