Nilesh Makwana

Author. Speaker. Entrepreneur. Technologist.

Migrant, international student, and entrepreneur with a passion for social impact — Nilesh Makwana is an Indian-Australian author, public speaker and also the CEO of a global award-winning business illuminance Solutions. Nilesh was born and brought up in humble surroundings in a small town in Gujarat, India. 

Terminal 4 – An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Bicycle to Business Class is a vivid look at Nilesh’s life changing decision to embark on an international student’s journey and beyond. It reflects on the triumphs, challenges, tips, tricks and advice he received along the way.

This book serves as a blueprint on how to succeed at university, maximise your travel experience, build a business, nourish a network, bounce back after a failure, forge your own version of success and achieve your own dreams. The author hopes that by sharing his experiences he might ignite that little spark you need to embark on a journey of your own.

Nilesh Makwana launched  Terminal 4 – An Entrepreneurs Journey from Bicycle to Business Class in New Delhi, India in 12th July 2022. The launch of the book coincided with the Western Australian Invest & Trade delegation to India, and the launch event was held on the very first day of the delegation.


Award-winning entrepreneur Nilesh Makwana has switched from writing code to books for the first time with Terminal 4 – An Entrepreneur’s Journey From Bicycle to Business Class.

The book shares his journey from a school-hating child to a lifelong student and business owner.

And, it has some great advice for people thinking about building a business or hopping on a plane to go somewhere new themselves!

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Public Speaking

Nilesh is a seasoned speaker on a number of key community, business, and economy topics.

His engaging presentations are derived from his lived experience as an international student, entrepreneur and philanthropist creating positive social impact.

He is a regular at conferences and university campuses all over Australia where he shares his unique insights on technology, digital inclusion, diversity, and leadership.

Community Engagements

Nilesh and his team at illuminance Solutions develops and deploys digital literacy programs that support groups facing barriers accessing and safely navigating technology.

To ensure that the digital literacy training are targeted towards solving particular problems and issues, Nilesh form unique partnerships with key organisations and associations, and gather volunteers in possession of the desired skills to share their knowledge with those that needs it the most. These free digital literacy short courses have helped senior citizens, people living with disability and the Indigenous community learn the skills needed to thrive in a digital world, and include:

  • Drones – Principles to Flight is an accessible training program for people with mobility or dexterity impairment
  • Online Safety for Seniors is an on-site training program to help secure seniors online presence
  • Office 365 Training Program was developed to support the wider Indigenous community with basic digital literacy knowledge
  • Office 365 in the Workplace was designed to equip Indigenous youth with essential job-readiness skills in current technology


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Book Reviews

“Terminal 4 by Nilesh Makwana is a fabulous tale of a lifelong learner, an adventurer, an entrepreneur and intrepid traveller. The account of his life is as entertaining and engaging as it is motivating. From being a student with a poor academic track record in small town India to becoming an entrepreneur who has travelled the world, won multiple awards and added tremendous value to the community, Nilesh’s story of perseverance, passion, grit, self belief and never-say-die spirit will surely be inspirational to all who read it. I loved the summary of life lessons at the end of each chapter. Wishing Nilesh all the best in his journey hereon. If this account is anything to go by, I am sure many new adventures and accolades await!”

Preeti Vyas – Amar Chitra Katha Pvt. Ltd.

“An enjoyable story of optimism, perseverance and the importance of making the most of every opportunity.  A great read for international students, migrants and for us all.”

Annie Fogarty – Executive Chairperson, Fogarty Foundation

“You have come so far, and in such an interesting and inspirational manner, all of which are conveyed with eloquence and passion. Your values, character, story all come through here, and it is wonderful to share it with international students and other potential readers.”

Robert Wood – Creative Director, Centre for Stories

“I was brought back to my own migration days, and by reading about your journey I remembered many things I had forgotten about from my own big move from Europe to Australia.”

Alberto Tassone – President, Stanley College

“I am an international student and have gone through a lot of struggles. When I was reading the book there were places where I felt like ‘this is my life as well.’ This book made me realise I have so much left to achieve, and with the author’s insights and messages I feel better equipped to succeed in this foreign land.”

Imran Rashid

“The best thing about the book was the honesty and integrity in the story.”

Dev Kumar

“Nilesh’s personal journey is one filled with optimism, perseverance, humility and a thirst for life that proves it takes much more than just a formal education to make an imprint on the people around him but indeed the world and humanity.”

Ian Hale – Managing Director, The Backlot Perth

“When I first met Nilesh Makwana some years ago, I remarked that he was ‘unstoppable’: this book reveals exactly why. Nilesh’s journey will inspire anyone who aspires to go further to do just that. Nilesh, In quoting Ghandi’s famous words, “If I have the belief I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity…”, Nilesh reminds me of the motto of my alma mater: “Possunt quia posse videntur”. It is from Virgil’s Aeneid and roughly translates as: “They can because they think they can.” Nilesh believes he can do anything – and he is probably right: and he believes you can, too!”

Alec Coles – CEO, WA Museum Boola Bardip

“The book is inspirational and motivational. It’s well written, witty, and racy. Nilesh shares his life’s experiences which are relatable, practical and easy to follow. Terminal 4 provides a safe landing not only for foreign students but has life lessons for everyone.”

Dr Mukesh Batra – Founder & Chairperson, Dr Batra’s Healthcare

“The book is indeed a must read for new arrivals to WA, students, and migrants alike. In fact, I think everyone can take something away from reading it, and to be inspired by your message of active citizenship and leading with karma.”

Hari Sethi MACS Snr. CP – Founder & Director, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Australia

“I like the blend of humour and Nilesh’s raw experiences.”

Krishna Karangiya

“I am not much of a book reader, but this book had so many real-life experiences that I could relate to, and it kept me tied to it. I cannot believe that I completed the whole book in one sitting! It is very engaging and every page you turn has something to offer and it kept making me want to read more.”

Marcia De Oliveira

“With this book you get a front seat on an adventurous journey that is about struggle, hard work, and persistence. The quote before each chapter sets the tone of what is to come beautifully and the key takeaways after every chapter left me with an even better understanding of my business partner. In this book, Nilesh doesn’t hide or smooth over any challenges or failures he faced in his life, but gracefully shares them with us all to learn from.”

Vincent Lam

“The book can be read by everyone as it is a wonderful book with lots of life experience. I think this book would really motivate the young people who leave their home country and move to a completely new world. This book can show them that bad times do not stay and with struggle and hard work comes success and satisfaction.”

Karan Joshi -Director & CEO, Aussizz Group

“In an age when education is often valued in terms of the marks one can obtain through rote learning, Nilesh Makwana’s book is a timely reminder that success depends on so much more – among other things, quick thinking, hard work, perseverance, and the ability to learn from mistakes. This story, of a small-town boy who repeatedly failed in school and then went on to become a global, award-winning entrepreneur, is told in simple language, peppered with pithy quotes and insightful takeaways. Engagingly written, with candour and humour, this is an inspiring tale and one that I would recommend being read by everyone who wants to understand what it takes to succeed in a complex and unforgiving world.”

Menka Shivdasani – poet and writer (Mumbai)

“Nilesh’s entrepreneurial journey started in India when he was at school, but my god he has flourished in WA! As an entrepreneur he leads the way in this great state and I’m really proud, and I really enjoyedthe read of his great book.”

Kevin Brown – CEO, Perth Airport

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