The tough question

In the next 30-40 years IA and robotics are supposed to replace people and we will use this technology and rule it, that’ll be our role

Continent Nikhil Kapur

How do people succeed in life, why someone does and other doesn’t is a question people try to find an answer to for ages. Starting from the concept and developing the whole project from zero alongside and in partnership with a woman whom one loves, is how our new columnist, owner of the Atmantan Wellness Resort  Nikhil Kapur chooses to explain his business success.

There’s a couple of images that always come into my mind. One is from my childhood. I was seven years old and I remember my father practicing yoga. He used to do the head-stand. As a child I laughed, it always brought a smile to my face. But now I am so proud thinking that he was so advanced practicing yoga when it wasn’t as popular as it became now.

The second image in my mind is slightly funny, a short distance races where you have to finish in five seconds. I never came in dot five. But in one occasion my instructor told me to run a long race. And in long race I became number one. I realized when the race was on that I felt more and more energetic with every second. And as the distance increased, I was going faster. So, I’d say ‘I’m a horse for the long race, not for the short one’. I drew that comparison to the horizon because what happened in our business doesn’t happen in one or three months or even in one year. We needed to go on and on with a lot of patience. Delivering something like this doesn’t mean you take high points or low points. But the important thing is to keep your eyes on the final product and make every day count. Keep on making better, faster and moving closer to the target.

So, I think it all started when I was a young boy. My father is an Indian athlete, he was in army and he played Junior Badminton Nationals and Squash Nationals and has been instilling a love for fitness and the outdoors in me and my sister. We grew up seeing him with the knowledge that taking care of your body is very important.  Our dad used to say: ‘Look, when wealth goes, nothing goes but when health goes, everything goes’. My father is an ideal example for me. I admire his magnetism, his discipline, the way he does his work, even the way he enters the office. His ethical approach is irreproachable. My dad is my idol. So, I’ve been in sport squashing, golfing, for the last five years I was in long distance running. I took up running in my thirties, and did a couple of marathons as personal milestones. So, for me it was not just one incident that transformed me. It was growing up and seeing my father taking care of his health so much and his body and spirit as well. So, I think it became my habit this way.

Love is about spending happy precious moments with your family. But that’s a very tough question. My wife and I, we met in the College. We didn’t like each other much at first. But we worked close because of being a part of the students’ association. We got to know each other really very well. We’re both active. She is very energetic and positive person. We graduated and I went to business school to a different destination and she went to another business school.  We were in touch and then we realized that we don’t have to separate anymore because we like each other, we got each other and we should talk about spending the rest of our life with each other. That’s how we got married in 2002. We have a handsome son who is ten years old. The good thing was that me and my wife, we both wanted to make business and we had a common vision, we believed in our idea. Working with your spouse is not the easiest thing to do. We had a number of fights along the way but then we learnt to keep Departments separately. Otherwise it spoils everything, it meant interfering each other’s jobs a lot and fighting. We even have a family joke and say sometimes ‘If I had to do another Atmantan I’d never do it with you’. But we’ve done what we’ve done and became mature. So, we try to keep some things which I’m the boss of and another thing she is the boss, so we try not to cross each other. When you are a businessman the work never stops. Even in the office, even when you go home, when you are on the holiday it is always business. We try not to bring our work home. That’s a part of the way to keep love.

As an individual I’m very persistent in wellness. So, when my wife and I started our enterprise we both realized that we had a passion for wellness. She had that lovely idea, she felt that taking care of your health should be a celebration. It should be done in luxury. We both really believed in the idea and when we started working on it our philosophy was that we will make every day count in achieving the goal. We went to the day when people will come for the transformative experiences and improving their wellbeing and it took us six and half years to reach our destination.

Digital detox, new age wellness and agelessness became a trend of today. I feel really happy that everyone wants to look ageless. It sounds funny but If I had to renew Atmantan I’d call it a Center for Anti-Ageing maturity instead of Wellness Centre. There’s so much happening, people are doing many things to take care of their physical body and also the mental body. I do a number of things as well. I think I should live a number of hundred and fifty years, following so many options that are available for us.

