The Independent Achievers Academy Retail Study Day at Peterborough brought together retailers and the sponsoring suppliers.

The event included an opportunity to visit Siva Thievanayagan’s Nisa Local Fletton a well as plenty of time to network.


Siva Thievanayagan stays active to keep his energy levels up

Nisa Local Fletton is an aspirational store and Siva is an inspirational retailer. As the store trades from 6am to midnight and Siva has four other stores, I asked him how he manages his energy.

He said that his day starts with an early morning visit to the gym and he enjoys playing tennis each evening. He added that he keeps up his energy levels by eating eight small meals each day.

Siva’s daily routine reminded me of a conversation that I had with my GP nearly 20 years ago. I had a great relationship with him as he was a customer as well as my doctor, so when I was investigating health insurance cover for my family he was the person I talked to.

I vividly recall how the conversation turned to the future of the NHS as he saw it, and his key advice at the end of the chat was simply to stay well.

The life of an independent retailer is full of challenges and can exert huge demands on the body. The physical weight of the stock that goes through a store each day can cause damage to muscles and joints.

I needed regular visits to a physiotherapist before I invested £220 on a sack truck. I suspect that very few store owners and managers go to the gym before the working day starts to get their bodies warmed up like Siva does.

Convenience stores are full of tempting products and I know that it is all too easy to put on weight without really noticing it. When my wife and I moved to Wiltshire after selling our business and signed on to a new doctors surgery, we were both given a health MOT to get a baseline assessment of our health issues.

The MOT included blood pressure and blood tests, weight checks and a conversation about general health.

When the results were in I was told that I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and I was overweight. Remembering the advice from our GP in West Sussex I wanted to know what lifestyle changes I could make rather than just take tablets.

The doctor told me that I should try to lose weight to get my BMI number in the healthy range. I lost nearly 10kg and my blood pressure returned to an acceptable level, and as part of my weight loss programme I made some minor changes to my diet that reduced my cholesterol levels too.

When Siva was telling me about his lifestyle choices he reinforced the message that my GP had given me 20 years ago: become responsible for your own health. Add this to my current doctor’s guidance of ‘move more and eat less’, and you will make yourself fit for business.