Podcast
Episode
3

Decoding wellness with Arvind Krishnan from The Fuller Life

Get a firsthand insight into the wellness industry and the recent changes that are shaping it.

Well being has become an important aspect of our lives. But how did it get here? And how have remote work and post-pandemic developments shaped the way we define wellness today? Arvind Krishnan, CEO & founder of The Fuller Life gives us the answers.

Episode Highlights

Understanding the different facets of wellness
How going virtual has changed wellness offerings
How employers and employees perceive wellness

Kishore:

Welcome to backstage with Zuddl. I'm your host Kishore from Zuddl’s very own marketing team. And this is a podcast where we share eventful stories from thought leaders across industries, to give you epic insights into the world of events and beyond.

Yeah. The episode three of backstage with  and today we have a very special guest Arvind Krishnan who's founder and CEO of The Fuller Life. And he's the best person to tell you about The Fuller Life. So please take it away.

You can just tell us a bit about The Fuller Life. What do you guys do? And yeah, the essence of how it was formed and how are you the one to say.

Arvind:

The company is 20 years old, which in this day it sounds really weird. And the average age, weight, or something like that, what we do is we've been in the business of way being in a smarter way now. And, uh, for the longest time, what we used to do was manage at the Melissa first incentive companies right off the likes of Microsoft got an HP for a KPNG correct.

That's what we used to make that he said all of that. So, so not much what we did was we would, um, can we switch to running or wellbeing service online? And a lot of customers asked us to set something up in. The pandemic and we set it up and we were rolling out on April one and lo and behold, that has become on me.

So I think it's an interesting lesson on, you know, just making sure you're doing different things.  exactly. Um, that is not,  a hundred thousand users and it was, uh, about 20 companies, all including some veins and brand names. So we are in an interesting spot at that. So that's what do. Videos or had about 30 people.

And of course our services now and access to my customers. So because of the whole long lens and also, you know, a number of people are not necessarily working or the way that offices are anymore hard for a lot of people, it might make sense to see why have an establishment in, let's say Bangalore when I can go back to.

Why is that? So, um, people are working from wherever they want to work, all that. And, um, and I think that shift is done. I think that it's possible to shift in a few jobs. I'm sure it will be sort of to be bipolar in the sense that some people will show up. Someone would choose to do when someone would have to go to work from office.

So yeah, largely hybrid is the bad end of population that we get. We get to know companies get about maybe like on people that should be in reality. That's not the case, unfortunately, unfortunately in reality, white collar workers, companies.

right then they may need to, um, let's say blue collar companies, reasons for that might normally be in debt. It might also be lack of availability of resources or services to deliver to them. It is also the. Um, the point that the factories act means that's all those subs that are already available. So they see no reason in three, these, that service land God, by adding something that doesn't really.

And, uh, yeah, he was talking about the companies that want to offer wellness to their employees is what you offer to the company. Yes, absolutely. So these service companies that are B to B service company can move from not having anybody being service offered boots in place to having a full suite, offered to them in about a week's time.

I had to break that down. There's two buildings.

We look at wellbeing across, let's say physical, emotional, social financial. So physical of course. Justice, any medicine as a service emotionally, we'll be having a counselor, um, assessments that you can move to check. Whether you have a problem when you normally visit India. There's a, there's a large limited me, but not a very, uh, high consume, uh, consumption of the substance in terms of emotional.

Then there could be social at some level. If you take 2030 of you. The fact that many times these are nuclear. Now, many people live in houses where they don't necessarily know all the neighbors. Right. Um, your, uh, relationship with SPI group, what actually the. Uh, by blood or by birth is not necessarily as strong as it used to be.

Your local community is not very high. So there's, there's a, there's a gap there. And that, that the Shazzam is widening it up close us financially because you know, um, some of the fundamental assumptions that our parents would have made are not true for us anymore. Examples. Um, Their parents would have lived till their sixties.

Our parents might live the late eighties. They were employed in the sixties and they were able to save up enough. Um, in our case that might not be enough because inflation is what. And if you're living for 10 years more efficient, we'll take a binder of everything. So by the time you have a reasonable chunk of change to be ghost when you're 75, which the  has a particularly bad and, um, many people who are between the age of 30 and let's say 50.

Don't realize, but we might be the same generation  acronym, every part of the sandwich generation, which is we, they get about gets equity, big care about parents. What are we doing if they can get them by our parents or rockets. So that might be, uh, interesting financial problems. That means this, because you might find that when you got a 50

Reality. I mean, it might be from family to family in some cases, you know, I don't necessarily support my parents all the time by losing money every month. But of course, if I'd be episodic, which is fine, but for a lot of people, the families, their parents, right. But can they expect the same support from them?

