Subrata Dutta is the Group Managing Director of ORGANIC INDIA, a leading manufacturer and exporter of organic teas, infusions, herbal supplements and food. Mr. Dutta, known for being a “turnaround specialist” in consumer products and the retail space, brings with him a highly diverse experience from FMCG, Retail, Lifestyle, and Travel sectors, where he has led super brands such as Lakme, PEPSICO, Wimco, Himalaya, and Samsonite. With a career spanning over 32 years, he has played a critical role in the growth, integration and transformation phases of the organisations he has worked with. We at Unhurry interviewed him about his involvement with an organic company, his views on health and his favourite indulgences. Here’s an engaging read of this interview!

As a business leader, I believe that selfishly protecting one’s own interest including one’s own health will never work. We have to take care of our environment and ensure we provide a healing touch to the earth, including our fellow human beings.

Q. As a business leader, what is your personal view on preventive health?

SD: A healthy lifestyle leads to continued good health. On the other hand, we cannot always think that we are in a utopian world. There will be stress, there will be sudden work pressure and there will be travel with red eye flights. One must be as disciplined as possible, keeping in mind, these constraints. I maintain a discipline of at least an hour and a half of walking, exercise, breathing exercise and yoga every day. I don’t deprive myself the joy of sitting with friends for a good meal and more. But I give myself periods of getting the food intake controlled either through intermittent fasting or through reduced intake of food. On a regular basis, I follow the Japanese practice of ‘hara hachi bu’ which means fill your belly only up to 80 percent. I do a round of detoxification – Clean 7,  every four months, to rid the body of the toxins that keep accumulating over time.

Q. How do you ensure that you have time for self, healthy habits and exercise? 

SD: If I am not travelling, I wake up at 6 AM and from 6.30 to 8.00 AM, squeeze in time for myself – walking, a little running, exercise, yoga. I listen to music while doing all this. If I am travelling transatlantic, I ensure that I sleep well in the flight and switch to the destination time zone by sleeping during the destination night. I try to ensure that the one and a half hour of activity does not get compromised except for the time in flight. I try to be selfish when it comes to this one and a half hour by not getting on to calls, except calls with my wife and kids.

Q. Have you overcome a personal health crisis yourself? If yes, how would you describe it to inspire others?

SD: I have been blessed with continued good health. I fell ill after almost twenty years when I caught COVID–19 in April 2021. My first reaction was panic, as even the idea of fever was new to me after decades of continued good health. Luckily, the impact of COVID–19 was limited in my case because I trusted and depended on one single doctor – my family physician. No second opinion and third opinion. I took supplements of Organic India keeping my family physician informed and with his consent. I gave my body a lot of rest, did regular breathing exercises and ensured that my meals were at regular interval. Most important was to stay positive by keeping negative thoughts and fears away.

I would constantly tell myself to focus on the present and not regret the past or worry about the future. Once I was back in good health, I was careful not to get bogged down but to get back to a regular life of coming to office and travelling when required to.

Of course, always ensuring that I adopted the protections of a mask, shield (when in a flight or a train) and maintaining social distancing. Each time I would return home, I would not meet my family before a shower.

Q. What prompted you to accept being a Jury Member for The Restore Awards?

SD: Every year, The Restore Awards recognize and honor those who are working in the area of health, sustainability and disease prevention. This year, the theme “Preventive Health, Immunity and Sustainability” mirrors my own guiding path as also the philosophy of Organic India in promoting Healthy Conscious Living for all.While ensuring good health for our own self and for our close family, we must keep in sight the ecosystem that we are a part of. It is this overall consciousness that is also very important. Selfishly protecting one’s own interest including one’s own health will never work.

We have to take care of our environment and ensure that we provide a healing touch to the environment around us, including our fellow human beings. The Restore Awards are all about recognising selfless healers who make a difference. As a jury member it would be a privilege for me to be able to go through all the good work done by all these selfless heroes and be able to play a part in recognizing their efforts.

Q. What is the one healthy secret lifestyle hack that you will share which has always worked for you?

SD: Any move to stay healthy should be looked at as a fun exercise – not a penance or a chore. I enjoy my diet during the detox days. I love eating my fruits and vegetables as much as I love eating the kakori kebabs and pizzas. Happiness cannot be compromised in the name of a healthy lifestyle. Happiness and good health must go hand in hand.

Q. What does sustainable living mean for you personally?

Sustainable living for me means living a lifestyle that in no way damages or negatively affects the ecosystem we live in. Be it the environment, the community or the biosphere. A lifestyle that’s not just ‘current’ healthy but also conscious of the impact it has on the body and the planet over the long term. It’s about being conscious every minute. Not acting in fits and starts. It’s as much about switching off the lights while leaving the room as about planting a tree. It’s not a fashion but a practical need. One has to be consistent in one’s approach and efforts. Sustainable living is self-propelling and self-sufficient. 

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