Episode 62

Building an Ecosystem of Wellness with Sonu Shivdasani

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Welcome to the latest episode of the Mind Gut Conversation Podcast, a place to learn from thought leaders in the area of health, food, the science of mind-body interactions and the environment.

Today, I have the great pleasure to speak to Sonu Shivdasani, a visionary Indian wellness resort entrepreneur who is the CEO and founder of Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, as well as other luxury wellness resorts in Southeast Asia.

Having just spent 10 days at the SOUL Festival on Soneva Fushi, I am still amazed at the scope and uniqueness of the experience, touching every aspect of human life from the physical, emotional, spiritual and planetary. By speaking with him, it became clear that this unique experience was a reflection of Sonu’s own beliefs and core values in synergy with his wife Eva.

In this episode, I ask Sonu several questions, including:

  • How did you become this unique individual? What were the key life experiences that made you that person?
  • You have achieved some amazing accomplishment, despite having to overcome several serious challenges to your own well-being, your health and your business success, demonstrating a remarkable resilience. What has been your secret?
  • You make no secret out of your successful battle with cancer. What have you learned from this life threatening situation?
  • Which are the accomplishments you are most proud of?
  • You have had a fairly conservative education at Eaton and Oxford. How has this education shaped who you are today?
  • Running several luxury resorts you must come in contact with many well to do individuals many of whom believe that happiness comes from the accumulation of material wealth and luxury. As we talked about at the recent festival, there is another form of happiness called Eudaimonia, doing meaningful things and things that benefit others. Is Eudaimonia your guiding principle in making decisions?
  • You have had personal experiences with the Western healthcare system but also with many alternative healing practices which are being offered at your resorts. What is your view of the benefits of either one of these approaches to human health?
  • Speakers at the SOUL festival addressed many aspects of our current world of polycrises, from personal wellness to climate change and planetary health. Are you an optimist or pessimist regarding the direction the world is moving in, and how does your view affect your decision making?
  • The SOUL festival certainly had a big impact on many participants. How many participants do you believe will change their behaviors after this experience?