The story goes back as far as 2005 at a café at Changi International Airport in Singapore. Joko was in transit from Indonesia to the Seychelles Islands. It was a planned social meet between Greg and Joko to hear of each other’s lives, and how Joko’s wife, Asih had been. The conversation, of course quickly moved to spas and hospitality. They also shared how it will be ideal to break away from the continuity of being an employee, and to move into an entrepreneurial approach. Then, Asih, Greg and Joko were all employees.
Joko shared the dreams that Asih and he had of in becoming owners of their own spa and how it will meet a long held belief that there is great potential in the spa industry. Greg shared his dreams of becoming self-employed and of his interest in the wellness industry as the global population gradually braces itself for the next few decades for the ‘silver consumer’. After all, it was John Naisbitt that articulately predicted “Trends, like horses are easier to ride in the direction they are already going.”
We shared the same belief that the opportunity was far ranging given the massive demographic and psychographic changes occurring at local, national, sub-regional, regional and global levels. There was to be widespread changes and opportunities for the many decades to come.
Joko and Greg spend the next few hours, before his connecting flight to Seychelles, deep in discussion and with a draft plan to start a business in spa services. We agreed to continue further dialogue and to improve on our initial initiative. And that was how it really ended!
Joko, Asih and I continually maintained contact with each other yet we did not make advancements from the initial discussion. But a major turnaround occurred in April 2013 when Greg tripped over to Batam to meet Joko and Asih to rekindle the idea of a spa. They discussed at length and decided that Batam will be an excellent choice since Joko and Asih were more permanently based on the island instead of their original home in Bintan. This discussion led to regular meetings and months of preparation and planning that presently forms the birth of WellAsih today.
So why did it take that long since 2005 to start their own spa? Oddly enough, Asih, Greg and Joko never did question why it did. Although friends have remarked there were years of possible missed opportunities. Yet those years of missed opportunities were years of opportunity that they gained more experiences in their respective professions. And of paramount importance, it provided them the years of opportunities to forge and build a solid foundation of trust, and their long held beliefs that the wellness industry is fast progressing and an essential form of people being centred physically, emotionally and mentally.