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Equity Magazine April 2018

ENTREPRENEUR A spot for

ENTREPRENEUR A spot for WELLNESS Alejandro Bataller, Vice President of SHA Wellness Clinic takes us through their journey as they commemorate ten years at this wellness spot By Nicola Monteath Relocating from Argentina to Spain was quite a radical change for ten-yearold Alejandro Bataller. But it felt like a natural move for the family. “My parents had a ninemonth honeymoon, touring 23 countries in Europe, and fell in love with Spain. They dreamed of living in Spain for years, so when they decided to relocate, we were glad,” he tells us. The Argentinian-national has Italian and Spanish roots and reminisces his childhood between Valencia and Madrid, where life was rather slow-paced and all their time was spent with family. During the summers, Alejandro and the family visited their country home in Alacant (a Province of Alicante) perched atop a hill between the bay of Altea and the natural park of Sierra Helada. This land is now home to SHA Wellness Clinic – a leisure health and wellbeing clinic that focuses on natural therapies, nutrition, and medical innovations. “The reason we launched SHA is because my father recovered from a very serious illness when he was in his 50s, solely by changing his diet. To bring this change to the public, he created SHA,” says Alejandro, Vice President of SHA Wellness Clinic. His father, who was previously in the real estate development business in Spain, was always on the lookout for a business project that would transform and enhance lives. “We felt this was a signal, something we could do to help others. We began with zero experience in the hospitality industry, but were very passionate to give back to the country.” Noticing a tremendous gap in the wellness industry, the family created the concept by bringing in the best of Eastern and Western medicine, with healthy, yet enticing culinary offerings. The SHA method integrates natural therapies with the latest advancements in preventive medicine and technology, to combat everything from fatigue to anti-aging, while bringing your body, mind and soul to a balanced, healthier form. The programmes range from wellness to weight-management and detox, antistress, recovery, rejuvenation and fitness. To get the most out of the programme, guests are encouraged to say for a minimum of four nights. Most end up extending their stay due to the comforts of the lavish suite, which face the Mediterranean Sea and mountains. “It’s a privileged area in Spain as it has a micro-climate. We have 330 days of sunshine per year and it’s surrounded by a natural park. It was the ideal place 14 EQUITY

ENTREPRENEUR because the environment was quite important. We wanted to create a place far from city-life, where you have great climatology and don’t feel the need to go out dining or partying,” says Alejandro. The entrepreneur has always had a passion for the luxury industry, and prior to working at his family business and SHA, was with LVMH. He even worked at Royal Bank of Scotland right out of university. “The wellness industry, that I’m in now, is something that allows me to help people. Plus, it has the luxury element to it. We are constantly looking for innovation and excellence.” The global wellness economy was last valued at $3.7 trillion in 2015 (according to the Global Wellness Institute, Global Wellness Economy Monitor). Wellness tourism in itself was valued at $536 billion, and it’s on the rise. The word wellness is currently on everyone’s radar, with most now boasting a deeper knowledge of the term and what it means to them. Health institutions were once considered clinical, and yes, some of these are still in existence with the element of fun so far displaced, that calling it a retreat is slightly ironic. This is how SHA stands apart. “The wellness industry is experiencing a great moment in time. It’s been growing exponentially since 2010 – over 40 per cent per year since 2013,” says Alejandro. What’s interesting about SHA is that they attract a much younger audience, in comparison to others in the industry. “Perhaps people expect to find 60+ individuals, but they see Victoria’s Secret top models, business moguls, and of course those in their sixties and seventies too. We also have approximately 60 per cent of solo travellers, because it’s quite a nice experience to do by yourself.” The clinic sees guests from the Middle 15 EQUITY

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