Launched in 2011 by Landmarks Berhad, V Integrated Wellness (at the Andaman Hotel) is a multi-awarding winning spa that focuses on conscious living and personal renewal. V Integrated Wellness runs programmes on holistic therapies, fitness classes, nutritious cuisine and lifestyle workshops in Malaysia’s Langkawi archipelago. Compare Retreats spoke to Jasvinder Kaur, Group Head of Wellness at V Integrated Wellness on wellness inspiration, resort initiative, and how to change a crisis into an opportunity.
Tell us about your life before you joined the company to set up the wellness division’s new brand, V Integrated Wellness, 10 years ago. I’m a hotelier and I used to work long hours. Despite the abundance of good and healthy food in the workplace, I didn’t know how to make healthy choices. Coffee was a staple diet throughout the day, I was skipping meals and had very little sleep. There was no exercise. I was tired all the time. But being in the Marketing role, I could see the emerging health and wellness holiday trend growing. Landmarks was one of the first hotel owners to recognize the growing trend in wellness tourism in this part of the world—and my life has never been the same since. Now I’m completely immersed in the wellness journey, bringing transformation even in corporate offices where we are Headquartered. Our company has included a gamified health plan, where we reward staff based on their quarterly and annual wellness & health report cards. We give them incentives for running, exercise, weight loss, vaccinations and so forth to encourage wellbeing in the workplace.
How do you reboot after a hectic week? Most days I only get to do it workouts in the gyms—weekends I’d love a good long run or hike in the outdoors.
Who are your role models and why? No particular individual comes to mind but stories of determined transformation and recovery always inspire me.
Who do you admire professionally, and why? I really admire Victoria Beckham. She is a businesswoman yet is so family-centric. She has managed to create a successful fashion label unapologetically, having no experience or education as a designer. She is also an advocate of healthy eating and wellness lifestyle.
What was the incentive behind opening this wellness concept? The wellness brand launched in the resort to capitalise on the increasing global consciousness on wellness. V Integrated Wellness was founded by Landmarks Bhd. (owners of the Andaman hotel) to replace the spa offerings, which the owners felt were too limited at the time. V is the Roman numeric for five and it integrates five core offerings to deliver personal renewal and sustainable lifestyle change (yoga, spa, salon, fitness and food) working in synergy to deliver results.
We studied many programmes from various wellness resorts but we wanted to create a sense of education while our guests can also enjoy family time in a laid back environment. So while our services go far beyond pampering and indulgence, blending innovative, scientific techniques with traditional healing practices to deliver results, our guests can be here for a holiday too.
Who would this healthy holiday destination suit? We get a lot of couples seeking to reconnect, as well as honeymooners. However, our programmes are very simple, and integrate wellness options for healthy holiday seekers. We have day packages as samplers for guest to try, then they usually return for more intensive programmes.
What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you or that you have read that has helped you overcome a specific obstacle? “Take it one day at a time”. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is uncertain. Live for today. The most powerful transformations can come through difficult times or a crisis because people are forced to have a breakthrough.
How have you changed a crisis into an opportunity? I will take the current lockdown situation as an example. We had to cease operation but it has forced us to think creatively and innovatively. Despite this temporary challenge and disruption to our business, we launched the e-learning platform via Zoom to keep all our employees engaged, informed and included. Embracing the flower of life philosophy, we always seek new ways to love and respect life.
The V Academy was initially set up with a vision to produce high-quality wellness practitioners and leaders with highly marketable skills. The training was usually conducted on-site with hand-on approaches by skilled, experienced instructors such as visiting gurus and industry experts. Now, we have leaped to take advantage of the technology available to fill a knowledge gap. Our online training is focused on business management, classic theories, industry insights and other management principles that will groom holistic leadership skills. We are very fortunate that some of the best industry practitioners have volunteered to coach and speak in our training sessions.
What advice would you give to people looking to achieve their fitness goals within a three month period? It’s not impossible, but we must look at sustainability. We must enjoy the journey and make a permanent lifestyle change. We have to engage with a support group or system to keep motivation, this is a life long journey.