- Wealth PMS (50L+)
On today’s show, Deepak invites Vivek Subramanyam of LiveAltLife to discuss the one thing without which wealth means very little – health. Vivek breaks down the foundations of health to help avoid or even reverse lifestyle diseases as Deepak draws paralells on human behavior from the world of investing.
Hi and welcome to Capitalmind’s Podcast Episode # 36. We have a very interesting episode for you this time and this time it is a slightly different. It is not going to be about RBI bonds, and wealth and all that stuff. It is about the more important part of life. It is wealth with the W replaced with an H. So, health, and I have with me a very interesting guest Vivek Subramanian. He is the CEO and founder of LiveAltlife, which is a holistic solution that helps you reverse diabetes and other lifestyle diseases such as excess weight, PCOS and so on. And Vivek and I go back a really long way because you know we met as fresher in a little college off the coast of Karnataka called KREC Surathkal.
And our paths have across multiple times in the last few years. I have even worked with him as a consultant in the episode I was in before Capitalmind. So, life as you know, taken us in very different directions and Vivek is here to tell his story.
Welcome to the show, Vivek.
Super Deepak! thanks for having me. Lovely meeting you in a professional setup which I think has happened a few times like you were saying. But it is more as buddies from you know, 30 years back that we catch up, as opposed to professionally having a conversation.
But great to be on the Capitalmind podcast.
Yes, yes, and I think the first time we met, we were a lot healthier than we are now and it is time to bring back that healthiness into everybody’s life. What I find very fascinating with all my conversations about health with you is that, you know, it always goes back to 1st principles and the phenomenal thing that I hear from you is that you are not just saying that we are going to reverse diabetes. It is not like with medicine or with just, oh, eat this and everything. There is a science behind this whole thing that is not just fascinating, but it is also like if that is so, then why are we eating this instead of that? And it starts to ask the very basic questions of what one knows about health and wealth and stuff like that. But I think I also like to see parallels of this in the way we look at our financial lives, which is the wealth part of things and how you seem to be addressing things around the health part of life.
So, I mean cut to the chase, the first principles part and we go back to that all the time. Say OK, why are bond yields going up is because well, the government’s borrowing too much and there is more supply, less demand. This first principles, so therefore prices fall. As things go around, I think my knowledge about the health part of things is if you eat too much will become fat. And that is pretty much where it ended. But I think the concept that started LivAltlife by was to actually use mechanisms that were not ordinarily known, perhaps, to help reverse diabetes almost naturally. And you have yourself been able to reverse it to an extent where you are off medication. So, tell us a little bit more about how that has come about.
I think you have just opened the Pandora’s Box of knowledge on health, but I think Deepak, as I am thinking about this, I think the two most important things on people’s mind these days – One, probably, is the wealth part. Second, is probably the health part. And between the two, we have got them covered, right? So that is a good thing about this podcast.
But, essentially Deepak, you know the story, you know the back story. I will just kind-of in a compressed way talk about it so that people who listening to this get a context to this.
Obviously, this whole journey started as my previous entrepreneurial adventure was ending. We sold to a NASDAQ listed company and I was wondering what the heck to do next. But one of the things that had come as a legacy of life thus far was diabetes which I got diagnosed around 13-14 years back. I was still in the US, I think early 30s. And I followed a typical path – medicines, you know, and hope that you make the right choices every couple year, your dose keep changing etc.
And suddenly you know after the exit I had all the time in the world. So, two things I was mulling over. One, what problem do I solve next? And two, how do I change the state of my health and how do I get better? And obviously both of them converged and that is what LiveAltlife is all about.
But you know it was with a lot of deep research, right? Maybe 30,000 pages of research, maybe 100 conversations with doctors and researchers to understand the latest science, etc. But for this audience I would like to kind-of keep it simple and for anybody that wants more details and find it fascinating or interesting, which I do now, obviously they can go to our website and there is a lot of blogs out there that talk about first principles, cellular health, mitochondria, nucleus, and all of these.
Because these I think, other than in the last couple of years was probably in high school when you last kind-of talked about this or had a perspective on this. So, that being said, I think essentially Deepak, while the world and us look at, let us say, diabetes and hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and let us say Alzheimer’s and dementia etc as different diseases, different symptoms, different treatments. And to a large extent that’s true.
However, with any medication this does not get better, and that was the question that, you know, what is the Holy Grail? Why is this the case, right? And does this need to be the case? I did not have an answer.
But as I went through tomes on Physiology and microbiology, biochemistry, and kind-of put all of this together, one thing I realized is at the heart of it, and you peel this onion, you see a different picture.
You peel it further; you see a different picture. One level of peeling, you see these many things that are kind-of common to each of these diseases as we know them. You peel it some more; you realize that the Super villain is one. And the manifestation of that super villain is all of these various things which we call a disease, right?
So, what is that super villain? The Super villain is metabolic imbalances. Typically, hormones that are not functioning. It is cells that are not healthy and performing well. I will just repeat that. Essentially it is, you know, cellular health and function, which is not good.
It is, obviously, the body has multiple defense mechanisms just like our country has Army and Navy and Air Force and you know BSF and CRPF, etc. We broadly know about it as immunity, but there are multiple components within immunity. Are things like a macrophage and the natural killer cell and a B cell and AT cell etc. But outside of those there are stem cells, your DNA sanctity, what is called your gut microbiome, your angiogenesis, etc.
All of these play a role in ensuring that the human body is kept safe against intruders and invaders, right? And that becomes weak. So, essentially imbalanced metabolism. And one key hormone is something called insulin, and insulin resistance is one common thing we see across many of these.
It is impaired cellular health, where your cell is not functioning as well as it should. Leading to a process called inflammation. It is essentially your immunity that is inferior and is not well trained and well adapted to fight the invaders and intruders.
Now that is the same across all of them and this is the root cause that manifests overtime as one or more of these diseases. And the medical world kind-of recognizes it and calls it metabolic syndrome.
And obviously the first question I figured out the answer is when I take medicines, why am I not getting cured? Why am I just managing it? And the answer is because we are trying to address this symptom. You know, when you have a solution, it is just helping you get a sense of control, but, you’re not getting better, right?
So, you are managing it, whereas if you actually want to solve for it, you need to solve for it at a root cause level. And then the whole time spent was what are those components of the solution? And Luckily it turned out to be you know, given it a nice engineering college, kind of an acronym, I call it Fresh, which is fasting and food as Medicine, right, which plays a super critical role. I would say around 60% of the impact of how our body works, depends on nutrition, right? Our is what I call rhythm alignment, which is, you know, our body has a Clock. We call it the circadian rhythm. So different parts of our body do not function the same way at different points in time in a 24-hour cycle.
How do we align any activity we do, to the time when those organs are at their peak performance, right? So that is the question. That is rhythm alignment, right? Exercise? Important, everybody recognizes it, but I would say take let us take 2 views on exercise. One view is build muscle, become a Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan or any of these. Other is ensure that your metabolism is humming and the these are two separate goals. What we focus more on is how do we ensure your metabolism is running well and what you need to do for those is completely different from what you want to do, if you want to, you know be on the cover page of some magazine etc.
So that’s exercise and then as a sleep and you know all our lives starting from our hostel days, I think we have been beating sleep trying to get more and more done, which is great, and I felt and we felt that sleep is more about rest and rejuvenation, but we seem to have the energy the focus. By sleeping less, we get more done etc. But as I did this research Deepak, very interestingly I figured out, while rest and rejuvenation is one part of it, other critical part that we are not aware of is that there is a maintenance of the body cells that happen, and that typically happens when you are asleep and when we do not sleep enough, what ends up happening is equivalent of biological garbage that gets collected in the body. It could be weak cells; it could be dead cells. When we use our brain, there are metabolites called beta amyloid and Tau protein, etc, and these need to get cleansed before we start our new day.