I don't think so. Okay.

So, so financially, so notice a lot of these things, physically health has gone to the dogs because people have shifted from a, not so sedentary lifestyle. I lost two years as a microcosm, but it didn't move for a long

Certainly discovered that the ability to cope is diminished massively by circumstances. Um, your social position for lack of a better word has, uh, diminished because like I say, families, et cetera, are all becoming more fragile.

Let's see the purpose of what we're trying to do, uh, as a company and as individuals in the company is really try and meet this better, both in terms of decrease circumstance. And it DMS have a long-term respect. So this one of the services. So when I send these broken down into physical, emotional, financial, social consolidations counselors, nutritionists stopped us.

Would you be content by way of articles and videos and webinars and explore stock or something? They be pharmacy diagnostic, other services that you can go to zoom classes that you can partake of. Sure. Um, Italian, um, which is high intensity. There will be like there's any of that Zumba or dance fitness in some way.

So any of that would be, uh, all that would be part of, if you put together and already be available for a company on a site that is branded with their company, a

employee and indeed their families, they get something. You go to website, which is feeding greed@companyx.com for all these things that are available. Got it. And it's paid for by the company, except of course, when you want to order medicines or take a diagnosis and you pay for that, everything is pretty much gone.

That's the, that's the broad outline. And one interesting thing, which I know you guys used to pre pandemic, you used to organize marathons and a lot of those stuff. Yeah. So I just wanted to talk about how you adapted to like what you will, when this whole pandemic thing happened. So, and the major differences and challenges maybe you would have faced as a company to kind of go digital per se.

It was not easy. I mean, the group.

Massively difficult and we were turning on a dime. So when you turn on a dime a costume by cos I mean, we had to part ways with about 30 of our workforce, that is never a fun thing. As the author noted was my job to do that. That is not a day. I'm going to remember for me it often, um, there's also the intellectual effort because you are going one way and then all of a sudden, yeah, it's very different.

It is not a gradual turn to the right. It's pretty much you stop and you're in another medium and say, yeah, The main exchanges, it's almost like it's like Neo and plugging something at the same time. You or somebody else in the matrix teams. We tried some biomedia, which is, we said we can, we do runs. And the answer this weekend, he doesn't have the same feeling or the same shop running, for example.

Yes. Uh, races like the

Um, those were passion projects because I happen to like running a few of us, like running four and we like sport. I still like exercise. I came cycling here. The same type of process, but those are not scalable businesses. And this just brought that home. Right. So we've put a lid on it and that's not fun to do, because this is something that you built for 13 years in the case of math.

And he would say, oh, sorry, that was not

Even the kind of offline services. Abusable for example, he used to manage sports for KPMG across average, a thousand people across eight locations. We do a run flat center at seven cities in cover 15,000 people actually taking. At the same time. Wow. Okay. Those are scale events and we had the ability and the people do manage those things, but we don't have it anymore.

Right. That's gone. It's gone. And you not going to go. I'm not seeing the numbers. I'm not saying it's not like those businesses out of gong. That's the new reality we have been having. We can show we'll put that inherently scalable, even scalable. And since they're not scalable, um, at some point of pain, they were organically mounted in mice, but this just basically massively managing.

Um, programs that require physical presence across so many cities. If you say you stopped doing it, it's also difficult for a person working in that space. Absolutely average deflect bus who was doing what we used to all the time. It was, you probably used to be your additional sport. You're managing football matches, or you have an evening.

Maybe you can meet some of your friends on the weekend and then fly back.

which means some people who aren't with us because this job doesn't suit. When the company changes direction, jobs, gain sticks to them and the new  absolute, and that's really something that happened too. So like I said, it was kind of raging

bell.

So it's been interesting to your question is how does that change it? Like I say, I mean, you know what? It was very difficult. It's been interesting. Not all of it is back. It's easy to focus on or neither word parts and ignore the buyer. No, it's been a pretty healthy mix of both. Right. We have suddenly going from earlier needs to be a company that will only talk.

I think you did say fortune 500 companies based off a few thousand people, because then our services become affordable now, as well as customer is party people. I, this customer is not. So we like Dodge market. If you will, companies at these sites where companies or companies are

this happened more after you went online. Okay, great. So yeah, there is a, the other side. I mean business wise, we are still not profitable. Um, but I think that's really a matter of time. It's not a linear progression anyway, and it's an annual business, which means that once you get a customer, typically they stay on for some time.