Number one of these options would be to eat natural food in small portions. Second is keeping ourselves active in the form of exercise. It can be dancing, swimming, running, doing yoga. Third is having a good sleep. Sleeping is being underestimated and ignored. Lack of sleeping creates so many problems. Going to sleep at the same time every day is very important. The next is about taking care of your emotional and mental health. Meditation is a way. Achieving a peaceful life is a big part of Indian science. The fifth and the most important thing which is going to make you live the longest life is surrounding yourself with friends and family who are also taking the right decisions. So, if we go to the restaurant, we should be together in our menu choice. And if we go to the market we should decide to walk or cycle. Say, we’d be partners in crime. Decaffeinated coffee should be your common choice as well. 

My philosophy and mission of Atmantan has same roots. There is something very common in all of us. We want to look and feel good. To achieve this, we all do certain things in our life. Like going to the gym in the city we come from. But now when people travel on holidays they prefer to travel to destinations where they can continue their healthy lifestyle. They don’t want to travel to destinations with the excess of drinking, sex, food but they all want to travel to destinations which totally refresh them. They are people who are not ill. They don’t have to go to the hospital. But they are not well either. If they choose to come to us we could teach them breathing, dietary practices, meditation and eventually visualize them. And this is what Atmantan exists for. A destination for holiday of people who want to get even more healthy. Atmantan is very different because whole approach for us means wellness is a science. Wellness is so powerful that it can actually prevent disease and it can also cure disease. A lot of people who visit us, they come for fitness as well. They are taking medicines for a certain treatment and we help them to get off this medication. So, what we do here is very deep and authentic.

The part of our mission is to be one of the best in the world in wellness and hospitality. We are very multidimensional. Chinese medicine and fitness, very modern approach. There are places with only Ayurveda or only Chinese medicine. But we work with a lot of sciences in our Centre. We give what is best for the client.

I have professional plans and my personal plans as well. First include growing Atmantan. We have opportunities and we are working on it. Second is studying yoga. I’ve been doing yoga for the last twenty years but now I want to study and understand the philosophy of Yoga in a lot more of details. I think it is not just doing asanas. There is a lot of philosophical aspects as well and that’s what I want to understand. I want to deepen my practice in yoga. I’m a Hindu and once something happened in my life which made me think, well, I have to understand my religion better. And that was the point where I started to learn what Hinduism is about. I understood that going to a Temple doesn’t mean being Hindu same as going to the Church doesn’t mean being Christian. Around fifty percent of being Hindu means to understand the alternative route. They say in Hinduism ‘If you read the scriptures you will find God’. And God is an alternative route to be happy. The philosophy of Hinduism says that there’s a divine soul which is God but a divine soul is inside of us as well. And if you understand how to live this life then you will be as happy as your soul. If you are not connected to the soul then you are not happy. One philosophy says, it’s good to be ambitious but don’t let ambition ruin your life. To spend time with yourself and understand who you are is extremely important. And this is what Vedanta scriptures write about. They say how to live your life. They are ancient, they will be a part of my study aimed for mental and spiritual growth.

If I were allowed to address people of the world, I’d say: ‘Hey guys what are you doing there?’ Health is extremely important. To set as an example, some of my friends are not in a good health, they cannot even spend a good time with their family. Take care of your health even if you don’t want to come to the faraway places like Atmantan; you can do a lot of things at the places where you are. But you must take care of your mind and your body and understand who you are. The message is, we have one life and it makes it be very precious. And if you want to enjoy the life with your friends and your family and do good work you need to take care of your body and mind. It’s a holistic approach. It’s important for those who work all day long. In the next 30-40 years IA and robotics are supposed to replace people and we will use this technology and rule it, that’ll be our role. We need good social, emotional, mental and physical health for that.