A Digital Reboot To India’s Deathcare Industry

Rishabh Jalan - CEO, Last Journey Funeral Service

India is a country of rich cultural traditions and diverse belief systems; right from the time of birth to death, there are layers of rituals and ceremonies involved. Despite this, the space of funeral services for the longest time has been relatively ignored, making it a highly unorganized sector with fragmented elements. As of 2021, the Indian deathcare & funeral services industry was valued at just over USD 3.5 billion, which is much better than its position in 2008 when it was just USD 0.98 billion. The primary driving force of this growth is caused by the entry of organized private players in this space who have streamlined all the dispersed elements within the market.

With the influx of private players in this business, there has been a constant attempt to spread
awareness about the purpose and availability of such services. Last Journey Funeral services took the whole machinery online and pioneered the digital deathcare market in India, followed by many other players. The key objective of taking things online is to have a one-stop solution for all types of requirements and also ease of access. Given the speed of internet penetration within India, especially in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, online funeral service providers will witness immense growth.

Taking things online works as a double-edged sword as it makes vendor management for the
organization much smoother while for the customers, availing services becomes much easier and
quicker, such as booking cremation grounds, prayer halls, or just arranging other things becomes more accessible. The absence of such convenience could be felt starkly during the covid-19 pandemic, where families could not get a place to perform the last rites; in many cases, cremation grounds were overbooked, pandits unavailable, and mortal remains were left stranded. With the urban lifestyle and oncoming of the new generation, it is the most crucial time for this digitization to reach every nook and corner of India.

Another scope for digitization in this arena exists in the form of funeral gifting. In the funeral
profession, eCommerce has provided a way for funeral homes to offer flowers and gifts directly on
their website, generating between 5-25% commissions on every product sold. Several physical funeral service providers across the country are shifting their business to the online marketplace. Companies such as Mokshshil, Shardhanjali.com, Anthyesti, and Last Journey Funeral Services are spearheading this growth, and the industry is poised for significant growth in the coming years. Hence, it is safe  that digital developments and integrations are carrying the new frontier of the deathcare industry.


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