“Be a lamp unto yourself”  – Buddha

Dr Nerisha Maharaj is an international Executive Coach, who journeys with fellow humans to realise their inner Light and live out their purpose. Combining a unique blend of solid, global business experience integrating the timeless ancient wisdom of Eastern psychology and spiritual philosophies with traditional Western coaching methodologies, her diverse experience and qualifications enable a holistic yet pragmatic approach to cultivating the highest potential in her clients. She offers world-class coaching at reasonable rates, encouraging accessibility.

Dr Nerisha’s coaching experience includes 14 years coaching full-time across diverse industry profiles including FMCG, logistics, tech, finance, healthcare, NGOs, higher education, environmental conservation, and advertising, with clients based in SA, UK, Italy, Sweden, Dubai, Namibia, and Angola inter alia. She has the ability to swiftly understand different environments and people. With a proven track record of successful results, her clients include CEOs, scientists, entrepreneurs, chefs, creatives, IT/tech experts, mechanics, corporate managers, environmentalists, engineers, former army generals, police undercover agents, traditional healers, and trauma surgeons.

Dr Nerisha pioneered the first peer-reviewed published academic research into Self-Love and Leadership, making her one of the recognized global experts on this subject. Her popular book Self-Love:The Authentic Path to Conscious Leadership, published in 2016 formed part of the recommended reading list to doctoral psychiatry candidates at Stellenbosch University (2018).

 Journeying with people across all walks of life, her belief is that everyone has the choice and capacity to be a leader in various aspects of life. Her passion is helping people become alive to their authentic Selves – to live with integrity, inner harmony, and noble purpose.
Live Out Your Purpose
Nerisha Maharaj Coaching International

City Logistics Leadership Coaching Programme

Background and experience

Prior to becoming a coach, Dr Nerisha’s corporate career as a Chartered Accountant included leading and managing global teams for Deloitte and Unilever for over a decade, based in Durban, London, New York, and Botswana, providing direct Board support on strategy, risk, ethical governance, CSR, and sustainability. She has facilitated Executive Leadership Coaching programmes across entire corporate management and Exco teams. Dr Nerisha teaches her flagship Self-Mastery through the Enneagram, Self-Love and Leadership Evolution course annually on the prestigious Executive MBA, UCT Graduate School of Business.
Her yoga and meditation training includes over 15 years as a dedicated meditation practitioner, 200-hour certified teacher training, and advanced meditation training in India.
Holding a PhD exploring Leading without Greed: A Vedāntic Lens on Wholeness toward Spiritual Intelligence in Leadershiptogether with solid business expertise, she works holistically and pragmatically to harmonise mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual human intelligences.

A spiritually intelligent approach

Dr Nerisha has a deep appreciation for the universal underlying Truths in all spiritual wisdom traditions. As a Hindu grounded in Advaita Vedānta and the Sanāthana Dharma, she has a catholic outlook and finds soul joy too in the writings of the great saints of mystical Christianity and Sufism, along with other spiritual traditions.

Working with clients from all spiritual traditions and also none, she encourages all along their own spiritual path. She maintains a spiritual outlook free from dogmatism, adhering to the teachings of the ancient authentic saints and sages that she holds great reverence for. As a dedicated meditation practitioner with decades of experience, Dr Nerisha shares the art and science of meditation and spiritual intelligence with all who so choose to explore.

SAICA Keynote

SAICA Keynote

Writing and guest speaking

As the author of Self-Love:The Authentic Path to Conscious Leadership, she has guest presented extensively on the topic for various organisations including YPO (Angola, Durban, and Cape Town chapters), UCT Graduate School of Business, Institute of Internal Auditors (IIASA), Deloitte/Citadel, African Womens’ Chartered Accountants Association (AWCA), Investec, and the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), as well as various spiritual organisations, on topics that uplift and spiritually inspire others. 
She finds soul joy in the study of ancient spiritual philosophies, solitary journeys to sacred abodes in India off the beaten track, the kinship of great monks and fellow seekers, Asian cooking, inspirational Japanese animé movies and artistic expression through Japanese ink sumi-e and oil painting.

Qualifications and accreditations

  • PhD (Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership -UCT Graduate School of Business)
  • MBA (Advanced Leadership and Coaching) UCT GSB
  • Qualified Chartered Accountant (SAICA)
  • Certified Yoga & Meditation Teacher (200 hour RYT)
  • Certified Coach (Centre for Coaching)
  • Ontological Coaching in Action (Ontological Coaching Institute)
  • Certified Enneagram & Advanced Enneagram Team Dynamics Practitioner (Integrative Enneagram)
  • Certified Lumina Spark Assessor (Lumina Learning)
  • Certified EQ Fellow and Brain Profile Assessor Adult & Youth (Six Seconds)
  • Certification in Positive Psychology for Coaches
  • Accredited DDI Training Facilitator for over 60 workshops from strategy to communication skills (Deloitte)
  • Certified Yoga and Meditation Teacher (200-hour EYR-T)
  • Advanced meditation, Vedic chanting and yoga training in Rishikesh, India
  • Study of the various Upanishads and texts of Adi Shankaracharya – monks of well-respected Orders
  • Sanskrit (Level 3), Shaivism and Bhagavad Gita certifications – Oxford University Centre for Hindu Studies

Peer-reviewed Academic Articles and Conference Papers

Maharaj, N., & April, K. (2013). The power of self-love in the evolution of leadership and employee engagement. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 11(4), 120-132. (Awarded UCT Graduate School of Business publication award Jan 2014).

Maharaj, N., & April, K. (2013). Self-love & leadership: Tapping the heart of employee engagement. Ashridge International Research Conference 3 (‘Multigenerational Challenges: Integrating Younger and Older Ages in Managing the Organisation’). Ashridge Business School, England, UK, 19th-20th July 2013.


Self-Love: The Authentic Path to Conscious Leadership

The Self-Love & Leadership Book

Media Interviews

SAICA Accountancy SASABC MelaNorth Coast Courier

Nerisha, you are great at what you do, a real blessing. Keep up the great work. I think sometimes, we don’t realize the impact these programmes have on our people at their hour of need in their personal and professional lives.

Ntuthu Dingela, HR L&D ManagerSantam