Sentuh's sustainable development goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership.

They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

At Sentuh we’re working hard to contribute in our own way, to two of these goals – #3 (Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages) and #8 (Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.).

Goal : Decent work & economic growth

In Malaysia, the participation of women in the labour force is low compared to other South-east Asian countries. In 2018 only 55.2% of working age women were in the labour market compared to an average of 61%, and 9.4% of them worked in the informal economy. Post-Covid, things could only get worse.

Many women in the B40 (Bottom 40% income) group are either unemployed or work without social protection, i.e. they’re in the informal economy. Post pandemic, they are struggling with little or nothing to fall back on, and have to raise their children as well. All they’re looking for are jobs that allow them flexibility with regards to time, and decent wages.

Our goal for the next 12 months is to provide skills training / upskilling training and onboard 300 women on the app with the opportunity to generate or increase their income, with a target that their monthly take home pay of US$300 while working in a more flexible schedule.

This allows them to manage their time better but still have the security of some form of social protection.

Since we started in 2018, we have trained and onboarded more than 300 therapists, of which more than 80% are women from the B40 income group. Thus far we have completed more than 15,000 sessions and paid out more than US$250,000 to our therapists.

The majority of wellness consumers are women, and many wellness-related occupations are traditionally dominated by women (e.g., massage therapists, traditional healers, and tourism and retail workers). The growth of the wellness industry that we’re a part of supports job creation for women.

Goal : Good health & Well-being

The $4.5 trillion economy of wellness is fast-growing, resilient, and pervasive. The forces driving consumers to spend on wellness are sufficiently strong that wellness industry growth around the world has been robust and has exceeded GDP growth (even in years in which the global economy shrank).

According to a recent survey, 80% of adults said they intend to be more mindful about practicing self-care regularly after the pandemic. And global research conducted this year found that consumers’ prioritization of wellness has jumped as much as 65% in the past two to three years.

“The way consumers think about managing health and wellness is shifting,” says Marguerite Longo, Senior Director, Future of Self Care, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health. “People are no longer just taking pills to treat health problems. They’re taking much more proactive, preventive measures. The goal of the Future of Self Care team is to help consumers best manage their healthcare in the most comprehensive way.”

Take a person living with arthritis, says Longo. “They may take an over-the-counter medication. And in our research we’ve found that they also might take yoga classes, use a guided meditation app and take natural supplements,” she explains. “In other words, there might be a whole host of things they’d be doing to help care for their condition.”

In a survey of roughly 7,500 consumers in six countries by McKinsey, 79% of the respondents said they believe that wellness is important, and 42% consider it a top priority. In fact, consumers in every market we researched reported a substantial increase in the prioritization of wellness over the past two to three years.

Wellness is here to stay as consumers across the world plan to increase their spending on personal health, appearance, fitness, and more.

If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that physical and mental health will remain a priority for millions of people across the globe for a long time to come, and Sentuh is going to do all it can to provide good service to everyone.