26 Sep Trembellir The New Start-Up That’s Ready to Take Over
The world as we knew it changed in 2020 and everyone was forced to look at how they conduct work and to do some stock-taking of their lives. Health safety took a front seat, while office spaces and common business conducts took a drastic change and forced everyone to start taking wellness more seriously. Featured in this article is a start-up company that is slowly revolutionising the wellness industry and forcing everyone else to reassess their values and goals.
According to GWI’s report on the global wellness economy, the wellness tourism industry reached a record of $720 billion in 2019, however, due to the devasting impact of Covid, the industry took a dive in 2020, dropping its number to $436 billion. In 2021 the world slowly started opening its travel doors to everyone again. GWI has projected the market to reach a soaring $1.3 trillion by 2025, making it the fastest growth rate of any wellness market through 2025.
These numbers are the primary joy to the many wellness-based start-ups in Asia, amongst those many companies is a relatively new company called Trambellir, situated in Malaysia. Trambellir is an online marketplace hosting all kinds of wellness solutions, from mani-pedis at the local spa to full-blown surgeries at independent clinics and hospitals.
As stated in WIT, the founder and CEO of Trambellir added that ‘in order to succeed, in this market it is better to stay on as a local coordinator or travel agency-style business provider, but not to globally expand.’ So Lizuka also explained how they studied and analysed the failure of the medical tourism business for the past 10 years, and not only medical tourism itself but the commercialisation of it and found three major reasons for its failure. Low conversion rate, high customer support labour cost, and last pricing.’
Lizuka’s goal for the brand is to expand the definition of medical tourism and optimise the solution disrupting the medical tourism business. His aspirations are in accordance with the recent reports by ILTM (International Luxury Travel Market) which underline the surge in wellness tourism in the post-pandemic landscape. Wellness has become a key driver in planning relaxing, unwinding holidays, with 6 out of 10 luxury travellers in APAC, and 8/10 being in China, showcasing how health and wellness are a big factor when making travel decisions.
Trambellir operates outside of Malaysia, the platform itself lists wellness services on a global scale with providers situated in Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, and as of the publishing of this article, expanding their base to Buenos Aires and Argentina. These locations were selected based on market research by So and his team during the pandemic, to identify their best target groups.
‘Fortunately, or rather unfortunately for us, we had a lot of time on our hands during the pandemic period to analyse the best combination of the target market and customers from our organic transactions for the past two years. We captured the demand from Singapore, US and Australia travellers going to Thailand and Bali, hoping to enrich their itineraries with treatments for their health, wellness and beauty and used that as our B2C target basis’, said So
Something that is a remarkable milestone in Trambellir’s journey is its partnership with MHTC (Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council). First initiated and established in 2005 by the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH), MHTC carries the mandate as the country’s curator for the healthcare travel scene. In other words, MHTC helps create partnerships locally and globally to promote the healthcare travel industry of Malaysia.
Lizuka explains how ‘One of their advisors connected us with MHTC and Ministry of Health to deeply analyse customer pain points. They signed the MOU with MHTC as a digital partner in July to improve awareness of Malaysia being a medical tourism destination and promote inbound medical travellers coming to Malaysia from all over the world’.
Lizuka added that with the assistance of Trambellir, the MHTC has adopted a gadget called Pocketalk, a tiny translator app that’s popular in Japan, used to bridge the language barrier between locals and wellness tourists.
The device currently translates 75 spoken languages and dialects and is used by the MHTC’s medical member institutions as well as its concierge counters at KLIA, KLIA 2, and Penang International Airport. ‘It’s undeniable that one of the most crucial parts of our customer journey in both their experience at the medical institutions is to support and help break through our customers’ language barrier challenge as well.’
Stamp of approval and benchmarking tech aside, running a platform like this is not without its challenges. For instance, the idea of wellness comes with an inherent expectation of safety, one that almost needs to be guaranteed when the customer’s health is involved. Lizuka says the onus is mostly on the respective providers to assure a customer of its standards and quality.
As of recent, Trambellir does do quick scans for proper documents, licenses, and including insurance when listing a business on its platform. Another challenge includes the accessibility of funds and resources to scale the company.
‘Another major challenge is fundraising and working with a small team, to handle the gigantic number of inquiries we receive. We need to enhance our support team and improve the product and inventory. However, we are keen to explore opportunities with investors’
Regardless of how dire the situation may be, So Lizuka’s plans for Trambellir are two-pronged and quite remarkable. First, he wants to turn Trambellir into the next super-app, Grab, Uber, and TripAdvisor within the next five years. The second thing is for Trambellir to be listed by doing the IPO in Japan as the first start-up from Malaysia to do an IPO on the Tokyo Stock Market exchange.
Those are some of the grand aspirations for the company but looking at the numbers stated at the beginning of the article and the projections, this dream may not be as far off as it sounds.
‘I think the pandemic has surely opened our eyes in teaching us that prevention is crucial and that its about time we reconceptualised health management to the next level by including sustainable development goals’.
Trambellir is a rising star in an industry that is slowly changing the face of wellness as we know it.
By Jennifer Notoane
Trambellir. (2022). Trambellir. Retrieved from Trambellir | Online Marketplace for wellness holidays: https://trambellir.com/webintravel. (2020). webintravel. Retrieved from Trambellir is ready to capitalise on wellness tourism, a future trillion-dollar industry – WIT: https://www.webintravel.com/trambellir-is-ready-to-capitalise-on-wellness-tourism-a-future-trillion-dollar-industry/