Sharmilee Agarwal Kapur On Building Her Luxury Wellness Resort
At Atmantan, guests enjoy yoga with a view of the hills, luxurious spa treatments, and time to relax in a beautiful infinity pool. Sharmilee Agarwal Kapur is the founder of Atmantan, a beautiful luxury and integrated wellness getaway in Mulshi near Pune. Her dream of starting a luxury wellness resort started when she was just 18 years old, and stuck with her all through her MBA, she tells SheThePeople.TV.
Kapur is a pranic healer and the science has helped redefine the way she lives. Seven years ago, she decided to finally embark on the journey towards making her dream project come true.
“Setting it up has taken its own time,” she says. From acquiring the land, which comprises 40 acres, to getting funding, to building on a hilly terrain, she and co-founder Nikhil Kapur have faced challenge after challenge.
“Getting funding was probably the biggest challenge,” says Kapur. “Banks could not understand the concept of wellness hospitality. Some even asked us if we were planning to make a hospital. Few people understood the difference between a luxury resort and us.”
Building in Mulshi came with its own set of problems. The region gets the maximum rainfall in Maharashtra, and construction can only take place six months a year. But she says that setting up the project was a great experience. “It was like designing your dream house, except that it is something that everyone would enjoy,” she says.
The resort won international awards for its services in only 7 months of operation, says Kapur. The primary mode of marketing has been word of mouth. “When you are selling something that transforms lives, there is more recall. There is more loyalty from guests, she says.
So what happens when a guest checks in?
They are first given a questionnaire to fill out. They then consult with a doctor who recommends one of eight retreat programs that can be customised to their needs.
“We want people who come to the resort to be selfishly self-involved. It is only when you are at your best that you can give your best,” she says.
People come to quit habits, to detox, to meditate, and to relax. “It is like a perfect vacation because they come back looking and feeling great,” she says.
Even while facing 7 years of challenges, Kapur never gave up. “For both of us, we were clear that this is what the place needs. We really thought that it is something people need. Some people get to choose what they want to do — and I thank God for that — this was a choice,” she says.
What is her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
“Dream big, don’t give up on your dream. Mine has taken two decades. Remind yourself of why you thought of it in the first place.”
“I believe in miracles,” Kapur firmly says.
Kapur also talks about the power of teams. “You can’t do anything without a good team,” she says. Her team is constantly being trained, and when she hires, she looks for the right mental attitude since her guests need a lot of social support at the retreat.
Her goal is to make Atmantan the platinum standard for wellness. Here is an entrepreneur who thinks anything is possible, and will keep persevering till she achieves her dreams.