But when we do not sleep enough, this garbage kind-of gets collected. Just like in the city, if the civic authorities do not come and clean it up, your garbage pile mounts up. Same things happen within the body and you know, there is a technical term of one of these called Auto Fiji etc. And these do not work well. What ends up happening is you have more weak cells and obviously it is more susceptible to disease, it can get mutated, it can take you down the path to cancer, you age faster and obviously, like I talked about that in the brain there are metabolites like, you know Tau protein, beta amyloid, etc. Now if those do not get broken down and cleanse, they actually block, you know arteries in the brain and then stop nutrition from going to neurons and that takes you on a path of cognitive decline and eventually you get to an Alzheimer’s and dementia etc, right? So, sleep cannot underscore the importance of the role it plays in a healthy body. That was an eye opener for me and the last was what I call a harmonious mind, which is stress free, which essentially you know, to a large extent, I thought stress and what we find you know, when we are worried or anxious. It is all in our mind, it is psychological, but it does not have anything to do with physical health. But clearly, now I know that there is a cascade of hormonal action that happens, so it is not just psychological, there is a physiological impact.
And that leads to some of the hormonal resistance that leads to you putting on weight, you becoming diabetic, etc.
So, stress is not something to not stress about. It is super important. It is something we need to pay attention. It is not just in the mind; it impacts our body. So just to summarize, food and fasting as medicine, rhythm alignment, exercise to ensure your metabolism works well, sleep and your harmonious mind which is stress free. This is what I call fresh and that is a solution that solves for it at a root cause where your metabolism becomes better, your cellular health becomes better and your body’s defense mechanism and immunity kind-of strengthen. And once I realized that, I said, ‘hey, this is a science that people don’t know. Will it work?’
We did a pilot where we applied it. Then we had people that had multiple conditions that went through the pilot and we saw extraordinary outcomes. People who were diabetic, by the end of it were off medicine and showing green parameters and then obviously we built out the systems, the processes, supply chain and all of the capability to deliver this as a solution to get to the market. We did a beta over the second half of 2020 and we had around 50-60 people do it again. This time again, we had phenomenal outcomes. People who were on cholesterol medication, diabetes medication, BP medication who were around 100 kgs, by the end of it were at 75-80 kgs. All parameters green of all their medication.
So, we realized that while this knowledge exists, the solutions that we get from our traditional advisors are based on science of maybe 2 –3 decades back, that helps you manage, which is something you should do, at a minimum, if you have any one of these. But it does not help you make a U turn and one simplistic way to frame it is, think of it as you are told that you are on a one way heading towards a bad destination. The only access you have is to break. You can just slow down your journey, but eventually you are going to get to the inevitable destination, right? Whereas the Holy Grail is “is there a U turn?.” I do not want to go to a state of bad health and if there is no other way, Yes, I will press the brakes as hard as I can, to delay that journey,
I mean the speed with which I am getting to the destination. But the solution is actually U turn in a one way and when we take a root cause approach Deepak, that is what we have seen. We have seen phenomenal outcomes where people get off insulin and multiple medications and their body para meters are all well. And all by applying safe and natural solutions, and I will talk a little more about it later. But, I think, it is too much science for people who are more interested in alpha, beta etc. and the only beta I had was the beta amyloid. But I think, essentially if you solve for the way your body functions at the core of you, the disease goes away. The manifestation of the disease goes away, and the levers available are completely safe and natural. I think, that is what we have cracked and that is something we are taking to the market as a Solution.
This is awesome! I think of so many things over here and I think each of them requires like, probably a podcast on itself, but I look at it sometimes as parallels in the financial world, so maybe that is just me because I am a finance geek and geeking out on all of these things. But you see some of the things that you mentioned. For instance, you have to have a process that has to be followed. So do not look just at the outcome. So, you may have the same outcome with the medicine saying I am feeling better but the feeling better by using a process that is more likely to sustain by itself is probably better. Plus, it is addressing the root cause like you said.
But, in the financial world we also get this right. We write a lot, you know. You hear this. I have to save money for retirement and then somebody comes to me when they are 40 years old and said is it too late? Because I have never saved anything. I spent whatever I had, I put some money into a house which I live in so obviously I do not have any money right now. So, can I start now? Is it too late?
And my typical answer to them is well, it is never too late. You have to save for retirement. There is no choice for it. If I say that there is no chance, what are you going to do? Spend all your money till you suddenly turn 60 and then stop living after it. But you cannot do so. Is there an equivalent perhaps?
Because I am, you know, we are both in our late 40s now, unfortunately, because we are past that little barrier. But we have come to a point where, you know we’ve at least I have started to see, and I was a member and I saw personal health benefits of it. And I realized that time that it is not, perhaps, a point where I can say listen, I am going to die anyway, right? This thing can change my life, but what is your answer to someone who comes to you and says is it too late? I do not even know what I have or where I am and how can I fix this an, you know, is there such a thing as too late?
No, Deepak, I do not think our answer is going to be any different. I think, you know, it is never too late to become healthier. It is never too late to fix your body and the weight functions. I think it is more a state of mind. As long as you believe that you will benefit from a healthy body, the right time is now.
I mean, it always was yesterday, but you did not know what you know now then. So, when you realize I think it is time to act and it doesn’t really matter, right? Because what we have seen and extending my previous point, all of these lifestyle disorders, it is not a switch. It is not like you were OK today and tomorrow you have diabetes.
It actually, like a snowball, cascades over a period of time where it slowly deteriorates and then at some point in time it breaches a threshold, which is when you get diagnosed in hey, you know what you are prediabetic, or hypertension, or you have probably plaque formation in your arteries and stuff like those. But it is at least ten, twelve, fifteen years before that, that things have started going awry.
So, you know, we have come across people when they just get diagnosed the first time. Saying that, hey, you know, I am scared. I do not want to go down this path and can you fix me? “Yes.”
There are people who say that, you know, what looks like all is well with me and I want that to continue. And is there some way you could help? The answer is yes.
And then there are others who say that, you know, it is pretty much give-up time. I have been, let us say diabetic or hypertensive for 20-25 years. My medical reports are messed up right? My doctors say hey, I am living miracle and etc. Can I still do this? And the answer is an emphatic yes for them as well, right?
And I would say the right time is when you are able to make up your mind saying a healthier body is better than the one, I am currently in, right? If you believe that you want to make that change in direction, the right time is now. And I think irrespective of where you might be in that continuum of good health to bad health, you know there is help. Like they say in Hogwarts, “there is help available for those that ask for it,” right?
So, the solutions exist and now is the right time essentially. And the moment you realize you need to work towards fixing it, we are happy to help any person irrespective of where they fall under this continuum.
In fact, I would also say we have built a tool and I do not know what the equivalent would be, but I am sure there would be one in the financial world. Where we believe, based on the 1st principles in the way the cells are working and the metabolism is functioning, we are actually able to predict if you will go down a path of any of these in X years etc. Which is not something that exists, but this based on existing science. But, you know, people tend to call it an algorithm. We call it a protection score. How protected are you today against the chance of you getting this is tomorrow? So even if you believe you are healthy, I would still believe that you know, looking inside are the cells working well? Is the energy production clean right? Is my defence mechanism good etc, will tell you a lot and help you proactively plan against something, a path you might have started embarking on without knowing.
Interesting because, you know, you do have financial tools of course that tell you, ‘OK if you don’t save more money, you’re not going to be able to retire and live long enough to be able to live a happy life.’ There are people who use heuristics. The people who use benchmarks. People who try to use things like inflation estimates and so on.
