BETTING big on the growing health and wellness industry proved to be a smart move for Cebuano entrepreneurs Paul and Mona Dy when their flagship businesses in export, construction and manufacturing industries faced setbacks and pauses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The pandemic was a showstopper,” said Paul. “Good thing, we were able to quickly diversify and go back to our roots. The advice ‘Do not put all your eggs in one basket’ really rings true in business.”
The couple operates PRD Prime Concepts and Design Inc., whose core business is contract manufacturing for both domestic and international markets. One of its export products is game-day giveaways and graduation leis for the United States market, including Australia and New Zealand.
Paul shared that their businesses had experienced a successful run until the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which prompted them to take a step back. However, drawing on their experience as seasoned entrepreneurs who have weathered the highs and lows of business, the couple made the strategic decision to re-enter the industry where they possessed a wealth of expertise.
Mona shared they were previously in the health business when they were starting, so diversifying into the health and wellness industry wasn’t new to them.
“But this time around, we found a stronger reason why we have to do this,” she said.
Pivot to health sector
The couple’s pivot to the health and wellness sector positioned them at the forefront of an industry that gained prominence as people increasingly sought ways to enhance their well-being.
The Dys opened Oasis Home, a wellness and lifestyle hub in Cebu, at the second level of the city wing of SM Seaside City Cebu.
The store sells an array of wellness products to the retail market, including sauna products, jacuzzis, heated towel racks, massage chairs, and various other health and wellness essentials.
Mona said their decision to invest in health and wellness aligns with the broader trend of consumers becoming more health-conscious. The pandemic triggered this new trend, accelerating and creating a long-term demand for products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.
“A lot of Cebuanos are now getting into shape (after the pandemic). We are not left behind about the latest trends in health and wellness,” said Mona.
In the past, Mona said these services and products were only accessible to the affluent market, but with the rise of the health-conscious population, demand for these products has become more popular. Since the store’s soft opening in October 2023, the couple has observed a growing interest among Cebuanos for customized saunas, in particular.
“Our sauna products can fit even inside a bathroom or a studio condominium. We developed a less expensive version to make the sauna products modularized, portable, and power efficient,” said Paul. A unit of a one-seater customized sauna costs at least P69,000 (infrared or stone heated).
Sauna bathing claims health benefits that include detoxification, increased metabolism, weight loss, increased blood circulation, pain reduction, anti-aging, skin rejuvenation, improved cardiovascular function, improved immune function, improved sleep, stress management and relaxation.
Mona said they want to attract clients from the hotel, condominium, residential and office industries, a move that aligns with the emerging trend in new property projects this year, where a focus on wellness serves as a distinctive selling proposition for the business.
Global wellness market
According to new research unveiled by the Global Wellness Institute in November this year, the global wellness economy will be worth US$8.5 trillion by 2027.
“We’re surprised by the resiliency of the global wellness economy, and how quickly it has bounced back from the pandemic,” said Katherine Johnston, GWI senior research fellow and co-author of the report.
“If the pandemic disrupted industry momentum in the short term, it has simultaneously created a dramatic shift in the long-term opportunities and trajectory for wellness.”
The market is slated to reach $6.3 trillion by the end of 2023 and $7.4 trillion in 2025, on its march toward $8.5 trillion in 2027. To lead the growth are wellness real estate (17.4 percent annually), wellness tourism (16.6 percent annually), thermal/mineral springs (14.3 percent annually) and mental wellness (12.8 percent annually).
“Despite the temporary setbacks from the Covid-19 pandemic, the underlying forces that propel the growth of wellness remain as compelling as ever, including population aging, the rise of chronic disease, the unsustainable costs of the sick-care model, widespread mental unwellness, and expanding awareness of healthy lifestyles and wellness modalities,” the GWI report said.