SINGAPORE (Dec 3): Krip Rojanastien does not look much like a hard-charging corporate executive these days, but he actually spent 20 years of his working life at Bangkok Bank, at one point overseeing its cards business. As he approached the age of 50, he realised that the corporate lifestyle was taking a toll on him and that he needed to do something about it. “I was in my late 40s, and I was like this,” he says, gesturing with his hands to indicate that he had a generous waistline.As it happened, Rojanastien was able to turn to his own family for help. His father, Boonchu Rojanastien, a banker who was also once Thailand’s finance minister, had developed a wellness resort in the Thai seaside town of Hua Hin. Rojanastien consulted a fitness manager and a nutritionist at the resort, and they came up with a plan to help him lose weight. Among other things, they recommended he take up either running or swimming as a form of exercise.
“I never did like swimming, though I could swim. So, I chose running,” he says. The programme helped him stay motivated and keep pushing himself to run longer and longer distances. “It was like a ladder, going up and up and up,” he says. “Within a year, I was running a full marathon.”
Today, at 68, Rojanastien is slim and exudes a healthy glow. As chairman and CEO of Chiva-Som International Health Resorts, he wants to bring the whole concept of wellness to more people. “Wellness is an idea that is spreading to the younger generation. Now, they are into organic food, healthy food. They are into exercise. They are into a more balanced lifestyle,” he says. The ultimate objective of all this is a better quality of life. “It’s a lifestyle without chronic diseases and with minimal dependence on medical intervention.”