I guess an equivalent of that would exist in the health part of life, but I think what is interesting to me is like if you do not understand this stuff or if you do not take cognizance of it, then all the wealth you have will probably be spent in countering the negative effects of whatever health issues you have and perhaps, one part earlier than that. But you see in the financial world we get signs sometimes, and these signs we call red flags, and those red flags are very simple to kind-of see sometimes. Sometimes they are complex.
So, we saw Yes Bank gets warned three times by RBI saying do not do this, do not do this, do not do this. And you know Satyam, which of course came out of the blue. There were no red flags, but some people were talking about something for a while before that saying, ‘is something wrong or something not.’ So, we have seen this in a number of stocks where the red flags appear. And sometimes you seemingly ignore them saying, ‘OK, you know. Why will this guy do such a bad thing?’ But you know the red flags! We have come to a point where, as we grow we identify those red flags and say, ‘now we’re going to be a little careful’. And so on.
What is that where you come from? Because I think what you are telling people is also that listen your red flag is not that you are in a hospital bed and dying. Your red flag comes maybe 13-14 years before that. What are those equivalent red flags? Or how do you guys create that process to identify them?
Absolutely, and I think Deepak, same parallels. I would say even in the financial markets for companies, by the time let us say end consumers get to know, the malaise has been slowly but surely spreading over years, right? It could be small pieces of misdemeanors, I do not know, right? But there are those red flags.
Same thing about the human body. You know the difference though is, there it takes an expert like, you know, Capitalmind, you and people like you to be able to identify, discern, and kind-of disseminate that knowledge on what those red flags are and hence what action needs to be taken.
Whereas I think in the world of medicine and health etc, we not yet there, right? So right now, everybody is fighting. It is more like what I would call a firefighting mode. Nobody is thinking about prevention as much, right? So, if you have a problem, we know what drug to give, what procedure to do, etc. And kind of fix what is wrong?
But I think when it comes to lifestyle conditions, like I said, you know, cardiovascular risk or hypertension, etc. there are telltale signs available. And this is what I call ‘there are secrets in your blood.’ You just need to decipher them. And once you know that, you get a red flag or you know little red flag coming from your blood and it gives you signs of what you need to do.
Except this knowledge is not as easy or as well-known because I think we are still behind the curve in the space of health, medicine, Wellness, etc.
But a few things, like you talk about inflation. I think in the world of the human body, it is a temporal inflammation, right? And the simplistic way to visualize this is, you know, obviously our arteries play a super critical role. They are the supply chain that provides every cell with nutrients and oxygen for energy production and for us to kind-of stay alive. And imagine that is the plumbing of a house, which brings in Internet, which brings in electricity, which brings water, and you know, obviously we need all of these to live well. But if all of that started getting rusted and is not functioning as well as it possibly should, you are still getting your nutrition. You are still getting your water in the tap.
You feel all is well, but slowly there is something building up inside. There’s rusting that is happening. And one fine day you do not get water. You know you need a fairly disruptive way to solve for it, which is break the wall, figure out where you know there is a problem, etc. And same thing with the body.
But what if you were to know that hey, you know what? There is a problem with the piping, the plumbing, etc. And it is much easier if you add this additive now to kind-of fix it right? You do not need to wait till you know you need to bring the whole house down and kind-of rebuild it to get some of these to be working.
And one such process is something called inflammation and, you know, maybe I will show off a little. In the cell there is a process called oxidative phosphorylation or Krebs cycle etc, which is where there are these chemicals that go through in the mitochondria on one side. There is a proton that gets stripped off and then there are negatively charged particle, it is called electron transport chain. And at the end of it there is something equivalent to turbine. The way to visualize it called an ATPS and that is when the protons flow from the other side and we create the currency of energy called ATP which is adenosine triphosphate, if we kind-of go back in time and remember from biology.
Now there are multiple types of fuel that help you get the ATP out, and each one results in the equivalent of, let us say when we drive a car, this exhaust that comes out and pollutants that kind of come out so summer cleaner, somewhere dirtier, right? And the harmful effluents, if you will, that come out of this process is something that you might find unbelievable. It is actually o-minus ions, which is oxygen ions. Hence, right now they are super highly reactive and need something to react with and failing which, they start causing harm to what we call our vasculature, which is our trees to tissues to DNA etc.
And in recent times in post Covid world we have heard of something called cytokine storms, right? So, these are some of the things that trigger a storm like that. And I mean, I am just using an example what we call our OS, which is reactive oxygen species. Now that leads to, you know inflammation. There is something called oxidative stress, etc. We are able to measure that, and if we are at a state of what I call chronic inflammation, we know that we are heading to a direction where you know it’s not going to serve us well. It is a slippery slope.
There are certain hormones which are super critical to the functioning of the body, and these are the communication mechanisms from one part of the body to another, and one example of that is what I would call insulin. Now, insulin is a super critical hormone, plays a very crucial role in multiple processes and functions.
One key thing is, logically think of it as a key that opens the wall of a cell to deposit glucose, and that glucose is what gets used to create energy. That is one role it plays.
Another role for insulin is figuring out, should I go into spend energy or store energy? And I mean trying to get it into the financial world, what you need to use is what we will probably have in your savings account, and what you need to save for later is probably what you would put in an FD or investment etc. So, in our body, fat is the energy we put aside for later and derivatives of glucose, or what we keep for using what energy needs of here and now, right?
So here and now is obviously glucose. That is in the cell. It is glucose that is in your bloodstream. It is glucose, a component of glucose called glycogen that is stored in our muscles and in our liver. If the glucose levels get depleted, then you kind-of borrow from there.
Fat is your long-term energy store. Hey, if I am stranded on an island, marooned on an island, and I have no access to food, and I am Tom Hanks in Castaway. How will I make energy? That is where you break your FD or you, you know, liquidate your investments and kind-of get energy and that is the storage that happens.
Now, what if that insulin stops doing its job properly? There is a problem, and one common thing occurs in all of this is something called insulin resistance. Now these pre-dates any kind of diagnosis of a disease by another 8-10-12 years. If you are showing a tendency of having what is called insulin resistance, which means your body is producing insulin, but it is not effective. It is the first sign that, again, you have started on this path and you need to make choices that will quickly kind-of get that to a better place.
So, this again is not typically measured but is one of those red flags. And I would say one simplistic thing is, let us say, we became adults and our vertical growth kind-of stopped. Let us just be generous and say by the time we finished engineering (by the age of) 21-20. In theory we were a full formed adult. I do not know if you remember what your weight was. I would guess I was at 65 odd Kgs then, give or take and anything we have added, technically we can always go back to that.
So, if you are seeing a steady increase in weight, I would say that is one sign of your metabolism not working well, which is very visible. Obviously if you have to look at insulin resistance, I need to look inside the blood. If I need to look at inflammation, I need to look inside the blood. If I were to look at your immunity and defense mechanisms, I need to look at your nutrition profile – do you have enough Vitamin B12 and D because all of these play a critical role. Do you have the right bacteria in your gut, which is super important component, not just for immunity, but for ensuring the extract, the right nutrition and it also plays a critical role in our emotional state of mind. There is something called as a gut brain access.
Now obviously there are multiple ways we have figured out what those red flags are and like I said we made a product to be able to do that, and I think that is something anybody above 35 should do in my view. And take stock of where I am, you know, is there this early warning signs that I need to a) notice and b) do something about; so that I do not get to bad outcomes like being diagnosed with some kind-of disease later, but those would be the kind-of red flags. And like I said, the simple visible thing will be if your weight is increasing, and it is a sign that there is a process within the body that is not working well.
