How Luke Coutinho Built An Empire
Across all age groups, if there is one name in India which is synonymous with healthy lifestyle tips on Instagram, it is that of Luke Coutinho.
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Across all age groups, if there is one name in India which is synonymous with healthy lifestyle tips on Instagram, it is that of Luke Coutinho. He pops up on our timelines with his wide variety of grey, yellow and red coloured tank tops with sprawling exotic tattoos all over his muscled arms giving out priceless free advice on matters of physical, mental and emotional health. But apart from the fitness influencer side which we see on social media, he has built an entire empire in the space of holistic nutrition and lifestyle medicine.
You Care - All about YOU is his unique community concept and he is also the co-founder of You Care Lifestyle, a sustainable e-commerce platform. Apart from this, Coutinho is co-founder and chief program mentor for Integrative Nutrition and Dietetics courses at the Lifeness Science Institute (LSI). He also initiated the 'Holistic Health Store', a closed group for review and recommendation of tried and tested certified organic, all-natural products. It was launched with the objective of supporting the fair-trade farmers, sustainable and holistic living, and improving the food chain.
But Coutinho says he didn't start out to build an empire. "I'm not a businessman, my job is with the patient in front of me. Because I have done that consistenly over the years, multiple businesses have grown out of it," he says. His businesses have a strong presence in markets such as Dubai, New York and London, and he travels every month there. Currently he's building teams overseas but majority of the work is managed from India. His approach towards prevention and recovery revolve around five pillars: balanced nutrition, adequate exercise, quality sleep, emotional detox and spirituality. Besides cancer, his area of expertise, Coutinho and his team also specialise in handling cases of diabetes, thyroid, cardiovascular, autoimmune conditions, obesity, and even rare syndromes with tremendous success by changing lifestyles, respecting bio-individuality, and addressing the root cause using a holistic approach.
Interestingly, and as something we can relate to, Coutinho himself had a bit of a health scare back when he was in his 20s. "I was always fit, but had gotten into the habit of having sheesha with my friends over the weekends as I really enjoyed it. One night I was in Bandra and experienced a chest pain. I went to the hospital and a nurse, while doing the check-up, pushed my stomach because of which I burped. When she realised I had been having sheesha, the nurse gave me a five minute talk that changed my life. She said 'You're a young boy why are you filling your lungs with smoke, it is detrimental for you.' She told me to go for a run and tell her how I felt the next day," Coutinho tells us. He jogged up the Mount Mary slope and down Bandstand and couldn't run for more than 10 minutes. The nurse informed him that this was because he was reducing his lung capacity and asked whether this is what he wanted to do at the age of 22. Coutinho never smoked a sheesha after that.
But how did he get from being that care free youngster to where he is now?
"I was enjoying college life, having the best time, when my dad sat me down and said I need to be serious about what I want to, and I had no idea. All I knew was that my best friend's dad was General Manager at the Taj, Goa and we would hang out there enjoying the free food and hanging out in their rooms and I thought that's what I want to be! So my dad moved me out of St Xaviers and got me into hotel management," he tells us. That phase also involved him DJing at his uncle's restaurant in Anjuna Beach and attending rave parties, at a time when Goa was a magnet for the hippie crowd.
Now the most wanted fitness and holistic expert in India, he doesn't like the term celebrity at all. Stimulatingly, iconic rappers Tupac and Biggie, killed in 1996 and 1997 respectively, are an inspiration to him. He has also penned a range of books on wellness. Back to the Roots with Tamannaah Bhatia, The Great Indian Diet with Shilpa Shetty, The Dry Fasting Miracle – From Deprive to Thrive with His Highness Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Ali Bin Rashed Al Nuaimi, Member of the Ruling family of Ajman, and The Magic Weight-Loss Pill with Anuskha Shetty.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Instagram.com/kabirsinghbhandari