Akshay Oberai Dosaj, MD, Purple Honey Group
Husband, father and managing director (“in order of priority”) of F&B major Purple Honey Group Akshay Oberai Dosaj on life after near-death, being an old-fashioned romantic and why he wants to be Spider-Man
The number one item on your wish list?
A major part of my work involves eating! I am always eating; be it in our restaurants, to ensure that the food taste and quality is as it should be, or at other restaurants to gain inspiration… I wish there was a special pill that would: (a) not let me feel full, so I could eat endlessly; and (b) not let my waistline grow beyond 32 inches.
What good deed do you want to do?
Maybe it’s age (or rather, maturity), but I am developing an increasing sense of gratitude and desire to help others. With a young family and business, it is difficult to make time to be altruistic and benevolent, but someday I hope to be in a position where I am able to assist young adults from underprivileged backgrounds to start up their own businesses.
The biggest learning point/ experience in your life.
When I was 20 years old, I decided to raft down the River Nile in Uganda with five friends. White-water rafting can be a terrifying experience, and our safety equipment was questionable at best! The last rapid of the day that we were to go down was a Grade 6 — in simple terms: enter at your own risk and make sure you have a will in place! Being young and reckless, we took on the challenge. Within seconds of entering the rapid, the inevitable happened; our raft capsized and I was sucked under the water and thrown around like a shirt in a washing machine. I was bounced against rocks and unable to breathe; certain that I was not going to make it out alive, I started to pray. Remarkably, I survived and, since that day, whenever I feel less than positive, I recall how I felt (alone and terrified with water crashing all around me) and remind myself that being alive and well is the greatest gift of all that I must cherish every moment.
The first thing you thought about when you woke up this morning.
I am blessed to have two wonderful children: a three-year-old son, Miraan, and a seven-week-old daughter, Reyna. This morning, as with most mornings, I was woken up by the sound of screaming and crying and the first thought that came to me was: “Perhaps if I pretend I didn’t hear them, they will stop!”
The app on your smartphone you click on most often.
SoundCloud — I love music. This app provides an endless supply, and it’s free!
What is your greatest fear?
Growing old and not having made the most of life; having regrets and unfulfilled dreams in my final days. My father always tells me that you have one life and you have to live it to the max!
A way in which you are trying to change your life this year.
I am not trying to change my life at all. I feel very fortunate to have a wonderful wife, two amazing children, a very supportive and loving family and a great set of friends. Why would I change anything?
Who is your favourite movie character of all time — and why?
Will (played by Matt Damon), from Good Will Hunting. I like how he was born with remarkable intelligence but never forgot who he was, who his friends were and where he came from. In addition, when all was said and done, he chose to put love first. What can I say? I’m an old-fashioned romantic.
If you could have your pick of superpowers, what would you choose?
I’m a bit of a dreamer and like to imagine what it would be like if I could fly, or move objects with my mind, or teleport from one place to another. But at this point in life, the answer is very clear: I want to be Spider-Man! My son is currently a massive fan and it would completely blow his mind if his daddy was Spider-Man.