Interesting. So, it is not just a manifestation of weight, perhaps because that is external. It is also could be inflammation, which is silent. So, I remember when I did it, I had this shoulder injury and the first thing that came out of the test was that you have inflammation and I said yes, I have an injury. OK, well the inflammation could be because of the injury, but what if it is not? And if it were inflamed anyhow and you did not have this injury, would it then still be because it could be a silent inflammation inside and like you said inflammation is related to perhaps… and I find the science fascinating to be…you know, I know that I will geek out on this as well because I love the very basic concept of the first principles here.
But the fact that you have oxygen ions and atoms in the blood, and the fact that we eat antioxidants like an Apple and that kind of, it now occurs to me why? And perhaps the antioxidant is a concept of negating. So, in a way, somehow, this brings together a lot of the other things. But the fact is that you can identify there are inflammation. You can identify some of the other things that you talked about the insulin resistance, for instance. So, if your body is insulin resistant, in fact, I think perhaps the science and you talked about me about this in another context, is the fact that your fat is that your insulin resistant in some way, otherwise the body does not need to do what you are doing.
So, there are multiple pathways. For example, there is a thyroid pathway again, etc. But insulin resistance is one big dominant pathway which does lead to people putting on weight.
And Interestingly, the concept of insulin resistance has been countered or low production of insulin is not because your body cannot produce insulin. It’s that because your body is not answering that insulin and therefore it’s not producing enough saying, ‘these cells are so full of glucose. I will not produce insulin because every time I send insulin to please take glucose in, he is saying boss go away. I don’t like you; I don’t want you.’ And, therefore, less insulin is produced, and less insulin produced makes all the other complications happen. Perhaps?
Half right half wrong, but essentially Deepak, I mean, you got the essence of it right till the very end. Insulin, while it is a very important hormone, before I started down this path, my belief was as a diabetic, my body is not producing enough insulin. And because I knew that as you become more and more diabetic, you start injecting insulin and the belief was it is because your body is not producing, there is a manufacturing defect, etc.
But what I know now is, well, yes, that is a small component, these are folks that have what is called type one diabetes. And for them you know, injecting insulin is the solution. Whereas the bulk of the people who are type 2 diabetic and many other people which are not even diabetic but have a condition called insulin resistance. And here it is actually your body is producing more insulin than you need except it is not as effective as it needs to be. It is kind of a vicious cycle. You produce more insulin; the effectiveness goes down. To get the same outcome, your body produces even more and even more and even more till your beta cells in your pancreas max out on the capacity to produce insulin. And that is when you need to have guys that urge you to produce more insulin which could be oral medication, it could be injecting insulin and so on.
But what I want to make a point is that anything that makes your body produce more insulin is actually worsening your insulin resistance. However, symptomatically when there is more insulin, your glucose levels may go down. You may believe you are in control, but your underlying situation is actually becoming worse, and that, I think, is a distinction and something that people need to know.
So, if I was, you know, an alcoholic and we are brothers and I come to you and I say that ‘hey Deepak, give me some money. I want to get it.’ And you say ‘hey, no, I’m not going to spend money on all of this.’ But I keep pestering you and you know, chasing you down and you are kind of sick of it and you give me some money. I go and get drunk, I come back, I am the most civil guy ever. But if you notice what is happening by giving me the more alcohol, my behavior has become better now. Which is symptomatically I am better, but my alcoholism actually became worse.
So same way to a person that has insulin resistance, you do stuff that puts in more insulin. While it may feel like the glucose levels are coming down, your underlying insulin resistance is actually becoming worse. Which is what I think traditional science and the weights applied has gotten it wrong, and it is a wrong line of treatment, right?
And there is a drug called sulfonylurea class of drugs, there is the injected insulin for people with insulin resistance, for people with type 2 diabetes, that is not a good idea. And while it may feel like you get an immediate win, you are losing the…I mean, you may win a battle, but you are losing the war, right?
And it keeps making your condition worse. So, there are many such red flags if you will, right? Even if you take a look at our, you know heart disease, we talk about LDL and HDL and triglycerides and all of these. Yes, they have a place, and they need to be measured and assessed etc. But there are other indicators. There is something called as homocysteine, for example. Now homocysteine levels being higher than what is good is super highly correlated with cardiovascular risk. And you know the solution is quite simple. If you had enough vitamin Bs, you would not have a high level of homocysteine and your cardiovascular risk would actually be down. And some of these we may just brush off as saying, ‘yeah, this vitamin deficiency, that vitamin deficiency etc. But we do not understand the role that they play and some biochemical reactions that do not get completed because there is a lack of a certain material needed for the entire equation to or the chain of reactions to complete.
So, there are things like these that are those red flags that give you a quick peek into “Hey, my body is not working well. While traditional health parameters are fine, as I go along, I will be on a slippery slope heading towards one or more of these medical ailments.’
And there all kind of an umbrella like I talked about. It is called metabolic syndrome. They are all related. And if you want to look at kidney health, there is something called cystatin. So, there is a bunch of these that we’ve kind-of put together and that I believe anybody above 35 should do. It is your duty to figure out not only am I feeling healthy, but how are the processes in my body working, and are they working well. Because the sooner you know the easier it is for you to make a U turn and head back towards a state of good health.
Because the moment you get diagnosed with a lifestyle condition, you are told it is a progressive and chronic journey and the simple way to look at that is it is a one-way street. You can slow it down with interventions, with medicines with management, but you cannot come back. And I think we have figured a way of how do we get those back. And we will talk about it. You know, we have talked about it before we will talk about it in the end as I summarize. But I would say even if you do not have a problem, if you know you are heading there, you make that U turn, right? Get that early warning set, get that red flag and kind of act on it.
And one is, what are the secrets hidden in your blood etc. Which is what, you know, like I said, we have created a product around. But more importantly, we all became adults at, you know, 21-22ish (age) when we got out, graduated, etc. So, the size shape we were in then, is a size and shape we can be now. And over a period of time as we add weight…I mean, I am not saying adding weight is wrong and you know, definitely not going down body shaming etc. But what I am trying to say is there are some vulnerabilities and lack of effectiveness in your metabolism that is leading you to put on weight.
And one visible sign is, if you are feeling that you are continuously putting on weight. And I do not think we should stick to the standard formula of eat less, move more. That is not going to cut it because what is happening is your body is working differently now, right? Just because you eat less move more, it is not like you will get better. You need to fix those underlying root causes, the metabolism etc .
So that is a visible way to look at it. But otherwise, I think there is a lot in your blood traditionally not used. But something that we have knowledge of, something that we kind-of help people figure out, and I think like with any investments, getting that early sign in investing in your health, investing in your body, knowing if there are vulnerabilities and fixing it is much easier to do. And obviously a little tougher to fix it as you go along. But I mean, there is always hope there.
There is, in fact I think you know Vivek, as much as I come to think about red flags is one thing and then there is always this argument of ‘I can do 40 pushups, I can run a marathon, I can run 5 kilometers, I can get up and immediately start with 40 squats. The argument of fit versus healthy.
And I think of it in the context of, let us say in my case and we were working together at the time, my mom had a heart attack, and she is the healthiest person I know and she is extremely careful about her diet. She does need non veg. She is fit. She is thin, she is not in any way overweight. Does not look like she could be a person who could have gotten heart attack. You find that a person like that gets a heart attack and that is the concept of how can a fit person be unhealthy and how, therefore, is it possible for someone who is so physically active and who is so energetic also to still have these underlying problems inside.
