Dr. Basilis Masoulas – He put a little salt in our lives
He renounced a successful and lucrative career as an executive in senior management positions and launched the first therapeutic salt cave in Greece, which is now open in the area of Elliniko.
By Sofia Stylianou
His life could be the inspired plot of a Hollywood movie entitled “Changeland”. An internationally acclaimed senior management executive, as well as a Professor at Athens University of Economics and Business, he abandons the “big life” to find his own version of serenity. And then, almost magically, money crawl their way back into his life. But it’s not magic. It’s simply a carefully planned course, masterfully bridging his past with the present.
Let’s watch the movie from the beginning. Basilis Masoulas was working for more than 20 years in senior management positions, as a consultant (World Bank, the EU, the governments of Russia and Mexico), as well as a university professor, up until 2008 when he decided to launch the first therapeutic salt cave in Athens Greece, and more specifically in Syntagma Square.
What sparked the salt cave idea?
There was one thing I learned very well, being a manager for Shell and Microsoft. And that was stress. When we visited Poland -my wife’s birthplace-, I couldn’t sleep for 4 days. The next night, my father-in-law took me to a salt mine. I was watching the people coming out of there with faces so serene and peaceful. Took my shoes off, got in and within 5 minutes I was fast asleep. After 45 minutes, my brain started working creatively, like when I had my vacations! When I got out of the mine, I immediately thought about how I can recreate it in my own house. Then we thought that this healing experience should be accessible by everyone. This is why we got in touch with experts from Poland, who had the relevant know-how, aiming to create the best possible result. It was when I was looking for something else to do. I published my book “Management and Growth in the Knowledge Economy”, giving a closure to the previous chapter of my life, and turned the page by quitting my job. My goal was to introduce salt in everyone’s life.
Let’s take a mental tour of a salt cave. We enter into an indoor space, fully covered by tons of four kinds of polish salt. Still wearing our clothes, we lie down in zero-gravity chaises longues, listening to a soothing mu- sic and the sound of running water from the waterfall. The session usually lasts for 45 minutes. The 84 micronutrients the human body absorbs during this session equal to being exposed for four full days in the sea breeze. “These quantities shield the body against stress, insomnia, allergies, migraines, fatigue, backaches, pain in the neck and feet, osteoporosis, discopathy, rheumatism, viruses, skin diseases, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems, etc.”, Dr. Masoulas explains. The first cave opened in Syntagma Square, and was transferred in the area of Elliniko due to the downtown riots. Within 4 years many salt caves (ranging from 40 to 120 square meters) were created, through the method of franchising, in Glyfada, Chania, Florina, Cyprus, Spain, Croatia, Germany and the US, whilethere is also one under construction in Saudi Arabia.
Did the financial crisis affect you?
The clientele increases as the recession deepens, because this is an exceptionally effective and natural therapy. And it’s the only thing that can make you feel better. Now, we are in a position to actually reduce our prices. So with merely 10 euros, someone can walk in and feel like he is in heaven. Literally.
Would you recommend this kind of business to a young entrepreneur?
This is the best kind of business on a professional and on a personal level. It’s a low cost investment with a fast amortization rate. It’s specially designed so that costs can be kept low, while there is no need for maintenance or for a large number of employees. Moreover, there are no royalties. I think that this is a brutal kind of taxation, which doesn’t help the franchisee to develop the business.
I will never forget two things:
The first is the gratitude and joy of the people who visit our salt caves and the second was when the doctors gave my wife the green light to get pregnant. She was suffering from autoimmune diseases and a pregnancy was out of the question. However, two months after we opened up the first salt cave, my wife had some tests done and her thyroid was stabilized. She was well because of the salt cave. On March 2013 our son will be 4 years old.
He is LEAVING from Greece and goes to London England, Monterrey Mexico and the Hague Netherlands
He DECIDES to go back to Greece
Together with his wife he opens up the first salt cave, DISENGAGING from any other business activity
They TAKE THE DECISION to launch more salt caves in other countries
They CHOOSE to emphasize on offering the method of franchise for the salt cave owners
THE BUSINESS expands outside of Europe, in the US and the Saudi Arabia