CEO Series

From TV To Healthcare—Ex-iflix CEO Azran Osman Rani Shares His Plans For 2018

As we recently found out, Azran Osman-Rani has left his post as CEO at video streaming company iflix to focus on building Naluri Hidup—a local health-tech startup with the goal of bringing cutting edge psychological therapy services to Malaysians in a personalised and cohesive manner.

With plans to launch in 2018, Naluri Hidup was co-founded by Azran and his partners with a focus on providing customised programs to individuals to help them become mentally stronger and resilient, which then helps them develop their resolve to achieve the life they desire.

Located in Sri Hartamas, Naluri Hidup offers clients a tailored program that will work digitally to map out a way for them to set their own health plans and stick to them, while making it enjoyable in the process.

We reached out to Azran to get a glimpse of his thoughts and plans for the future.

“Naluri is about creating a digital service for health psychology, which is a specific sub-field of psychology that uses psychotherapy, counselling and coaching techniques to help users,” Azran said to us. “It’s a very nascent field here in Southeast Asia.”

He continued to explain how the focus of healthy psychology was to address the risks of chronic diseases (heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, etc.) both on the preventive side (by helping people adopt better diets, exercise, and stress management), as well as on the supplementary side for those already suffering from these problems.

All this will work through an app that will make the service more accessible, affordable, and help deal with the social stigma associated with psychological therapy.

“The great thing about creating a digital platform is that it allows us to scale a service with huge latent demand, but with very limited awareness of how health psychology can help,”

“Then there’s also the issue of a limited number of trained professionals in the industry.”

In addition, Naluri Hidup also aims to reinvent how psychotherapy is done by utilising artificial intelligence and machine learning to “build more accurate profiles” from the huge amount of data on offer.

“Instead of relying on the experience of one single coach, we can leverage the experience from thousands of other users, synthesised using predictive algorithms from our dataset.”

Having worked as iflix CEO until recently, Azran brings along some valuable lessons to the growth of Naluri Hidup.

“The single biggest thing I took from iflix is that there is a need for localised digital solutions for the mass market. Like entertainment content, you can’t just copy-and-paste the models from the West and apply it to our market,” he said.

“You can’t tell the mass market user in Southeast Asia about kale, quinoa, or fitbits and gym memberships when it’s not relevant or accessible to their lifestyles,” he continued.

“You need local professionals who understand local language, diet and culture, as well as local stress triggers to build trust-based relationships with users in our markets.”

Azran also involves himself with other startups such as MoneyMatch, YellowPorterCognifyx, as well as iflix. On his willingness to mentor and help build other startups, he said “I learn and get value as much as what I impart. The founders of these companies are amazingly talented people, and I learn a lot from them.”

“It also helps me hone my leadership skills.”

The coming year will see Azran place a special focus on his startup.

In 2018, Azran says that it’ll be all about Naluri Hidup as it finally goes live, and he plans to complement his involvement in his new company with a continued focus on his healthy lifestyle and habits.

“What’s consistent for me is waking up early, and getting in a good training set first thing in the morning, whether it’s running, cycling, or swimming—as I still compete in triathlon races. Being in top physical shape definitely makes me better placed as a business leader and builder.”

We’ve been seeing more health startups with that combine digital tech with psychology emerge (The Help Talk comes to mind), so it’ll be exciting to see how Azran and his new company fare in the constantly evolving field of psychotherapy.

Feature Image Credit: Azran Osman-Rani

 

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