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Ex-PwC employee, 26, launched ‘Unwind’ to get bankers and corporates into meditation



Gian Power 2018


  • 26-year-old Gian Power discovered meditation after the
    murder of his father.
  • He was juggling his job at PwC and leading the
    investigation at the same time — and a friend recommended he
    try it out.
  • Now, he runs “Unwind,” the UK’s first surround-sound
    meditation experience targeted at bankers and
  • Along with his other company, “The Lions Club,” which
    gets “ordinary people with extraordinary stories” to give talks
    in companies like Lloyd’s of London and Sony, he’s trying
    to change work culture — and get London meditating.

It took hitting rock bottom for 26-year-old Gian Power to
discover the thing that would power his future — meditation.

The founder of Unwind, the UK’s first
surround sound meditation experience aimed at helping bankers and
corporates relax, Power has always had an entrepreneurial
spirit in his blood.

Growing up in Durham, he set up his first business — a DVD
manufacturing company — when he was just 13, partly inspired by
his counsellor mother and entrepreneurial father.

“I grew up with this go-getting attitude — whatever you want to
create, create it — softened by my mum’s calming tone,” he

He studied international business and German at Aston University,
moving to Frankfurt for a year as part of his degree to work at
Deutsche Bank.

After university, he joined the grad scheme at PwC in 2014,
working with companies that were struggling or failing.

He had just completed his accountancy exams when tragedy struck
in 2015, and he took three months out of work for what he calls
“the most difficult time in my life.”

His father, 54-year-old Ranjit Singh Power, an entrepreneur who
lived between Dubai and the UK, was murdered while on a work trip
to India in May 2015 — and Gian ended up leading the
investigation, which is still ongoing.

“I was 23 in the foreign office, with 20 people around the table
— I thought, ‘If I can deal with this stuff, then I can deal with
anything,” he said.

While arranging a funeral for his father after a taxi driver
confessed to the murder, he had the body flown back — but it
wasn’t his father’s body that arrived in London. The Independent reported that
police in India instead thought his father had been kidnapped and
murdered, but his body has yet to be found.

At that point, Power said he thought: ‘What am I going to do with
my life? Going back to my Excel spreadsheets isn’t going to make
me buzz any more.'”

He told Business Insider it was a conversation with a homeless
man near his office that inspired him to leave his job.

“I went back to the office and
thought, “I’ve learnt more about myself in the last 20 minutes
than I have in years,’ and realised the corporate world wasn’t
necessarily the right route for me.”

Inspiring people in the ‘corporate beast’

In 2017, he decided to leave, and
he joined an organisation called the New Entrepreneurs
Foundation, which provides mentors, life coaches, and access to
investors to people interested in working for or founding a

While it was suggested that he
become a blogger, he knew it wasn’t for him. “

I have personal experience, [but] I won’t
share it unless I can help someone,” he explained.

He realised that instead, he wanted to interview businessmen and
women and CEOs who have faced adversity and come out the other

“I remember speakers that used to come into PwC — they got paid
so much and they didn’t always leave an impact,” he said.

Instead, he wanted to create an atmosphere where people could be
inspired in the “corporate beast,
where we go to work in our suits and ties and don’t let enough
emotion come out.”

So, he “made a few calls to more senior people,” lined up some
companies and speakers, and founded TLC, or The Lions Club, titled after his middle
name – Lion.

He now has 25 speakers across
London and New York — and they’re working with companies
like Lloyd’s of London, GSK, Sony, and RPC.

Gian Power
Gian Power speaking at Facebook in June in support of
Gender Parity.


“They are not speakers for a
living, [just] ordinary people with extraordinary stories,” he
said. “

One is a Syrian
refugee who was badly beaten, filmed his journey, and is now
BAFTA award winner.”

He even did his
own talk for the first time at a PwC UK Alumni event in June on how to use
your emotions as a super-power.

In his talk, he
said: “I truly believe that everybody has a story they would like
to share, if only we were willing to take the time to

He told Business Insider: “It’s
about letting yourselves out at work, [and] taking time as
leaders to get to know our teams, to get to know their

“Employee engagement is a
buzzword that goes out in surveys — it’s [defined as] the
emotional commitment staff have to a company and its goals. But
there’s a lack of emotion going on around the City.”

