Serial entrepreneur Azran Osman-Rani has spent more than 15 years building brands that provide the mass market with more affordable products and services. These include low-cost airline AirAsia X and video-on-demand service iflix.
Recently, Azran turned his focus to health. He wants better health to be an attainable goal for all and he wants to do this through digital therapeutics.
Health has always been his personal passion, says Azran. About 14 years ago, he was overweight and unhealthy. He had also lost his father and family members to diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Chronic diseases run strongly in his family, he adds.
“I did a DNA analysis on myself several years ago and found that I have the obesity gene, hypertension gene and high-cholesterol gene — basically the all-in-one package. I know that I am not alone. I am a typical Malaysian example,” says Azran.
“We are the most unhealthy nation in Asia. Two-thirds of Malaysian adults are at risk of chronic diseases. Almost half the population is overweight and half the working population have mental health challenges.”
The challenge here is not everyone has the resources or access to the level of care needed to change their lives for the better, he adds. Only a fraction of the population can afford to have a personal coach, a therapist and a personal physician. The majority of Malaysians have to be in long queues and wait months to finally be able to sit down with a specialist to talk about their health and well-being.
While Azran thought that the problem was prevalent, he did not have a solution back then. So, he kept this on the backburner until he visited some former university mates in San Francisco a few years ago.