We have seen this in the economic side of things. We see companies with results which have great profits. One big example was DLF. This was a long time ago, but DLF was showing these fantastic profits in 2007 and then we were saying ‘oh great company, good profits’. Look a little deeper and you say, ‘well, where are these profits coming from? Why isn’t the company able to generate any cash?’ And you look at it and say, ‘well, the company is not generating cash because, you know what, it’s recording revenue by selling certain things to another company. And that company is not actually paying it yet. So well, who is this other company? And they go a little deeper and it says that another company is a company owned by the promoters of DLF and those people have not paid. They have bought something, but they have not paid for it. So, the cash has not yet come. That cash is a huge portion of its revenues. So DLF is making a lot of profits, but underlying it is something really unhealthy. That is no cash flow and eventually when they found out this other company could not pay and that was for multiple of other reasons they merge together and then this profits that were earlier being generated no longer are. So, the unhealthiness reflected eventually in the bad part of everything. So, what was fit perhaps from a profitability perspective, was unhealthy from a balance sheet perspective. And the unhealthiness was a real problem.
And we find that maybe perhaps the body has an equivalent, right? So, you can be fit, and you can be unhealthy. How does the metabolism, how does the situation here work in the body?
Yeah, I think great question Deepak and very similar. I would say again, like with many points we have discussed. Typically, you know, in our minds it may be very difficult for us to separate fitness versus health, right? And I think many people kind-of equate it. If you are fit, that means you are healthy. If you are healthy, that means you are fit. And so on and so forth.
But you know medically or biologically, I figured out that health and fitness are two separate state. Typically, high state or levels of fitness does seem to imply that it is a high level of health, but that is not necessarily true, right? And as we have seen with multiple cases, you know, starting with celebrities that we’ve kind-of grown up watching, reading about, etc.
Starting with the Sourav Ganguly. Elite sportsperson, you know with the supremely fitness-oriented approach etc., and you know who is recently retired and all of those. But him going through his cardiovascular issues, you wonder what is wrong. Is it Genetics etc.? And you know, in the corporate world we have seen leaders from companies like a SAP, like a BMW.. we have seen people come on dance shows, who spend so much of the time physically and yet having, you know, cardiovascular issues, etc.
And you sit back and wonder, ‘hey, is this fate?’ Bad luckich kharab hai yaar, as Aamir Khan would put it, I guess. Is these genetics? There is nothing I can do, right? This is the way I have been born, etc. And that is the way you would explain it to yourself. But the reality is, I would say yes, genes, genetics does play a role, but I think to a large extent it is how healthy and how functioning are all the organs and the hormonal systems etc. within.
And fitness and choices to make around fitness play a role, but I would say the single biggest lever that makes this change is the right nutrition. And if you get nutrition wrong, you could be super fit. You could be running marathons, but you could still be having arteries that are getting plugged that is being corrected there and that would make you susceptible to obviously a cardiovascular issue.
So, my realization Deepak, is that it is two separate things. Yes, you should take steps to be fit, but more importantly you should take steps to be healthy. And I think having the right kind of input that drives the machinery of a body which is nutrition is extremely important. And if there is only one thing you had to change, it is to get your nutrition right, and that will hold you in good stead to a large extent.
But obviously, like I said before, you know, the rhythm alignment, exercise, and fitness – both of the mind and the body, sleep, stress, all of them play a role…. having a peaceful or harmonious mind. But you know, if you can do all of them, fantastic! But if there is one thing you need to fix, I would say fix your nutrition. If there is a second thing, I would say, you know, focus on your fitness. And when I say fitness, I mean both of the body and of the mind.
Oh man, ok. When I did the program myself, I found it quite interesting because, you know, you tell me Deepak, you can cheat on not taking enough exercise but do not cheat on the food. And to me that was important because, you know, it has a symbolism.
If I miss an exercise around, I could probably make it back much faster, but if I do not do enough, I mean if I eat the wrong stuff, which is essentially what cheating is, then I would reverse…. I mean, it takes a little bit longer to reverse because things change in a different way.
But what is also interesting to me in this whole thing, this whole aspect around how we solve it. So, we have identified a problem perhaps, and we identified that people have a problem, and they need to recognize that problem. But then how do you go about solving it? Because it cannot be a one size fits all solution. It cannot be like eat an Apple a day and everything will go away because you know Apple is the world’s largest business, so everybody is probably eating an Apple somewhere every day. But, you know, there is also the problem of how do you solve it and how do you, and therefore your company LiveAltlife, address this problem.
And, I think you mentioned an interesting three mechanisms that you use to address it and I found parallels in that in the financial world. Maybe we can discuss that as we go around, but tell us about that?
Absolutely, you know, we have looked at disease and think of disease as the opposite of health, in three ways a) Can we predict disease b) Can we prevent disease and c) Can we beat disease?
And this works for different kinds of people over a period of time. Like I was saying all the work we have put in on the diagnostic piece, on the assessment that we have, which is not just blood work, which it definitely is, but also includes ways of figuring out various lifestyle components, your level of stress and it all kind-of comes together and we have simplified it into a simple metric. And I urge all people who are on the wrong side of 30 to kind-of get started on because you would rather know sooner as opposed to later, and that is what we call predict health.
And there are two components to it. One is a one time and then one is an ongoing monitoring, which is an annual kind of a subscription where let us say every quarter we profile and through the time series data, which I am sure you do a lot of in terms of fundamental or technical analysis and so on, we are able to spot early warning signs much sooner than taking a look at a snapshot in time. So, these are the offerings that we have under what we call predict health.
And then there is prevent and these are for people who may not believe that they have a problem. Yet, here are components of their health that can be strengthened and fortified. So, what we offer here is, you know, there is something called as a gut revive. And like I was talking before, I think what we call a gut microbiome is a super critical component of a state of health, plays a role in immunity, plays a role in what is called bio availability and absorption of all the nutrients, plays a role in your emotional state of mind, etc. and very less understood and less known. And these are all billions of bacteria that reside, to large extent, in a large intestine.
And based on choices we make, we may not have the right representation of flora and fauna, and that in turn makes us weaker, in turn makes us more susceptible, in turn impacts our state of mind, etc.
So, we have got something to help people strengthen just the flora and fauna in their gut, called a gut revive. We also have something to help people amp up on their immunity called as an immunity revive. We’ve like I said, we will come up with our own curated set of designs that drive better metabolism in terms of a mix of exercise and yoga and meditation that we put together.
And obviously this is something that fits people who have never done anything before. Because we’ve, you know, taken a unique way of what we call a Level 0, where we are saying my 75-year-old mom should be able to do. And slowly as you build confidence, as you build the flexibility and strength, you can graduate to additional levels. So that is again something you could proactively do. So, all of these would broadly fall under the prevent disease umbrella and obviously you can just subscribe to healthy food that we make.
You know my daughter enjoys it and I am happy. Because whenever she chooses the LiveAltlife food over let us say a McDonald’s or whatever, you know good for her.
The third one, which is I think the most critical, is what we say, “beat disease” and these are for people like me and many of them out there who did not have the predictive tools, did not take the preventive steps, and are stuck with something like, you know, my cholesterol levels are high, my BP is high, I have diabetes, I am struggling with excess weight, I have a fatty liver.
So, this is where we say beat disease where we have put together a curated program that includes all of these vectors. It is what we call our triangular approach to health, where there is the precision nutrition driven through our food and nutrition plank, and we have an AI system that ensures that you get the right quantity and the right breadth and depth of every nutrient needed that will help fix your metabolism.
The second plank is your mind and body fitness where again we put together the right kind of routines that drive mental health as well as physical health through exercise, yoga and meditation kind-of put together.
And the third is what we call smart Diagnostics and consultation where we have re-looked at how we assess you and we take snapshots at different point in time. You see the transformation that happens to your state of health. And obviously there are the experts that you might need which is doctors and nutritionists and physio therapists and counselors who, kind of all of us, take a view of you in totality, help with multiple vectors that need to drive better health.
