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An adventure in resilience

You don't get ahead by having the potential to do something, you get ahead by doing it.

As a child who was born and raised in a suburb in South India, under poor conditions, Naresh dreamt big which at that time appeared ludicrous and completely unattainable. He was on the downside of advantage and he had to rely purely on hard work, courage, and determination to escape poverty. Naresh studied on a scholarship to be an Electrical Engineer in India and eventually landed in the USA as a technology consultant for fortune 500 companies.

In 2009, he was backed against the wall through a series of unfortunate events and he resorted to ultra distance running to deal with his adversity. Perseverance and resilience are two of the biggest lessons that Ultra distance running taught him. He ventured into the ultra-marathon world and ran races throughout North America. With just a year into running, he pushed his limits and ran the Last Annual Vol State Road Race 500km ultra marathon and won the race in the unsupported category.

He began flying solo and charted his own adventure runs all over the world. In 2014, he quit his corporate day job in the USA to pursue a simpler, more joyful existence and started a new chapter of his life in New Zealand as a ‘Social Entrepreneur’. To live a life bigger than himself and to fight injustice. Upon entering the country, he ran the Te Araroa trail -- a trail that runs the length of NZ (3054km), in sandals, unsupported in 87 days for anti-trafficking cause. He was the runner-up for the Wilderness Outdoor Hero of the Year for this feat. In 2017, he rode the length of New Zealand on a tandem bike named ‘Kindness’ by picking up random strangers and friends along his way to raise awareness and funds for sex trafficking. The expedition ‘Freedom Seat’ was a huge success. He rode 3330km with 140 people in 35 days to raise over $50,000 benefiting various charities in Southeast Asia.

In 2019, Naresh completed a tandem bike ride from Chennai, India, on February 27 and arrived in Hamburg, Germany, on May 25 (8646km across 13 countries in two continents) - all to raise awareness of human trafficking and generate funds to help the victims of bonded labour slavery.
This adventure has been recognised in the International Book of Records and India Book of Records. This adventure has also been made into a film, Freedom Seat, which has been submitted to various film festivals and so far has been selected by the Kendal Mountain Festival in the UK. The film will continue to fundraise to help the victims of human trafficking.

Current work:
Motivational speaker:
Honest, pragmatic and laid back, Naresh delivers motivational messages with leadership, resilience, perseverance and ‘It’s possible’ as his main themes. With his unique skill to use tales of his adventures to inspire, he speaks about his explorations in a way that will relate to corporate audiences due to his former career as a technology consultant. Stories from his outdoor adventures and what it takes to overcome extreme challenges, topics that are relevant to corporations. He has spoken for some of the fortune 500 organizations, universities, schools and NGO’s all over the world.

Naresh is in the process of publishing his book about his Te Araroa run and Freedom Seat expedition in NZ focusing on the hospitality and the random acts of kindness he received from fellow Kiwis. He travels around the world for adventures, while raising awareness for and campaigning against sex trafficking, a cause that’s very close to his heart.

When not on an adventure, Naresh works as a freelance product manager, web developer, and writer.

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