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Seven desi motivational speakers to inspire you in the new year

by Shradha Aswani

Learn. Practice. Repeat

By Shradha Aswani

Motivation is fickle. It leaves me every Monday morning, and greets me only on Friday evenings. After I wrap up work, of course. It is only love for my work that walks me back to my desk despite how brutally hard writing gets from time to time. For me, my refuge is knowing that I am not the only one going through this cycle – others struggle with divine inspiration every day. And knowing about how they find the drive
to persevere even when the excitement isn’t there, is reassuring at the very least.

So, in the spirit of this new year, I’ve put together a stack of interesting people who get me back on track every time the inertia of rest threatens my state of motion, in the hopes that they will motivate you too.

JAY SHETTY (pictured above)

Jay Shetty is a New York Times best-selling author, the host of an amazing health podcast, and first and foremost, a self-described ‘purpose coach.’ But none of those things are why I’ve included him as the first desi speaker on the list. What got me ticking about his videos is how he listens to the speakers he interacts with,
how the content of his material is something almost every person can relate to, and how he shares the most profound insights with simplicity and ease. Whether it’s your romantic life you are struggling to fix, or you’re looking for a new perspective on how to improve your relationships with your family, you can trust
his videos to give you an all-new perspective.


Before he became a household name every Indian has at least fleetingly heard of, Sandeep
was a simple middle-class boy with the grit to make it big in life. He succeeded as an entrepreneur before winning thousands of hearts as a speaker, motivator and friend. His talks, available in English and Hindi, are accessible in terms of both language and content, and he has a way of infusing
extraordinary humour, kindness, and calm to the most mundane of stories. Hear him out for a visit to the inner parts of yourself that you’d want to get in touch with more often.


Umair Jaliawala started off as a youth-speaker and motivator, and has grown up to become a known face in the field of corporate training and motivational discourse. His videos have it all – inspiration that will leave you on the edge of your seat, illustrative style to help you get the point spot-on, and comedy that will leave
you laughing. He assimilates the fundamentals of business, faith, and psychology, and presents a wholesome world view that allows you to relook at the basics of life with a renewed zeal. His smile and energy are infectious, but it is his peculiar view that allows him to simultaneously take himself both seriously and not-so-seriously, that keeps you invested in his sessions.
Instagram: @umair.jaliawala


A one-of-a-kind speaker who’s gained international recognition, Abha Maryada Banerjee is an expert on human leadership and emotional intelligence, with a special interest in helping and training women to
lead. Her specialty is her kit of special tools that she shares as practical advice. A creative person at heart, Abha’s passion for people and finding the best in them shines through her conversations, the companies she hasbuilt, and the books she continues to write and publish.


The epitome of grace and a walking example of ‘simple living, high thinking,’ listening to Sudha Murthy’s rich experiences have helped me to reflect upon my role as a part of this society, and as an individual. Her personality is enough to leave you with a lasting impression, and that is what makes her an intrinsic
part of this list, despite the fact that she doesn’t necessarily identify as a motivational speaker. Her books are as inspiring as her words on a podium, and you will not regret tuning in to her work, online and offline.
Instagram: @sudha_murthy_official


In his own words, Vishen Lakhiani is “an entrepreneur, author, and activist on a mission to raise human consciousness.” His commitment towards helping people reimagine the human experience is visible
in the way he structures his talks and his retreats. He is one of the few intervention experts who help you learn not only by words, but through exercises and action, helping you rewrite the code of your mind, literally
and figuratively. His educational foundation, Mindvalley, is built on Jose Silva’s highly influential mind-training models, helping individuals realize their potential on an all new level.


An author before anything else, it’s impossible to have lived in this world without having at least a vague recognition of Deepak Chopra’s name. An icon in the field of self-reflection and mindfulness, his work is full of contemporary takes on ideas that have been helping human beings cope with the world for centuries,
starting with taking better steps, one at a time. His views on alternative medicine, and the way he lays them out for the common man, underlines the deep connection your mind has with your body; with insight into
how the secret to perfect physical health lies undoubtedly within a healthy mind.

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