And unlike in real world you would go to multiple people, you get advice which is conflicting etc. But as this is built around you and makes it super convenient and is without a doubt safe, natural and we do not use anything processed anything chemically contaminated etc. in what it is that we make.
And there are multiple other lifestyle conditions. And on a website, there is list of how we will be able to impact, but these are broadly ways for people to engage. And you know we have seen outcomes where people are on cholesterol medication and diabetes medication and hypertension medication, maybe insulin 100 plus Kgs that, you know, go through what we call our Health restore program and see transformation outcomes right? They get off all their medicines, they lose some 20-30 Kgs of weight and all their parameters are green, not just traditional measures of health, but also the underlying red flags if you will, and the red flags have turned green, right?
So that is broadly what we do, where we have taken cutting edge science and applied that and made it available in safe, natural, convenient ways and also made it easy for different kinds of people to engage and take advantage.
It is so interesting, because you see parallels to this, to say financial lives as well, because I think I see the way you say, predict, because we in the financial world try to predict what are the different things that can go wrong. And that predictiveness can be based on a benchmark and we create a benchmark, we call them benchmarks; we call them indexes. ‘Oh, we are here, we’ve got a moving average. We got this and the stocks are way above, way below, some bond yields are above or below. We have got inflation. No, I like 2%- 6%, but anything more than 6% is bad.’ I guess what you’re saying by predict is, you are saying “Boss, where are you? Are you in a point where I can actually predict that something is going to go wrong to you in the future by using the benchmarks that you have created over various parameters and that could be – for us macroeconomic world is the inflation, for the stock market it is something else-the barometers in index, it could be something else, it could be the USD and INR combination and people keep talking about that. For you it is different measures, but everyone has an impact.
And therefore, just the ability to do that on a regular basis, because you need that in the financial world, you need that in the human world as well.
Absolutely. And you are geeky in multiple ways, including the way you look at data and financial data for sure. It is no different. Same principles as you apply and obviously you can take a snapshot view, but there is a lot of value when you look at time series data, the trends, the moving averages, only come over time series data and our predict is essentially the same thing as applied to the state of a health. And some of it is future looking and there are indicators that kind of tell you where you might be headed and there are indicators that are more lagging which tell you that, hey, you are in a good place or a bad place now. And it is the same concept as we applied, packaged as a one-off test, and like I said, an ongoing subscription, but the approach is exactly the same.
I have seen this another thing that we do in finance quite often. I could tell you listen, fix your portfolio by getting rid of X or do Y, but a lot of things become standardized, right? So, for instance, we tell people all the time, unless you are a super expert, you are likely to be benefited by just diversifying your portfolio. You just do different things. Concentrate on stocks versus bonds, versus India versus US, versus in India I do not want to be only in banks I want to be in banks plus industrials plus FMCG plus whatever.
So, I think what you are talking about is creating this health portfolio inside of you. That health portfolio says, ‘boss you can’t just be focused on fitness. Because that is one thing. It is a good thing, but it is not the only thing. It is only going to work in correspondence with something else, which is your, perhaps, gut bacteria at one level, like you talked about the plaque that is in your arteries, that is going to be addressed in a different way, your inflammation is going to be addressed in a different way, your lack of immunity, or perhaps impaired immunity, is going to be addressed in a different way. These are all different things you need to monitor; you need to address these in different ways and this diversification is exactly what keeps you healthy. Because if you have got impaired immunity and a plaque together, you are probably now at 2X the impact of everything else. So, if you fix one, you might be able to offset their impacts of damaging another. So, this diversification is natural and you are actually saying do not address one, address all at the same time and in a way fix your health.
And perhaps the last part of it, which was the beat thing and that was interesting, because when I used to eat the food, I am telling you to be honest, the one big problem it solved for me was that I did not know what I had to eat every day and you know a busy person who does not have time to actually go back and analyze what needs to be done. So, if I have not brought food from home, I am pretty much going to say go to Swiggy and order whatever is on top there. So even if it is a bad thing, I mean I love biryani; it probably has Culinary Fantasticness, but it is not healthy to eat and perhaps, I can eat it on a cheat day, but otherwise it is not a good thing to order, but it would be right there up, front and center. But what it did to me was, it said that somebody is going to deliver food to me every single day – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That just changed my life because just attitude wise really, I am like, OK, I am not eating anything else because (a)-that would be cheating and (b)- this food that is coming in, is nutritious and delicious. But you know it changes behavior, because once you know that you are doing this and it is helping you, it does not matter that I do not lose 20 kgs or I lose only 5.
The point is, it is making you feel better, and you know at some point, that it is the financial equivalent of this is almost like getting a feedback from the market, that dude what you are doing is right, because in a down market you were not so badly down. In upmarket, you are doing well, but not maybe, as phenomenally as maybe Rakesh Jhunjhunwaala is. But it is fine because what you need to do is work to your level of fitness, from your financial life itself. But you are effectively, from a really bad place perhaps, coming back to life and that coming back to life is, you know, the Pink Floyd album, but it is also true of human life.
Absolutely, and I think that, single vector approach is better than no vectors. For example, a portfolio I am assuming, is better than no portfolio. But I think that the right way to maximize the benefit is to have an approach where you get the right components of each of these. And obviously it is not easy. That is when you need experts. And like somebody would come to you for that expertise in investment and in managing wealth. I think in terms of managing health, we know the impact of each of these levers and help construct the right kind of a portfolio for people to get to a better state of health. And obviously we have tried to demystify all the complexities into the benchmarks and indices you were talking about. So, we have something called as a health index, we have something called as a protection index, we have something called as a lifestyle index. And while there may be multiple data points, this makes it easy for you to look and track and how you are progressing, and should you be worried about something. And where there is, is where you kind of drill down and look at what specific area of vulnerability or risk might exist and what might need to be done to kind of fix that. So, I think the approach is very very similar.
In fact, here is also another area of similarity, which I am assuming. Now, I may be assuming things, but I know that this is something, that is a problematic thing in the financial industry. Now, I hear a lot of financial advisors and some of them are really good. So, what happens typically is that somebody comes to them with maybe an okayish portfolio, a rotten portfolio, a very complicated portfolio, and so on. One of the things that financial advisors always tell me is that ‘Deepak, you know, people aren’t willing to pay for financial advice.’ This stuff can save their lives, but they will not pay, because the assumed cost of it at that time is quite a lot. Even if you did a few changes, the impact of those changes can be so dramatic that you will recover whatever cost it is, in a very relatively small period of time, but also create a room for a lot more growth.
So, this could be because of, you know, somebody advising you say 100 products. Now if you give me 100 product portfolios, I am going to take a lot of time just to analyze those 100 products in the 1st place because just to figure out if those things meet the criteria that you have, is going to take X amount of time. And the financial advisors tell me, ‘if I have to look at 100 products before I go through, I’m going to have to have a cost to it. And most of the time people come to me and say, ‘I mean, just analyze this for free,’ right? You know, just analysis. But it is not. It’s got to be something that’s related to you because it’s not just me looking at those products and say ‘oh, these are great products’ but are they suitable to you in the 1st place. And then secondly, how to get you out of it is going to be dependent on when you got in, how much you got in at, and why those products were bought and your tax situation and whether we should do it this year or next year.
So now there is a layer of customizability that happens, but also the underlying point about this is not the cost of providing service. It is the benefit that the person accrues that is not visible because it is delayed. It is like if I told you, I would get your weight down by 2 Kgs tomorrow, you are willing to pay me. But if you are telling me, this is what I am going to do, it is going to make sure your weight comes on over the next year, the immediate answer is like, ‘OK, I’ll come back, you know, when you tell me when the last day comes when I lose those two kgs and then you know.’