But it still means that we have to invest in marketing. We become more B2B subscription company now, and that's a completely different kind of business. Yeah. It looks different. It smells different. Cash flows are different, everything changes. So watching that part of our DNA is. Very high service level, that part of the genius, the assault, but other things change.

You're managing the run for a company and it's done on, you know, in February it's done industry and that's one of them, but this is something that we have to eat. It's not going

to change. Exactly. I'd say for lack of a better word, it's, it's fun if you're not, it's a disaster. And I think that gives us a good picture. You got lucky, lucky, because a normal class we've been around for a long time. We had a. I, I, I think I genuinely believe that we have a really rock solid senior management team.

So we've got people who can handle the flux of this order, because this is gigantic flux pain, maybe once in three lifetimes. Right? So it's like a once. So we got lucky on solving it, that we were talking to go down and putting the cells together. The fact that we've been around for a couple of decades, so we knew like I've copied my work before 15 years.

My work with everyday, that's a big deal. I'm fucking,

in a war it's useful to know who is standing shorter to do it. We'll do an alternate wonderful. Uh, history of having a great deal of voices today, which means that I have people who might work with this because I happen to be the person set up the company doesn't mean much to them

speaking their district. They will voice their opinion is not the same as mine as well. Check.

Fortunately we've been working with for a long time. So you were able to course correct constantly. And so, yeah, so, like I said, many parts you get around the world. I checked this two years ago and you know, I, I was or short of a dead rat. Uh, no, I think that the pandemic might've been the best thing that happened to the company.

It's not the best thing that happened to the people I knew this thing had happened to the company. Interesting. Yeah. Again, they are coming from, in terms of what you offer, like for example, Just wanted to know, like post pandemic with people, like even have experience working from home, as opposed to, you know, being with your colleagues, et cetera.

It's a different way. Um, and in terms of what the company is trying to address like the emotional needs and the physical needs, uh, you see like a big change in the, uh, in what, uh, people are. Like a name, what employees needed a support in terms of like emotional love, physical, how different it is off post.

Yeah, I think, um, this has G little bit from two viewpoints from the viewpoint of the employee.

There's some commonalities employee and employer. The fundamentally fragility of our existence has the fact that they used to work with for the last five years, fancy displeasing or somebody who knew all of us lost somebody when you were

in most of us.

That's good. That's true. So all of a sudden, every understands how vulnerable we are as a species. Sure. Well, employees that's become very viewed, so they are more aware of what could go wrong. Yeah. So therefore understand, therefore, understand that something that looks like. You know, small, uh, uh, ice block or floating on the sea could be a nice book.

Sure. So it might be the niggling, my shoulder. It could be the fact that I'm feeling anxious. It could be the fact that I haven't received enough. Kids' education. Uh, I don't have a great relationship with my parents. Any of that, suddenly you realize that it's going to be a far more serious problem than it looks because now we have the luxury of circumstance and time to evaluate that in isolation companies also come to those with their.

I'm not talking about  was about how everybody's doing. Moving me back. I'm such a clean, that's a 5% efficient integration economy is really MindTickle Indians before. For some people they are doing better. If you happen to be part of the digital economy, you are the. Uh, reads on zoom split Chase's online

we would probably drive in a situation that's not groove. Everybody is. And a lot of companies would be redacted, simple examples.

but people have left that I will use to eat every weekend. When you went there to have a meal catch-up is gone the peace checkout. And that's true of several businesses. I mean, there's a lot of business diet, so both employees and employers and white fragility now. When you got what people working hybrid.

There's another vector that comes earlier, a company who see wonderful cafeteria, great offi brush seats to work at. Guess what? It doesn't matter. I'm working in Salem shop. I'm working on a, my, uh, moment house. I sit here and got this wonderful. Part of the value proposition that the company brings to the Indian I E has changed what Lydia used to be a great benefit now is inconsequential.

Employees and employers would see wellbeing as something that's more important. Sure. And therefore they have increased their bandwidth spend, et cetera on this shot. So there is a greater understanding and a breeder requirement. Plus the earlier service. For example, during the pandemic, if somebody said here's a hundred local hospital, you can get a headache.

You wouldn't go. I do my best to stay away from it's much more pronounced. Okay. So, um, that has changed to sort of what you're offering inside will be literally you're like, Hey, if I'm in company stockpiling, Escalation. I mean, that has not media. Yeah.

