[dropcap]D[/dropcap]eepak Mahtani had everything he ever dreamed of in life: money, a flourishing company, class, and business degrees from Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, and American College, Switzerland. He followed his family’s tradition of serving the Eastern gods and rested assured that he was living life to the fullest.
Born into a Sindhi Indian family, Mahtani grew up learning the Hindu scriptures, attending their services and participating in the rituals that come along with the faith. His father was a businessman from Pakistan who fled to India because of tribal persecution. He settled in Bombay with a few rupees and started a business. Not long afterward, he got on a cargo ship and relocated 6,000 miles to Indonesia.
He gave birth to his son Deepak and two other siblings in Hong Kong, and four years later, relocated to Japan. They still practiced their Hindu religion and his father always drilled into the heads of his children that “money and success is all that you need to be happy in life.”
He had no idea that hell was around the corner until an unexpected tragedy struck and changed his life for good. His sister came to visit him in Geneva for two weeks. She had an automobile accident and died instantly. It was a very traumatic experience that left him in severe depression for six months. He lost interest in his business, started smoking, was drinking excessively and suicidal until he met a fellow Sindhi Indian in Geneva who was a Christian. This new friend tried to introduce him to his Christian God but Mathani was adamant. His friend encouraged him not to reject the Christian God, but to focus on the man Jesus and His word. Bathani got a Bible and began reading the words of Jesus in red and gradually started believing in the God of the Bible.
At the age of 12, Mahtani lost his mother to kidney disease. Even though he was the baby of the family, he was determined to succeed at all costs. Upon graduation from school, he started an electronics distribution company that he took from zero to $4 million in four years. His wealth came with a luxurious lifestyle: first-class travel, five-star hotels, nice clothes and money to do whatever he wanted. He was fluent in English, French, Spanish, Japanese, and two Indian languages. His busy schedule did not accommodate anything to do with God; he was brutally aggressive about getting what he wanted to the point of pushing people out of the way without blinking an eye. For Mahtani back then, what could be sweeter than the “heaven” he was experiencing on earth?
He had no idea that hell was around the corner until an unexpected tragedy struck and changed his life for good. His sister came to visit him in Geneva for two weeks—then got in a car accident and died instantly. The trauma of her death left him in severe depression for six months. He lost interest in his business, started smoking, was drinking excessively and suicidal until he met a fellow Sindhi Indian in Geneva who was a Christian. This new friend tried to introduce him to his Christian God, but Mahtani was adamant. His friend encouraged him not to reject the Christian God but to focus on the man Jesus and His Word. Mahtani got a Bible and began reading the words of Jesus in red and gradually started believing in the God of the Bible.
After praying without success to other gods for one good night’s sleep, his request was granted by the God of the Bible. That was how he gave his life to Christ. Today, he shares the Gospel all over the world, especially with Hindus and Sikhs and business people. He is actively involved in leadership in his local church and is married to Celia. They have two grown boys–Arun and Sanjay.
When he first converted to Christianity, his family members were unhappy and extremely skeptical. Over time they saw the positive impact of his new-found faith. His act of loving and accepting his family despite their differences in belief caused his older sister and niece to turn to Christianity.
Today, Mahtani is a management training consultant specializing in understanding culture and working with different cultures, especially those of India, Japan, and China. He has coached and trained hundreds of senior managers who are involved in outsourcing to Indian companies and in remote team management around the globe. Most of his clients are FTSE100 and Fortune 500 companies, and he sits on a number of boards.
Apart from his business interests, he is actively involved in a number of charities both in the UK and South Asia that raise funds for health, development, and education in developing countries. He was included in the International Who’s Who of Professionals (2001). He recently participated in writing a book called Sindhi Journeys of Faith–20 stories of Sindhis around the world who have come to know Christ. All 2,000 copies of the book have been distributed, and another reprint is being planned.
“After 20 years of being a follower of Jesus Christ, He has answered my prayers,” Mahtani says, summing up his Christian experience. “Today, I am even more successful than I ever was, not because of money but because of the people I met through my faith as I traveled round the world.”
His message for the world is,
“God is a God of love, and Jesus is his means of demonstrating that for each one of his children. He so wants a relationship with each one of us. Don’t think of it as a religion but rather as a love story. Also don’t believe and live the lies that have been spoken over you by the evil one and people who he uses to discourage us.”
May Olusola is the Publisher of MannaEXPRESS.