So, it is almost like that, that people come to you in the financial world. How do you handle this? Are people willing to pay or is there a change that we need to see because I am seeing this health, as one of the biggest eroders of wealth in the longer term, in the sense that if you do not keep your health right, you are going to spend all the money that you are making, in fixing yourself.
So, some of these things will obviously cost you money. I mean, you are sending food to people every day, that is obviously going to cost people money. But honestly, if you did not do that and you told people exact recipes of how to make stuff, they would not do it and there is a cost to doing that and therefore you know, how do you address that?
So, one thing, Deepak, It is the same people, right? So, I do not think, they will behave any differently because same people that are coming for advice on wealth, are coming to us. Let us say, for advice on health and the behavior, is kind of similar, and it is a battle.
But that being said, I think obviously it can be a question. But I think it is our eyes to, articulate what that value is and why it is worth, what it’s worth, for the effort that puts in for the expertise, for the processes that have been put in place, for the tech that has been built that makes it more intelligent and so on and so forth. But two things that I wanted to talk about in general. Obviously, there is an objection to pay, but clearly, we have seen that there are enough people that are advisory and it’s not a problem with the advice, it is the ability to sustain and execute with that advice, which is a problem. So, we took a call as a business model, that we do not want to be a DIY, NO do-it-yourself. We will be a ‘DIFM, which is Do It For Me’ and will make it super convenient, so that it is sustainable, and it is easily doable like you have experienced. And to be able to do that needs a lot of organizational capability, IP, building, etc. which is what translates to the cost, right? For example, irrespective of where you are, your food will land up. I mean, breakfast could be at home, lunch could be at your office and dinner could be in a club. So, to do that, there are obviously systems, we had to build, capacity we had to build, so on and so forth. So, it is an everyday conversation that happens with prospects and clients etc.
But what I have seen is I do not know if it is the same and I am allowed to get your thoughts on it. Two things. One is, we see that it depends on the magnitude of the problem in the mind of the client. If they really believe it is a big problem that they want to solve, and they are motivated enough to solve it, then the sum does not seem big for them, and those are guys that easily sign up. And there are people that will believe, ‘hey, is this the top of the priority? Should I be focused on this problem as opposed to maybe my Portfolio allocation or my real estate transaction, or my career progression, etc. Then, obviously, they do not perceive it as a top priority, and then they will say that ‘hey, this a big steep price to pay for something which is not at the top of my priority.’ Obviously, they do not articulate it, but that is the takeaway that we have had through the experiences we have had, after speaking with people.
And we have seen in our space, for example and again, there may be parallels in the investment world.
One – First time Diagnosis is a huge motivator. The fear from a first time, those guys act, and for them, it is valuable, and they do not look as much at the price tag as what they can get out of it.
Second – are what we call unhealthy experimentalists. These are guys that want to get better, they keep trying, have tried everything. ‘If there’s a fad diet, I’ll try that, there’s a new product in the market, I’ll try it,’ but they have reached a point in time where, in general they are doing well in life, but on health, they’ve not being able to despite the intent. And when they reach a point in time where this real frustration saying ‘hey I need to fix this, I need to conquer this’ and then somebody like us present, will say hey! yeah, this is it and I want to do it.
And the third one -which is what I call trigger based, where in general you could be probably indifferent. But there are specific times where your level of consciousness around this, or prioritization around this becomes a little high and that could be typically, maybe you have an incident around you, right? Be it a friend, family, colleague who ends up having, let us say, a heart attack or having some problems with their kidney going to dialysis. And suddenly you are able to extrapolate and say, hey, that could be me. So, for a period of time, their level of wanting to become better is higher and at that time, they gravitate towards somebody like us and say, ‘help me get this done.’
But, if it is not high on their priority, it is a problem, but the counter I have Deepak, I do not know, what you feel about this, and somewhere this gets my goat. Obviously, I do not tell it to my clients, but suppose you want to do a kitchen upgrade, it is a 2-3 lac kind of a cost, right? You want to take a weeks’ vacation especially during pre-covid times and hopefully soon, we will be able to travel again. But you want to go to Southeast Asia, you want to go to Europe with your family for a week or 10 days, will be easily 3-4 or 5 lacs, right? And then forget all of this. You look at your car and you have your car, that over the next 3 to 5 years, there is some maintenance that you will pay. You ask people how much you would spend on it. That will again be, let us say 2, 3 or 4 lacs depending on what one drives. and then.
He Obviously, if there is a problem, you need a stent put in. How much will that cost? It is a photo file like kind of a procedure, typically. Now, when there is a problem, and for these known problems, people are OK to pay, but like you were saying, you can only enjoy all of this if you are healthy. And now to take a preventive view or to take a proactive view and say I will fix my health. The price tag suddenly seems, ‘hey should I spend so much on me.’ My answer, ‘*** **** hell yeah.’ Yes, because if you do not spend on yourself and you will not be able to enjoy all of this. I mean your quality of life, your health span, all that gets impacted, and some people get this when you frame it in the right perspective or context. But otherwise, obviously we wait for people who see the value because there is no point trying to force yourself on somebody that does not realize or believe it is a big enough problem that they would like to solve.
It is interesting because here is where also, I mean, we have always had startups, for instance, that have kept costs next to 0 (zero), and perhaps that’s also triggering the problem saying after everything else is free, why is this costly? And it is also another layer. I mean this is true of almost everything that if you pay enough for something, you are going value it and you are going to value the discipline that it brings to you, and perhaps this is an after effect, a side effect of it.
Also, somebody told me this, ‘Deepak, you know, if you buy an inexpensive thing, whatever it is, something that comes to free. Somebody tells you Deepak, this is phenomenal video series that teaches you everything there is about finance, and it is free. The value of that free suddenly becomes next to nothing.’
People are like ‘haan, kaenge.. Whenever…I know I want to do this but it is free, so I’ll do it sometime.’
Whereas if you are paying for it, the chances that you are going to ignore it are next to 0 (zero) because I mean, there is just the difference of your having paid for it that enforces discipline.
In the financial world, we tell people this – discipline is everything, right? It is not because discipline is everything, it is a word, but it is simple. If you just saved a certain amount of money for every day, take ₹10, ₹100 out of your pocket, and perhaps most of you will not even feel taking the ₹100 out of your pocket.
If we have done this and I speak as a financial person, I have not done it. So just as a disclaimer. If since we graduated, I think we could have easily spared, maybe, apart from the first couple of years, ₹100 a day was relatively easy to have done. ₹100 a day over a period of what, nearly 25 years since we graduated would be approximately 75 Lac rupees in principle. And if we put that into the stock markets or whatever, it is probably worth 3.5 Cr to 4 Cr, maybe 5 Cr today. Now 5 cr is a lot of money for someone who, I mean, I am assuming this OK. So, it is ₹100 a day, for this many times…So 5 Cr is a lot of money which I will not even have felt the pinch off. And suddenly I have 5 cr today, which is fantastic. The discipline is what made it happen, and for the discipline somebody has to make sure that ₹100 happens every day. I would not do it. I did not do it. Now if you tell me today that I have to do it, I will not do it for the next 10 days itself because I am losing the discipline right.
What your product does from the health perspective is that discipline is in short. Because somebody else is taking care of it for you rather than you are doing it yourself. So, you are not going to cook this stuff that I tell you to cook, but if I sent you the cooked item and said boss, this is what you need to eat that enforces our discipline saying, ‘OK, he’s told me he’s done all this work. I paid for it, so I’m going to do it.’ I mean, for a lot of people it’s like, ‘OK, you know I’m paying so much. Isn’t it too expensive?’
