Mayur Damodar Kotecha is a Property Developer and Disabled Marathon Runner. He was born in Mwanza, Tanzania. A bustling town on the edge of Lake Victoria. He came to the UK at the age of 8. All his studies were in the UK. His BSc degree in information Technology was at Polytechnic of Wales and his Master of Business and Administration at Sheffield University.
For nearly 10 years he enjoyed developing properties that would require total refurbishment when a tragic road accident happened, which took the lives of his parents and left him in hospital for 8 months and permanently disabled.
Doctors wrote him off for dead and one later said he would not run again. He thanked him for his opinion and said to him he will not only walk but also run London Marathon, which he is now doing this October for London Air Ambulance who are doing a fantastic job in saving lives are not funded by NHS and solely depend on donations. He will not be expanding on his property portfolio, not that it's big. He has his sight on getting hand made goods by villages of India and starting a village empowerment program.
Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?
Difficult as I love both India and UK equally. In UK, my area of Harrow and Brent. India, I love the foothills of the Himalayas.
What are your proudest achievements?
In business, creating a million-pound property asset from £200,000 in a decade. More magical than that was giving my parents the best holiday ever. We spent a month in Gujarat where I saw the two of them laugh and enjoy all the way. We went to see the four places where their parents were born, beach of Diu, Statue of Unity, and all Cheese Frankies and Masala Maggis mum could eat in cinemas. Unfortunately, holiday got caught short in an accident in which I lost both my living Gods. I am writing a memoir '30 Days in Heaven' which describes my last 30 days with them.
What inspires you?
Teachings of Vedanta and Vedic studies. It has enabled me to live life with dignity and given me strength in overcoming my falls in life and walk forward without fear, stress, anxieties and worries in ever increasing complexities of modern world. Two great teachers of this in my life have been Pandurang Shastri and Swami Parthasarathy. This has also been my strength in business and in preparing myself for the marathon. It has enabled me to look myself in my eyes in the mirror and smile.
What has been biggest obstacle in your career?
The fact that I was forced into studying something that I had no interest in whatsoever. This made me lose all my confidence as I felt the stupid fish who could not climb a tree for many years after. It was only after going through my worst period, and I abandoned the life that was not me, did I succeed in life in every way. I now live life according to my own nature (swadharma) rather than that imposed on me (paradharma).
Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date?
My father. After realising that I went through very challenging times with the breakdown of my marriage, and, especially the DNA result of my eldest which took everything out of me and falling to my lowest, my father gave me both support and strength as well as my own space to build myself higher than ever before. His generosity was flawless. He could easily afforded luxuries like a Rolls Royce but opted to give everything to his two sons for properties and four grandchildren not to have university debts.
What is the best aspect about your current role?
I have the freedom to live 6 months in UK and 6 months in India where I coach at no charge people going through challenging times. Like women going through challenging times in Vadodara and Rishikesh. Cannot wait for current pandemic to be over to go back.
And the worst?
I cannot think of any except the physical condition of my body following the horrific accident that took the lives of my living Gods and left me in hospital for 8 months.
What are your long-term goals?
To start a business in India based on Vedic principles as per book by Swami Parthasarathy 'Governing Business and Relationships ' where we would serve people in rural India in taking hand made products to the western markets and set up village empowerment and women empowerment programs.
If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?
I would introduce harsh capital punishment for people causing physical violence towards elderly, especially parents. Someone very dear and close to me had gone through violence by his eldest who was always happy to accept his generosity, but it was never enough. For a man to live in fear in his late seventies and early eighties was heart-breaking.
If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why?
Nelson Mandela. After being jailed for over a quarter of a century, he showed massive act of forgiveness to those who wronged him and asked whole of South Africa to walk forward hand in hand to make the nation great together. I would love to know of his secret in having the strength to forgive those who wronged him and his people.