The wellness industry has taken over globally in recent years. Health is no longer limited to eating salads and fitness, a lot more than that extortionate yearly gym membership you paid for but hardly used.
These days, it’s not uncommon to pop into a hybrid gym for a cardio boxing session followed by a well-balanced nourish bowl for brunch. How about booking sleep yoga through an app or a gluten-free, paleo lunch delivered right to your office?
With wellness infiltrating our daily lives, leaders in global wellness news, Welltodo, have become the one stop platform providing insights into this ever growing industry. Founded in London, the platform has seen its expansion to Asia alongside wellness establishing its mark in the region.
We dig deep into Asia’s unique wellness scene and find out where the industry is headed with Welltodo’s Founder, Lauren Armes and Market Director of Asia, Kate Sarginson.
Tell us a little bit about Welltodo. What do you guys do and where did it all begin?
L: Welltodo was an idea I developed almost 4 years ago — it began as an online blog about wellness generally, and then over time was refined as I realised my passion was for the “business of wellness” and the exciting opportunities this industry holds for entrepreneurs. Now, it serves a global audience through a range of events and business services. My team are an incredible force in bringing the vision alive: to help people build incredible businesses and careers in the wellness industry.
K: I found Welltodo over 2 years ago when I too was starting to think about my own career and how I might be able to find something more aligned with my own passion for health and wellness, and was instantly intrigued and hooked — it was the perfect blend of wellness married with my background in partnerships, marketing, consulting and events.
What was the motivation behind expanding your services to Asia? What have you seen that is unique about the wellness industry in this region compared to others around the world?
K: Speaking with Lauren about the key to the success of in London, I realised it might just be the perfect time to expand into Asia, another region which was also growing in terms of wellness and that Welltodo could support in conjunction with that growth.
L: As Kate says, Asia seemed ripe for a community of entrepreneurs and thought-leaders who can pioneer new and exciting developments here for the everyday wellness consumer… and we really wanted to be a key player in forming that.
What factors kickstarted the evolution of the wellness industry from nutrition and fitness for the sake of it, to something that has melded with how we socialise and infiltrated the way we live our day-to-day lives?
K: I personally feel it came from a realisation that our health is our greatest wealth, and it can’t be taken for granted. Over time it has become so much more of a multi-dimensional asset than just ‘run on a treadmill for 20 minutes today — check’. It has propelled to a more holistic approach and thanks to the multitude of health and fitness ambassadors, we can now see, touch and feel how an approach to wellness can impact our lives, regardless of if we are parents, our age, profession, ethnicity, sexual orientation — there are role models for everyone and this is slowly penetrating to broader audiences.
Your Founder Series broadcast on Facebook Live has seen a hugely successful response. Why do you think these types of events are important, especially in Asia, and who should be tuning in to watch?
L: It’s so great to see people tuning in on Facebook from all over the world. And we are excited that you’ll now to be able to attend our Founder Series live in Singapore as well as London. They’re really ideal for anyone interested in the wellness industry from a business perspective, whether you’re just starting out or a really established startup. We also welcome investors, service providers and other individuals who just want to explore the future of wellness!
K: Wellness is no longer a ‘trend’. Whilst it has by no means met its limit, it is part of a lifestyle for a growing number of people and I feel more and more people want to be a part of that conversation. Our Welltodo events, in the UK, Singapore and further afield in due course can provide that avenue to bring like-minded people together, those with a similar mission to connect, engage, learn and continue to spread the message of wellness through their own lives or in business.
In what ways have you seen your services shape the wellness industry around you?
K: It’s early days for Asia, but already we feel that the next-level business owners are connecting with our platform and soon our events, in order to propel their businesses forward, making the most of our extensive content online, hiring through our careers platform and networking within the industry. We have no doubt we will be able to emulate our position within the industry in UK, and be a critical part of growth in the region.
With the data and insights you’ve seen so far, what do you think 2018 has in store for the wellness industry in Asia?
K: The simplest answer to that is ‘more wellness’. In terms of market share, most markets in Asia still have a way to go to convert the masses, and to do so, wellness has to be more affordable and accessible.
L: To expand on that, we feel that more fitness, F&B and wellness concepts from UK, US and Australia will penetrate the market, either in their own form through the various franchise models, or be adapted to local versions — both of which have a valid place in the market. I also feel the traditional eastern practices that are culturally so relevant in this region will continue to thrive and find their renewed place in the market.
Finally, what advice can you give to those looking those looking to expand their business in the wellness industry in Asia?
L: Well, of course we’d love to see you at our event in Singapore – we’re really excited about bringing this conversation to life and giving entrepreneurs in this space the opportunity to connect and share insights. It’s been a really powerful tool for the industry in the UK.
K: We’d also encourage Asia-based wellness startups to continue to look at what is happening in other markets and spot the gaps here, or the differentiating factor that you can bring to your business. The great thing about the wellness industry is that the end product: i.e. allowing more people to access wellness, is extremely positive. I always feels it makes for the most collaborative industry to work in, so my advice would be for people to reach out, connect and collaborate. And finally, I would say you have to be authentic in what you want to create, anything less and people will see through that and lose confidence in what you stand for.
Join Welltodo's first event outside London, taking place on 22 March in Singapore. For more details and to purchase your tickets click here. And stay tuned for more information about winning a complimentary ticket to the event!