But the problem is the way we look at things. Our ideology is a book should cost ₹500. Even if that book saved your life, it should cost 500. The same thing in Netflix video series would be ₹500 a month and the same thing in a movie theater in PVR would be ₹3000 one time. So, it is perhaps the packaging of it sometimes that changes it. It is not food, it is not this thing, but it is actually your future.
And then am I willing to pay this price for my future? And the answer might be…and that is my thought process around it. I think Corona would have changed people’s thought process around how important health is. And if I write off Corona, perhaps I would be excused because it was stuff that happened that I could not have predicted. But if stuff happens to me that I could have predicted and somebody had predicted it for me, and somebody had given me a lifestyle change and I did not change it, that would be really screwed up, right?
It is criminal, I think Deepak. Because see it is not like we are talking about let us say a Deepak or a Vivek or a Ashish or a Arun etc, right? The numbers are freaking scary.
In the 7 billion people in the world, about a billion of them have a lifestyle condition now and in the next two decades it is going to get to 2 billion India alone, the known numbers of the 1.3 billion is 200 million and that is I am assuming it is actually 2X of that because we do not know everything that is out there. In the US for the 350 million population, it is 150 million. And you know, if you stack up all the causes, yes, the rate of change of people who are living to dead is very high because of Covid, but it still pales compared to the damage that some of this does over a period of time.
So, it is insane, and it is criminal if you do not act on it. But anyway, it is a choice. You know, it is your body, it is your life, you make the right choice. But if you make the right choice to stay healthy, I think we believe we want to make it super easy for you to get that done and convenient and that in a way justifies what we believe is the right price people need to pay for that. Which I think compared to what it will unlock is insignificant.
But we leave it to people to make that judgment and you and I have to defend the pricing and all of that day in and day out. I am sure like you built all of this infrastructure, we built something around nutrition AI system that guarantees every nutrient that you need to stay healthy.
If I cook, you cook, wife cooks, cook cooks, mom cooks – there is no guarantee.
So, what we call precision nutrition that we drive from there that drives this change. And, you know, that is work, right? That is IP. Similarly, around diagnostics. I can build something out – early warning, take a snapshot and, you know, it is not as simple as the moving averages etc. Obviously, you need to understand each of this and how it correlates. And you put all of that and build that infrastructure. And in the end, they were like, ‘Hey, you are just doing a diagnostic,’ ‘you are just giving me food.’ right?
I mean, and obviously, those are the ones that I do take it as a challenge and not try to blame people who say these things. So, ‘hey, how can we make it easier for people to be able to understand it,’ right?
I am telling you in life, perhaps as much as it is in finance, I have found that simple is often the most complex.
In fact, when I write the idea is not to write a long amount of text or use complicated words. And we have been both in college fighting over who knew more longer words.
So, we used to thrive on all of these. I remember you and defenestration. Do you remember what that is?
Yes, yes. I found out there is a company called Fenesta who have got our Windows. And I knew what Fenesta meant because of Defenestration!
And the problem really is that complexity that those things brought, although exotic, was actually harmful because when you say defenestrate to somebody else, the other guy is looking at you and says ‘boss tu Shashi Tharoor kab ban gaya’.
And you know the problem really is in health as much as in wealth. It is important to know. If you told me that the solution was simple, it was not less valuable to me today because of my experience in that simplicity is derived from complexity. You have gone down the complex, through the rabbit hole of complexity and come out to me and said, ‘boss, this is what fixes it.’
So, it is like that old age-old solution. There is a guy. This is a very complex $1,000,000 engine and it goes bad in somebody, he says, fix it and nobody can fix it. And then they say there is this obscure old engineer who can fix all these things. So, they call it, you know, he comes in and he looks around, taps a few things, finds a little nut somewhere and tightens it and says, well, you are done. They run the machine. It is running like a charm and, you know, he is like fantastic! ‘So, what’s the bill?’ He says, ‘my bill is $1000.’ So that is like ‘oh, come on you just tightened a nut, and can you give me an itemized bill, please?’ So, he said, ‘well, OK, I’ll give you an itemized bill’ and send an itemized bill that said – tightening of nut $1.00, Knowing which nut to tighten $999’. And that is the point right in the end.
Absolutely amazing story and you know whenever I hear. Because that is the price for expertise, right That’s the price for, I would say, predictability. That is the price for certainty, and I feel proud about all the work that we have done to make a fairly complex thing like a body, and how do we understand it and how do we improve it and make it simple enough for people to do it.
And I do believe that it is worth much more than what we are doing because at least, personally I would pay much more to fix my health right?
Especially if you have gone down the rabbit hole of actually having something bad happened. I do not want to be there and to be honest, I have been there when my mother went through it…right? And my deal now is how to not be there myself, which is I have taken baby steps in that. But you know what I think is important just to bring awareness that somebody has to do something. Now how you do it is yours your problem, once the awareness available to you.
If there are people who want to do it themselves, they have. They are probably doing it themselves right now and solving it. But there are people who need it done for them simply because they run very busy lives. They have the complexities and stresses of where they are, and that is true whether it is finance, or it is this thing.
And I give my finances out to my company. Now of course, I am a part of the company and therefore I am eventually running it, but I am not running my portfolio. I am running a whole bunch of things. That is because the professional part of me is going to look at things very differently than the personal part of me. Personal part of me looks at the market and says, ‘boss, sell everything and take it into…..’ The professional part of me saying no wash, there is some data that says do not do this and you are going to harm yourself if you did this just because you are acting on instinct.
And perhaps the equivalent of LiveAltlife is that the alt part of it is what makes the difference. Because that is what helps you want to live life, right?
Absolutely, and you nailed it because I am also my own customer. And if I was not, I know that I will not be able to do it. So, in our company all the communication we separated out by saying Vivek, who is the employee, and then client Vivek, who is a client. And there are conversations that go ‘client Vivek would have done that.’
And the way we have separated it is because we want to know that the client mindset is different and the way to treat is different. And I, as a client I am submitting myself to the expertise of this company, ‘Hey, fix me’. And if I come to you, fix my wealth, help me with my wealth, and help me make the right decisions. And you know, if I come to LiveAltlife it will be, help me fix my health or ensure that it remains well,etc.
It is actually brilliant! I think the conversation can keep going on, but it has been a phenomenal conversation Vivek. I hope all of you, who are listening, firstly, thanks for listening. And Secondly, if you would like to know more about LiveAltlife, I think the domain is livealtlife.com. There is a bunch of interesting information there, and if you use a coupon code “Capitalmind,” Vivek has generously offered discount on the products that they have. So, check those out as well.
It has been a fascinating discussion. Vivek is available online, hey what is your Twitter handle?
@Vivekspeak on Twitter or LinkedIn. Obviously, you know not as famous or as active as you are, but I do have a presence and happy to respond to people that reach out for anything you may have on health and advise is free. It is up to you to implement and we are very happy to give out that advice if you believe you are able to execute on your own.
If you need help is when you know you could be a client. And like Deepak was saying, its livealtlife.com
You know, the coupon code for all you folks listening to this who have gone through all the biological psychobabble, hopefully taken something away that are valuable, is “Capitalmind.” And you know Capitalmind, so apply that as code you can reach out to us on all our social media handles or call us or send us an email. And we are out there, we are on a mission to help make all of you healthier, anybody that needs help. And please do take advantage of our expertise to get advice on what you need to do or products that will help you do it more easily.
Brilliant. On that note, lovely to have you here Vivek. Thanks for listening and thanks for coming in. And to all of you here thanks for listening!
Thank you, it was a pleasure being a part of this podcast.