Interested in blame them. Um, people who spins things in more. So, um, so from an employee perspective, it's become more important from an employee perspective. The most important from both of their perspectives become a lot more centered to the relationship that they have done with a contractual relationship with.

And you work. I give you money. That's much cooler than that. Um, like it's what is beautiful. The economist says what is not just about, I work in a union. It's also validation. It's turning it's community. It's bonding. It's uh, upscaling.

the classic example of, so a lot of this has gone away. You learn by let's say just by being around by osmosis, because there are people who are waterborne, a domain that you will understand that easily not mislead you because you're sitting in the room, they're making the zoom, they're evaluating. No, that's good.

you don't know why. So now it's become much more part of the foundation. So there's the four rising diet as far as well, being so easy to be in the list that I can confirm that five years 10. Awesome. And, uh, there was one more thing, um, as a company just internally. Uh, what we are seeing as the trend right now, especially big companies who I know you guys recently had the offsite as well.

And there was, I think last year you could only have it virtually. And what kind of trend you're seeing right now is, uh, companies, especially who have like, you know, 10,000 plus, and they used to have these. Uh, off-site, uh, they kind of forced to do it online and while they were raging to go back to the in-person thing, the along the way, the.

Found out from the company's perspective, some benefits such as, uh, you know, the cost of what are the costs, logistics. Let's say there's a noble company, getting everyone to Vegas or something like that. Uh, I think companies have also seen a benefit in the kind of cost saving that they've had with, uh, you know, keeping not exactly going online, but keeping it hybrid again, like say east location, the teams meet.

And all those locations, they, again, kind of go online and meet the other teams. It's sort of like a vertical and on it. So for these big companies, what we're seeing now is the status school is sort of hybrid where they don't want to. We can we'll have smaller focused, physical needs. And when it's a landscaping meeting, all these teams will meet as parts virtually.

So that is one very interesting thing we are seeing and completely ties in with apparently another trend, which is climate conscious events in terms of, you know, how many flights are you taking to get there? How much paper. So, um, a lot of companies are seeing the benefits of both. So they're trying to bridge the in-person element of meeting your friends and colleagues with the whatever cost saving and ability to like measure events like in a platform.

For example, you don't have any other. How many engaged so far you have from a legacy, you have a smaller strength. How was the experience been, uh, having a offsite virtually? And of course you can't match what you had like recently in post,

there are negatives on this. So as far as our company size is concerned, Been doing off-sites for ourselves since zero seven. And we want to be one again  and be in any way to raise a week in person. Right. So for us, it's not that bigger transition. And I'll say this also close to add most of us work in Bangalore.

So it's not, we don't make a flight to get there, but it's not, there might be. Um, expensive. I didn't camera terms or money terms to, for larger organizations. I think the, yes, they would have seen the benefits of having fewer people coming to the office.

I was a little surprised it hasn't changed as dramatically as that pocket talk. The impact will be even viable lead to. I can see some shifts. Some companies have moved into coworking space where you can scale up or scale down depending on the LGBQT. Right? So that might be a possible access of evolution companies having established footprints for, you know, five, a number of people I haven't seen, the kind of changes will happen organically.

So I don't know how that could play out that some of these genders will take some time to be. Maybe a few more. And when that happens, it would be interesting to see how it gets because, you know, we want to be sort of like, okay, let's see now let's give it a few more months. But now as a, as a signals, uh, draft, right, it goes up

Then

6,000 is requesting that they have Watson and they'll say, okay, wonderful. You know, you guys can, I mean, if you don't keep seeds for , I would assume that.

Um, I don't follow the real estate market too carefully, so I'm not the best person. I think that there's, uh, still some unwinding of positions to be done in that space. And I'm very curious as to how would you in my age group, I think hybrid is early stage, so it's certainly become as an entrepreneur.

It's certainly become. And ask from employees point of view, saying

who will not want to move back? I'm working remotely. This is fine for me. I have a trade off between, let's say the amount I work, the balance I have between work and the rest of my life and the money I make. Now, if you probably give, you know,

I'm Judas to see how my bet is on hybrid being fact of life. I don't think back to five days a week, I don't see that happening. Yeah. That seems to be the common guest. I mean, if you are adorable back for five days a week at office, but probably to look for a new job. Yeah. I mean, it's bad enough. That's one of the first things now that people think of, as you said, even candidates, because they've tasted this different style of life.

So why not? Then you have the option.

If you go for a little more.

