Q&A: Inside Dubai's Health and Wellness Industry
Dubai’s health and wellbeing sector is on the rise, with many complex treatments becoming available.
One such treatment is cryotherapy, with CRYO Health now offering the service having been in the region since the 1980s.
Benny Parihar, a CRYO partner, discusses this new technique as well as the state of the industry in Dubai writ large.
BR ME: What is cryotherapy? How does it work?
BP: The word ”Cryotherapy” originates from the Greek words: “cryo” = cold, and ”therapeia” = cure. Hence, Cryotherapy is a curative health treatment involving extremely low temperatures (below -130oC/ below -266oF).
The benefits of cold temperatures is a topic familiar to us all in this day and age, thus the overused phrase 'Just put some ice on it'. However the appreciation of these benefits first began many thousands of years ago, when the ancient Egyptians became aware of the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cold.
Over the past 200 years this treatment has evolved to the local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy.
Describe the health and wellness scene in Dubai.
It's a rapidly growing industry, with the influx of cosmopolitan, health conscious people moving to Dubai over the past decade. Dubai now has some of the most advanced medical and sport science facilities in the world. The government of the U.A.E. is a vital part of the growth of Health and wellness, with many initiatives being launched promoting sports and exercise across the country.
The U.A.E also hosts many sporting events like the ATP Dubai tennis open, the Golf dessert classic, the Abu Dhabi F1 race and the World cup horse races, which cumulatively have helped in spreading awareness about health and wellness across the GCC.
Why did you decide to bring cryotherapy to the region?
We have been invested in the health, wellness and beauty industry in the Middle East since the mid 80's and saw the rapid growth of non-invasive/holistic treatments in North America and Europe.
Cryotherapy is the fastest growing beauty and recovery application in a wellness market that will reach $265 billion worldwide by the end of 2017.
This was the base for starting CRYO-Health over a year ago and the success is terrific. CRYO Health specializes in cryotherapy and has packaged itself well as a lifestyle offering for its clients. The treatment has many benefits that include weight loss, anti-ageing, and muscle recovery.
What is the scope for this industry across the Middle East more generally?
In a market where people have access to the latest market trends, the growth and diversification is very inevitable. We very quickly found ourselves setting up numerous cryotherapy chambers for private and commercial use all across the U.A.E.
In the past year we have diversified our product range from not only Cryo chambers, but to cryogenic freezers for blood banks, among others.
Cryotherapy is a gateway to a broader cryogenic industry, which we are made an entry into earlier this year. Healthcare and Biomedical industries are fast growing globally and regionally, and we have position ourselves in cryogenic experts, by putting together a team from Europe that have been in this industry for over 20 years.
What is the future of this business? Do you have any growth plans?
We chose a quiet area like Emirates Towers to perfect the business model of CRYO Health and are rolling out one more location in Dubai this October at the Dubai Ladies Club as well as our first franchise location in Beirut by the end of the year.
Several centres around Middle East are planned for 2015 and we are looking for strong partners to grow internationally.
We are confident that with the growth of CRYO Health into other markets in the GCC, CRYO Services would follow and capitalise on that growth and service all clinics and equipment.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.