Turnaround Artist and Motivator Nozer Buchia Not Afraid to Talk About His Failures


Nozer Buchia with the two books that were onsale at the launch and book signing event at the Zoroastrian Association of Houston community center on Sunday, October 6.
Photos: Jawahar Malhotra

By Jawahar Malhotra

HOUSTON: One of the proudest awards that Nozer Buchia treasures is the one that he received after he finished talking about his latest book “Roadmap to Success” which he launched at the Zarathushti Heritage and Cultural Center on Sunday, October 6, 2013.  Two of the people whom he coached a year ago presented him with a Distinguished Entrepreneur Award and it choked Buchia up.

The two men were special to Buchia as they are the President and Vice President of the Leadership Academy of the Carol Vance Unit of the Texas Department of Corrections Prison System located just north of Highway 90A and west of Highway 6 but they were also prisoners tat that unit a year ago. The CV Unit, named after the former Harris County District Attorney, is home to the first Christian faith-based prison program started in 1996. The Leadership Academy offers a chance for prisoners who will be released in two years to learn how to succeed once they are released.

Nozer Buchia receiving the Distinguished Entrepreneur award from Barrim Clifton (left), President and Richard Singleton, Vice President of the Leadership Academy of the Carol Vance Unit.

Nozer Buchia receiving the Distinguished Entrepreneur award from Barrim Clifton (left), President and Richard Singleton, Vice President of the Leadership Academy of the Carol Vance Unit.

“About 6 or 7 years ago, I met Tommy Dorset, the Director of the Academy and he invited me to attend the Business Plan Competition,” recalled Buchia about an event that is held at the Academy every six months. “After the competition I asked if I could address the 300 prisoners there for ten minutes”, he added. Instead, he spoke for an hour and received a standing ovation. “You are not defined by your past, you are prepared by it”, he told the group of prisoners.

The prisoners then circulated a petition to have Buchia come back and ever since then, he has done so every month or fortnight. He shares the message of hope that inspires the prisoners to be better prepared to re-enter a world that they have been away from for many years and succeed. “I help the carpenters and electricians to get their licenses and others with their business plan”, Buchia said. “In fact, one of the videographers at the Sunday presentation was an ex-felon whom Buchia had coached to start his own business”.

The message of hope and perseverance is what has earned Buchia the moniker of “Mr. Motivator” from the time he was just a young boy in Bombay interested in acting in plays. His lack of stage fright let him coach others to get over theirs and he coached them on their performances.

He took this knack and turned it into a calling by earning double Bachelors degrees, followed up with a degree from the Australian Institute of Management, an MBA from Davenport University in Michigan, certficates in computer education and training and a certificate from the National Institute of Training in Industrial Engineering.

He has been involved in many businesses – education, real estate, IT, business coach, and speaker – but has earned his wings in motivational speaking and as a turnaround artist in helping businesses return to growth and profits. He left India for Sydney, Australia in 1988 then moved seven years later to Michigan. After seven years there, and  a two-year stint in Chicago, Buchia moved with his family, wife Persis and son Kyrus to Houston ten years ago. Since then, he has been immersed in producing Gujarati plays, helping businesses, motivational speaking and as a life coach.

The talk at the Center was for the launch of his second book, which he co-authored with Gurus of the speakers circuit, Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Ken Blanchard. The event was sponsored by the World Zarathushti Chamber of Commerce Houston Chapter and the Zoroastrian Association of Houston Library and drew around 200 people to the community’s 6,000 sf, 20 year-old center on 11 acres on West Airport near the West Beltway. Several members and founders of the Chamber were present, including co-founder Homi Davier, and President Zarir Sethna as well as Library Chair Aban Rustomji.

After a ten minute video featuring companies and individuals that Nozer has helped and turned around for success, including NBA basketball player Mike Jones of the Chicago Bulls, Buchia’s son Kyrus gave an emotional and hilarious introduction to his dad. The event ended with a panel discussion with some of Houston’s successful entreprenurs and businessmen – Bill Sherrill, Jodie Jiles, Burton Wolf, Eric Menesse and former Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace, who also hosted the entire event.

Buchia’s earlier book, “Why Entrepreneurs Really Fail” was released two years ago and contains some gems of insight, like a chapter entitled “The Silent Partner – the Entrepreneur’s Spouse” and another that lists the seven reasons entrepreneurs fail. He is often asked which is the chief reason, and always responds that it is a combination of all seven.

For Buchia, his first book is almost autobiographical as it talks about all the mistakes he made himself. “The biggest one was that I made everyone else a priority in my life, so I became an option”, he remarked. “Emotions have no part a business”, he added. His book “Why Entrepreneurs Really Fail” is set to be published in India by Bloomsbury Publishing, with a launch roadshow set for later this year. “They loved my book because they said I was not afraid to speak about my failures, which they found very rare and unusual in a business book,” he explained.

Buchia confesses that he has always had a passion for growing people, working with non-performing and under-performing companies and people and then turning them around and has been a strategic advisor for the last 35 years. He is prone to making the type of soundbites that stick in the mind of his audiences which explains why he has clients for public speaking here in the US, in India, Dubai, Australia, Israel and worldwide. “Leaders don’t create followers”, he said. “Leaders create more leaders. Just believe in yourself”.