mark vela


Doctor of Naturopathy

Area of Expertise
Business Acumen Course
Dr Mark Vella; Brief CVAs developer, owner and Managing Director of MASSAGE ON THE BEACH (MOTB), Dr Mark Vella N.D. has more than 21 years of skill, experience and qualification in wellness, entrepreneurship and education.

One of South Africa’s foremost wellness innovators and authorities, his skill lies in being able successfully commercialise wellness,  adding value to all stakeholders, whilst remaining true to the fundamental principles of health.

Mark is a thought leader in the integration of medicine, wellbeing and the transforming needs of our society. He regards himself as conscious capitalist, a social entrepreneur and a servant leader.

By profession, he is a Naturopath, registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of Southern Africa (AHPCSA). Mark has a Business Management Honours from the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town. He has also completed further postgraduate studies in Western Medicine.

Mark has a unique and eclectic range of educational experience with over 10 recognised qualifications in natural medicine, business management, personal training and exercise science, lifestyle counselling, weight management consultation, therapeutic bodywork and professional writing.

In 2002 he started MOTB, which has grown to 3 sites with over 10 staff and a full service operation on South Africa’s busiest beaches.

In 2005, he then added the not-for-profit Hand-up Hands-on Apprenticeship Program, which offers free personal and business skills education to trainees working at MOTB. He is still the programs patron, director and main funder.

As a social innovator and entrepreneur, Mark has pioneered a model that facilitates social transformation in a commercially successful environment.

In 2007, he began a process of corporatisation of MOTB, converting it from a sole trader operation to a fully fledged small business.

Since then he has raised over R900K in sponsorship value, including R400K in cash, whilst building professional relationships with Men’s Health, SHAPE magazine, Cybersmart, Holotropic, vide e caffe and Wellness Warehouse.

In 2010, he developed Touchpoints, a fully integrated performance management system tailored to MOTB’s needs.

His corporate experience includes Woolworths, the FIVB World Volleyball Tour, SA National Cricket team, Telkom, Brandhouse, and SA Breweries. He has offered his services to the Childline Tower Project, the Wild Child Run, at the Berg River Canoe Marathon and on Corporate retreats at the Breede River camp, ‘Walkabout’.

As far back as 1992, Mark, pioneered the first successful wellness and personal centres in Cape Town for the Health and Racquet Group (now Virgin Active).
Mark is the author of several wellness programs and qualifications.
From 1998 -2001 he co-authored the world’s first internet and call centre protocol database in Natural Medicine.

Additionally he has two top selling books to his name. Combined, these have sold over 150 000 copies in the USA, UK and Europe and have been translated into 7 languages.

Mark is also the Natural Medical Director of the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine (ILM).
The ILM’s future charter will be to promote wellness and the role of ‘lifestyle as medicine’ in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment to the medical, corporate and consumer markets.
In 2011 he opened the Charles Carmello Vella Young Entrepreneurs Library, a not-for-profit initiative aimed at developing and mentoring social entrepreneurs.

Mark is a regular lecturer, consultant and guest speaker. Aside from 10 years lecturing and assessing for the Exercise Teachers Academy, he also taught at City Varsity and ran his own exercise anatomy training program in conjunction with the Centre Yoga studio in Cape Town.
In 2011, he was a finalist in the Sanlam Entrepreneur of the Year Competition and made the Top 25 of the Big Break Social Entrepreneurs Competition.
Most recently he was a panellist at the 2011 Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week and presenter at Pecha Kucha 16 on social entrepreneurship.

He is currently an adjudicator in the 2012 SEDA Small Business Stars.