Finding calm through meditation

Needless to say, Power has been
through a lot — but it’s a practice he discovered during the
murder investigation that has helped him through.

That practice is meditation
— and it’s part of the routines of some of the most
successful people in the world.

“I’d be in one room with a
client, the police would be next door, and the BBC would be next
door — it was just nuts,” he said, describing the time just after
his father’s murder.

was 23 at the time. You know how much you can take, and there’s a

A friend suggested he try
meditating, and sent him a YouTube video to guide him.

“I went into the toilets [at
work] to listen to it, and after 10 minutes I came out and I felt
really calm,” he said.

At the same time, he also read a
book by Tim Ferriss, who interviewed top business people and
athletes from around the world — and he claimed 80% of them
meditate daily.

He made a resolution in January
2016 to meditate every day for 15 minutes — and it stuck with

However, the inspiration finally
came to take it further after he had left PwC and was in New York
filming for The Lions Club.

He stopped by Inscape, a luxury
meditation studio which uses ambient lighting and

“I went by myself. For the first
few minutes, there were voices coming from around the room, and I
thought, ‘I paid for this. Where is my teacher?’ But after a few
minutes, I thought, ‘This is great.'”

He said he loved that it was “a
space where nobody was judging you” — and he

 knew that, with
friends who he said were pulling all-nighters for work and some
who had even been hospitalised, he wasn’t the only person
meditation could help.

While there were plenty of
studios and yoga, he said there was nothing like it in the
meditation space — so in March
2018, he started Unwind, the UK’s first surround sound meditation

A surround-sound experience

Unwind 1b Unwind

There is no instructor in a
session, he explained — instead, he worked with a meditation
teacher to write and record the meditations, which cover a number
of topics to suit each client’s needs.

Every sense has got to be touched into — the
smell of the room, the taste of the tea afterwards, the blankets
that I’ve chosen,” he said. “It’s all these little things that
make such a difference.”

Unwind’s first event was a
pop-up, held in a darkened, underground, candlelit room in
London’s Finsbury Square.

Unwind   Shoreditch 2bUnwind

It saw more than 150 people from
the likes of JP Morgan, Warner Bros, PwC, and Linklaters attend
across nine sessions.

“I spoke to a lot of partners at
law firms and CEOs who said, ‘We love it, our staff need it,'” he

Transforming offices across the city

Now, the company is aimed at the
busy corporate worker and entrepreneur, and has plans to launch
at corporations “where we can transport out candlelit oasis
to help people switch off and relax.”

“We’ve now had insurance
companies, FTSE 100 companies saying ‘Can you bring this in the
office please?'” he said.

In answer to that, Unwind is now
working to transform offices across London in under 60 minutes,
allowing employees to join in a 30-minute guided meditation to
fit in with their day.


recently awarded
the Young Innovator Award from CVC Capital for his work
on Unwind — and he’s

 set to be the subject of a BBC1
documentary later this year about his companies, and how he’s
looking to transform employee wellbeing and the future of

“The shift needs to come from the
company,” Power said. “They need to show they care about their

Gian Power
Gian Power.

He added that there’s often a
stigma attached to meditation “where people think you sit there
in a certain pose and think about life.”

“Hell no,” he said. “It’s just
time out from your phone, just conscious time of appreciating
what we’ve got, that’s what it comes down to.”

He added that there’s no
spiritual or religious element to Unwind.

“I want it to be cool and sexy,”
he said. “I don’t want to go down the spiritual route because
it’s [about] switching people off.”

Meditation can be simple

For those new to meditation,
Power recommends trying apps like Calm or Headspace. 

However, he added: “Don’t think
it’s all about going to a session or downloading an app. Some of
the people I’ve met do random things.”

He added that one person he met
watched the bubbles in a glass of Champagne for five minutes,
while another who lives near at airport watches a flight landing
every night at 10 p.m.

But it can be even more simple.
“Sit, put your phone away, and focus on something you can see for
five minutes,” he said. “Just focus on it, and you’ll be amazed
how your thoughts align.”

Unwind Studio 1bUnwind


“We walk
around with a badge of pride of ‘I’ve only had three hours sleep,
I don’t really need much, I’m a workaholic,'” he said. “[But] I’m
proud that I meditate every morning and I feel fantastic.

“My goal is to get London
meditating in whatever form that takes.”

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