“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, 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 the 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, Dr 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 diverse teams around the world to achieve successful results on complex projects. Since leaving the corporate world in 2012 to pursue her calling, Dr Nerisha has become one of the most sought after coaches globally.

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

A spiritual intelligence approach

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

A Spiritual Intelligence Approach
SAICA Keynote

SAICA Keynote

Writing and guest speaking

Dr Nerisha is the author of Self-Love:The Authentic Path to Conscious Leadership, and has written for various publications. She is a sought after guest speaker, and has served as the keynote speaker for organisations including YPO (Regional chapters), UCT Graduate School of Business Distinguished Alumni events, Institute of Internal Auditors (IIASA), Deloitte/Citadel, African Womens’ Chartered Accountants Association (AWCA), and the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), as well as various spiritual organisations, on topics that uplift and spiritually inspire others. She finds her soul joy in the study of ancient spiritual philosophies and the lives of great saints, solo travels to sacred places off the beaten track in India, yoga and Japanese sumi-e 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 the Ramakrishna Mission
  • 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