Pune Inc: National award-winning Atmantan centre takes wellness treatment to greater heights
Twenty years ago, Nikhil Kapur, an ironman triathlete and sports nutritionist, realized that the pace of wealth creation in India had gained steam, and it was giving rise to chronic ailments, commonly referred to as rich man’s diseases that used to be witnessed in the West earlier. With wellness as his focus, the Fergusson College and Symbiosis Institute of Business Management graduate along with Sharmilee Agarwal Kapur founded a wellness centre near Pune on a lush Sahyadri mountain range overlooking Mulshi dam, and called it Atmantan Wellness Centre. Atmantan refers to ‘Atma’ (soul), ‘Mana’ (mind) and ‘Tann’ (body). The centre was formally opened on World Health Day, April 7, 2016.
On World Tourism Day this year, Atmantan was awarded the National Tourism Award for the Best Wellness Centre (Western region). The awards were presented by Minister of Tourism G Kishan Reddy and Minister of State for Defence and Tourism Ajay Bhatti.
“Domestic wellness travellers especially those from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Ahmedabad frequent the centre. Eighteen per cent of foreign visitors come here for pre-Covid treatment,” said Nikhil Kapur.
“We are leading extraordinary lives, by which I mean a complex existence. This has an adverse effect on our minds and body. Many people recognise this and start making improvements in their lifestyle, such as eating healthier food and joining a yoga centre or a fitness class. These people also become mindful about where they spend their holidays and free time. Holidays are the perfect opportunity for them to rejuvenate and treat their chronic elements,” said Kapur who is also the director of the centre. This is what is referred to as healing holidays or health retreats, he added. Atmantan has been created to offer transformative programmes which help people improve their well-being.
According to the latest reports by market research company IMARC, the health and wellness market in the country is expected to exhibit a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.45 per cent in 2022-2027.
The report said that the growing health and wellness awareness is resulting in the rising participation of the masses in various physical activities. This, in confluence with the increasing number of sports and fitness training centres, represents one of the key factors stimulating market growth in India.
“Apart from this, the rising reliance on healing practices like naturopathy, coupled with the rapid growth of health tourism, is positively influencing the market in the country. Besides this, the rising incidences of chronic lifestyle diseases, stress, and other medical ailments, in confluence with the rising health consciousness among individuals, is driving the demand for health and wellness products in India,” the report said.
Atmantan has been designed as a destination for people who are passionate about working on their health and does not function as a spa. The centre focuses on delivering result-oriented treatment programmes for various ailments. There is a team of doctors and other trained experts. “Our guests come to us for treatment for ailments such as thyroid, IBS, PCOS, hormonal imbalances, auto-immune conditions, morbid obesity, emotional healing, stress management and arthritis,” he said. The programmes offered to guests are based on the principles of alternative sciences such as naturopathy, ayurveda, Chinese medicine, energy healing, yoga, dietary protocols and fitness.
The centre has seen an investment of almost Rs 150 crore, and will be closing the financial year 22-23 at Rs 43 crore with a gross margin of 48 per cent. The centre draws clients from more than 50 countries.
The target clientele is between 40 and 65. “The male-to-female ratio is pretty close i.e. men travel for their health as much as women. This was something new for us as we thought that we will have more women coming to us,” says Kapur. The average stay of the domestic travellers is 11 nights and Atmantan has 26 per cent repeat clients annually. “Our target is to have 50 per cent repeat clients by FY25-26,” Kapur said.
Wellness tourism is one of the thrust areas for the Central government, said Kapur. “All of us have close to 50 hormones in our body and stress upsets the working of many of these hormones. While some stress is good, chronic stress is extremely bad for all of us, said Kapur who added that over the past two years, there has been a rise in autoimmune conditions and gut-related ailments.
“We offer stress management programmes, so that our mind and physiological functions don’t get disturbed. In fact we believe in empowering our guests with knowledge so that they are equipped to handle their health when they go back to their urban lives,” Kapur said.