Born in 1964, initially pursued a career in the international luxury hotel industry. He held numerous management and senior management positions in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and East Africa, where he was responsible for several multi-unit hotel management resorts. After his Stanford MBA and advanced management training in Senior Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD, he furthered his studies in Cultural and Social Anthropology at Columbia University.
Kurmann then founded Authentic Hotels®, a South African boutique management company. One day, however, his inner alarm sounded and he found himself diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. He chose to retreat as a Buddhist novice to a remote mountain monastery in Bhutan for several months, practicing ancient Tibetan mediations and cultivating mindfulness during 100 days of isolation in a tiny mountain retreat hut, teaching him to reflect inwardly. There, his disease was cured without medicine.