Um, approach it also be culture. We lose those things because those are nones, you find out by doing, by being in the room. So if you are not in a room with people and I don't mean

to go away, then you're going to have probably very efficient companies, but they don't stand for anything. Uh, origins, the big ticks by simple things. Let's say a company is full of people who were, um, curious about things. Well,

part of our evolution is the fact that we've done lots of things in the rabies. You frightened not. The company is then at some level you lose that stability. They can be one big fields. The game is over one other company, not so great for this company from a culture point of view, the fact that you're a company that, um, um, is, is like Schumer artifact that, uh, you will, uh, be generally.

Happy as a loop. That might be the buyer, right? Professionals. Sure. We jumped people. It looks beautiful, but in reality, it's we bought into it. And the other humans, then you becoming sort of unique coming here, attracting about let's see. Or dog come here. Let's finish this check. Maybe go back. That's it's very transactional and yeah.

So from one's work. You also want to enjoy working because you're spending the most amount of we'll do a job who spend more time on your job than you do alone or with your significant other.

And unless you are someone who prefers working in isolation, because that is your cup. I would think that the social element is an important aspect of it. Confess it. I go to work five days a week. I like it also gives me that separation will be, and that's important for me to shut, but that's my agreements.

I also happen to live it's up, it's an eight week session,

but, you know, asking someone who lives predictable as a way to come everyday, who may seem almost unfair as an alternate, she's going to have to come to work every day. Unless it's necessary for the job, make a job.

You work in a lab where you actually have to be in the lab. I think it's a very interesting set of things that we want to watch in the next game is in here yet. So many curious. Yeah. That's a nice way to look at it. There was one more thing, which I was very keen to ask, which was. Like to add as a DFL, I'm sure you guys used to attend other industry events as well, which happened like nationwide.

So, um, did you continue to take part or participate and how was it like the interaction was it? We did a couple of units in terms of participating in terms of being that I, this there's an audience. Most of the audience. But after the first three webinars, like eight different ways to organize the

for those four years, we didn't do this and we haven't done it so far. And when you do, I don't know. Yeah, this was a handyman this conference, which people they're coming from other cities, but they must be the folks in Bangalore or not in the Lord. He didn't release inside their company. Be very much focused on what is important and it was a nice week.

Talk to people understand their concerns with network marketing perspective.

A lot of companies also understood how to use your game and sauce. Right? In fact, some of our customers, when we come to that

space, translating that is not that easy for us. Because of even a face to face, translating it into either making someone aware of you, making sure you're into their consideration set, making sure that a requirement that actually you said, and getting past those stages itself are extremely challenging.

it might work for a very specific niche zone. But I think that it is a basket of requirements is very difficult. So I think you work in if it's a very, very specific zoning. That makes sense. Okay. So we then subsequently  and of course the last thing we want to be sponsoring this conference or, uh, or doing that, we didn't go to some conferences and speak up, but not.

Uh, participant who's essentially being to be there. Right. Okay. That didn't work for us. Yeah. I was just curious to know how at the industry level limits are functioning during this whole teams. Yeah. So even, oh, you're right. You have, let's say or webinars with somebody who's reasonably, um, aren't an expert in that.

And maybe at the stock of the large number of people, but now it's like, okay, let them have it. It's like Netflix on demand. So it becomes a synchronous thing. Isn't the main audience, but is a loss of immediacy. So. And that's like, is it going to know me?

has its own rules and you and I happened to be in different. I mean, you're going to become

a Jack

lacking.

Awesome. I fall on learned a lot and I really wish we didn't realize it was 38 minutes. Thank you so much for making time.

They still do as part of my work there. So yeah, I love a lot. And I know that for a second year that she has

this was backstage with Zen. If you'd like to hear more episodes, don't forget to subscribe. You can also listen to our episodes on Spotify, Google, or wherever we used to import cost. Don't forget to visit  dot com to know more about how you can. Humanizing events.

Meet the guest

Arvind Krishnan

Founder, The Fuller Life

Founder of The Fuller Life (TFL), one of India’s most experienced employee wellbeing companies. He started the company in 2001. Also, founder of Runners for Life, a running community that organizes some of the best foot races in the country that began in 2005. Started the Corporate Health Summit, an annual conference focused on wellbeing in companies, in 2017.

Meet the guest

hosted by

Kishore CS

Content Lead, Zuddl

Kishore is part of Zuddl’s very own Marketing team. A content creator and enthusiast since 2012, Kishore’s experience ranges from web content and internal communications to copywriting and brand identity.

Kishore CS, Content Lead, Zuddl