“Be a lamp unto yourself”  – Buddha

Nerisha is an international Executive Coach on the path less travelled, assisting fellow humans to realise their inner Light and live out their purpose. Combining a unique blend of solid, international business expertise with ancient Eastern yoga psychology and spiritual philosophy, along with ontological and integral coaching expertise, her diverse experience and qualifications enable a holistic approach to unleashing the highest potential in her clients. She seeks to offer world-class quality coaching at reasonable rates, encouraging accessibility to those who may never otherwise have access. Her ethos is to empower each client by teaching them skills and techniques to ‘Be a lamp unto themselves’, based on the philosophy  that the highest wisdom resides within the Self, and that spiritual intelligence is the key to human evolution.

Live Out Your Purpose
Nerisha Maharaj Coaching International

City Logistics Leadership Coaching Programme

Background and experience

As a Chartered Accountant with an MBA, and qualified yoga and meditation teacher, Nerisha’s corporate career spanned working for Deloitte and Unilever for over a decade, living around the world in London, New York, and Botswana. Providing direct Board support on strategy, risk, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, she has led and managed diverse teams around the world to achieve successful results on complex strategies. Since leaving the corporate world in 2012 to pursue her calling, Nerisha has become one of the most sought after coaches in South Africa.

With over 10 000 hours of coaching experience across diverse industries, including technology, logistics, FMCG, retail,  banking, finance, non-profit, healthcare, and climate change, she has the ability to swiftly understand different environments and people impact. With anability to connect with people from all walks of life, her client profiles include CEOs, shareholders, chefs, medical scientists, start-up tech founders, creatives, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, marine biologists, lawyers, doctors, mechanics, accountants, engineers, academics, traditional healers, housewives, ex-Robben Island struggle heroes, former policemen, and army generals. Nerisha works with both corporate and private clients. Every client to her is equally important.

A spiritual intelligence approach

Nerisha has a deep love for spiritual intelligence, holding an appreciation for the universal underlying Truth in the world’s wisdom traditions. While rooted in the spiritual wisdom tradition of Advaita Vedānta, she has a catholic outlook, and works with clients from all spiritual traditions and none, encouraging them in their own path. Her life-long spiritual quest has included deep formal studies of ancient Upanishadic texts with senior monks from a well-respected Order. She has chosen to remain free from belonging exclusively to any organisation, maintaining spiritual freedom, adhering to the teachings of authentic saints and sages that she holds great reverence for. As a meditation practitioner with decades of experience, Nerisha shares the art and science of meditation and spiritual teachings with all clients who so choose.

A Spiritual Intelligence Approach
SAICA Keynote

SAICA Keynote

Writing and guest speaking

Nerisha is the author of Self-Love:The Authentic Path to Conscious Leadership, and writer of various articles for Media 24 and other publications. She is also a sought after, albeit reticent, guest speaker. She has served as the keynote guest speaker for organisations including the prestigious YPO (Durban and Cape Town Chapters), UCT Graduate School of Business Distinguished Alumni events (Durban and Cape Town), Institute of Internal Auditors (IIASA), Deloitte/Citadel, African Womens’ Chartered Accountants Association (AWCA), and the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), as well as for various spiritual organisations, on topics that uplift and spiritually inspire others. She finds her soul joy in ancient spiritual philosophies and the lives of great saints, solo travels to sacred places off the beaten track in India, and Japanese sumi-e painting.

Qualifications and accreditations

  • PhD Candidate (UCT Graduate School of Business)
  • MBA (Advanced Leadership and Coaching) UCT GSB
  • Qualified Chartered Accountant (SAICA)
  • Certified Associate Coach (Centre for Coaching)
  • Ontological Coaching in Action (Ontological Coaching Institute)
  • Certified Enneagram & Advanced Enneagram Team Dynamics Assessor (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 the Ramakrishna Mission
  • Sanskrit (Level 3), Shaivism and Bhagavad Gita certifications – Oxford University Centre for Hindu Studies
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6 Seconds Brain Profiler
6 Seconds EQ Fellow

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