The CEO of Hybrid Group, the events company that organizes Spartan Race and IRIS, Hong Kong’s biggest health and wellness festival, Charlz Ng went from organizing music events to bringing together thousands of yogis to celebrate all things wellness. He tells Liv Magazine about his journey from DJs to drishtis, and his love of unplugging from tech.
We were in the entertainment sector to begin with, but after working on a few projects, we saw an increasing demand for health and wellness. For many people, joining a gym or buying healthy products is very expensive.
We felt that being healthy should be an accessible privilege for everyone, and so we created IRIS to connect businesses and consumers at an affordable price, with free classes for the community all day long.
We started small with a beach event. We had 80 people show up, which was more than we expected. Then we pulled in favours from people we know in order to test the concept with the wider public.
We were overwhelmed by the support we received, to say the least – We had more than 1,800 attendees at our first event.
With business happening literally 24-6-365 in Hong Kong, a lot of people find it difficult to keep up with the pace, let alone find time to be healthy. I know a lot of people who are trying to go to the gym or a yoga class all the time, but are always getting caught up in calls or meetings. I am one of them.
On the weekends I love to get a crew together to hike. Hong Kong has so many spectacular spots to be discovered. If possible, I leave my phone in my bag too! Hongkongers are so attached to their phones, and to me, wellness doesn’t just mean being healthy but also staying truly connected with yourself and others.
We are more connected than ever, but for some people they have never felt more alone. Our relationship with people we care about has reduced to a text message on their birthday, a whatsapp on their new jobs, or a Facebook like on their marriage. Some can only pretend they care.
The one thing that I hope to do is to bring back OffGrid, a 24-hour digital detox experience where we ban all digital gadgets, and encourage people to unwire, unplug and unleash.
If there is one thing you can do to make you feel happier, I’d try and stay offline whenever you can, follow your heart and instinct, and trust yourself. Nothing will bring more happiness than doing things you enjoy doing the most. Organising IRIS has lured me into doing more meditation and grounding exercises.
Running a business requires you to stay laser focused at all times, and sometimes it can get extremely stressful and tiring.
I’m lucky to have a great team. My partners Gary and Gianni are key in making IRIS happen, as are the team at Hybrid and everyone that has helped at different stages along this journey.