(March 12, 2022) Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and wellbeing seeker, Sunny aspires to revolutionise people’s understanding of their wholistic mental and physical selves. More than two decades back, Sunny made the transition from tech to well-being, and last week, he launched a first-of-its kind app for humans around the world to achieve better mental health
Back in 1995, NRI Sunny setup a company called Edifecs, from Seattle. The healthcare technology company, aimed to improve healthcare delivery for patients, caregivers, and professionals. It all began with the vision to solve one of the most burdensome, time consuming and wasteful problems of healthcare — Paperwork. Edifecs wanted to unify disparate information channels and automate core business processes. Sunny and his team combined their software experience and innovative ideas in electronic trading—and took on the business of complex transaction processing across a wide variety of vertical industries. Soon, the company grew to a size of 600 employees. It went on to become a unicorn and today it has over 350 healthcare customers and is serving more than 215 million lives.
But this was just the tip of the iceberg for Sunny. His true calling was human health and well-being, which he realised through his dream startup, RoundGlass.
Transforming healthcare from ‘sick care’ to preventive care
In an exclusive interview with Global Indian, Sunny said, “While leading Edifecs, I got a chance to get intimately familiar with the healthcare system. And I discovered that it wasn’t about healthcare at all — it was about sick care. This realisation led me to my next goal: To transform the prevailing reaction-based approach in the healthcare world to one that’s proactive and focused on prevention, in addition to treatment.” He added, “RoundGlass emerged from this vision. I set it up in 2014, with the mission to democratise wholistic wellbeing and, in the process, create a healthier and happier world”.
A wholistic well-being app for today’s times
RoundGlass recently launched the RoundGlass Living app that aims at helping users find their way to managing work-life balance, getting better sleep, parenting, eating healthy, coping with grief, and making end-of-life decisions. RoundGlass Living offers guidance from the world’s best teachers in the form of authentic, science-backed courses, classes, live sessions, and more, guiding users to a life of happiness, harmony, health, and growth. The wellbeing champion explains, “As a long-time seeker of wellbeing, I have realised that it is not a one-size-fits-all concept. It is as much about physical health as it is about emotional centring; it is also about financial safety, and a stronger connection with our community and the planet. That’s why, we have developed a wholistic approach to wellbeing across eight dimensions or pillars — physical, mental, professional, financial, social, community, planetary, and spiritual. These pillars reflect all the aspects of life that contribute to individual and collective wellbeing. The app, available for iPhone and Android users, has a free and a premium version (Living+) with a monthly subscription of $7.99 and an annual subscription of $59.99.
I am excited to share the new RoundGlass Living app, where we put you at the center and help you feel happier and healthier.
— Sunny (Gurpreet) Singh (@SunnySingh) February 15, 2022
Vision to democratise well-being
The RoundGlass Living app is just one part of Sunny’s wholistic wellbeing vision. His true goal is wholistic wellness. He says, “At RoundGlass, our mission is to democratise wellbeing for the world. To this end, we also invest in social impact initiatives. For instance, the RoundGlass Foundation is accelerating development in under-served communities of Punjab, my home state, with learning and sports-based initiatives for children and youth, self-help groups for women, reforestation, waste management, building entrepreneurship and sustained financial independence in the region. The foundation has impacted the lives of over a million people in more than 1,000 villages in the state in the past four years.”
Another wing of RoundGlass is RoundGlass Sports, which is aimed at channelising the energy of children and youth by creating opportunities for them to take up and train in sports such as football, hockey, and tennis. The wellbeing champion explains, “We have established sports academies that offer best-in-class facilities, coaching, accommodation, and education to budding athletes.” Finally, his company is also committed to our planet’s wellbeing. Sunny says, “We are creating a media-rich encyclopedia of India’s biodiversity through RoundGlass Sustain. It tells engaging stories about India’s wildlife and habitats while creating awareness, impact, and a compassionate community.”
There is a special #joy in practicing the simpler things in life: #eating well, #caring for our friends, and looking after our #health. #simplicity #joy #wellness #care #friends #wellbeing #roundglass #wholisticwellbeing @RoundGlass_ @RgFoundation1 pic.twitter.com/xm6xPHPPLw
— Sunny (Gurpreet) Singh (@SunnySingh) February 1, 2022
Parents’ formative role in a Sunny future
Born to a father, one of the country’s leading hockey players, supported by a mother who constantly instilled the traditional Punjabi values of compassion and empathy, Sunny from a very early age, felt a strong sense of proximity to them and their values. He says, “This feeling always inspired me with a sense of safety, trust, and kinship, which, in many ways, shaped who I am. My father has always inspired me to live healthy and to give back to society. Despite his humble beginnings, he became one of India’s leading hockey players of his time and has coached several Olympians and world champion players. Having a father who was a professional field hockey coach, teamwork and healthy competition were the bedrocks of my family and social life. He taught me the importance of perseverance, collaboration, and passion. Thanks to him, I was able to experience the benefits of participating in sports, especially team sports, as a child”. Speaking about his mother, the wellbeing champion says, “My mother was my best friend. She supported me in all my projects — from my endeavours as a child to full-fledged entrepreneurial pursuits. She shared her wisdom and knowledge with me and laid the foundation of my life of wholistic wellbeing. The life education I received from her: from mindful eating and parables of traditional Punjabi wisdom to treating others with respect, compassion, and empathy has helped me become who I am, and also influenced my work.”
An emotional Sunny says, “She was a polite, gentle, and kind woman, and although we didn’t get to spend much time together, she taught me lasting life lessons that are now part of the RoundGlass framework of Wholistic Wellbeing”.
Well-being during turbulent times
Sunny believes that wellbeing is more important now than ever. He says, “The global pandemic has made us acutely aware of our own impermanence, our mortality, and ushered in a paradigm shift in the way we approach our wellbeing. Wholistic Wellbeing can help us find our way back to serenity, nourishment, movement, community, and joy. Today, planning our wellness journey and investing time in it has become just as important as pursuing our professional and social goals. A consumer survey done by McKinsey in 2021 found that 79 percent of the respondents believed that wellness is important, and 42 percent considered it a top priority. Since last year, millions of people across the world have chosen to leave unhealthy workplaces and work schedules to make time for their physical, mental, and social wellbeing. People are choosing to slow down, to find joy in living in the moment and in being mindful.”
Sunny has been performing yoga everyday for the last two decades. “For me, being fit isn’t just about exercising – it’s about how I eat, sleep and relax. If I don’t feel fit, I don’t look fit. I only evangelize what I practice in real life – mindfulness and overall wellness,” he adds.
The message is loud and clear. The post-pandemic world requires us to slow down and focus on our selves across multiple dimensions, and with people like Sunny evangelising mental health, help is easily accessible.
Honing tenets from his father
- Sunny Singh’s father Sarpal Singh, a veteran field hockey player and coach to over a dozen Olympians and international hockey players from India, has been conferred the Dronacharya Award 2021 in the lifetime category by the Indian ministry of youth affairs & sports.
- His father represented Punjab and India in many hockey championships, bringing home medals and laurels. He mentors and helps identify and nurture talent, including international hockey players and Olympians from India.
- His father represented Panjab University in intervarsity field hockey championships, and the Indian Railway team which won the National Hockey Championship in 1957, 1958, and 1959. He was also recognised among the top 22 players for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and was selected for the Indian field hockey camp for the 1960 Olympics in Rome.