Leading Life Extraordinarily in the Face of Deep Disruptions

Facing severe business challenges or failed ventures that took blood, sweat and tears to build; experiencing major setbacks in life or at work; going through a divorce; battling personal health crisis or a terminal illness… dealing with and recovering from these challenges can be tough and take a considerable amount of mental space and energy. Some will recover from this phase by surviving through it, while there are others who seem to be able to rise above deep challenges and actually transform and thrive. How do we seek to “thrive” not just “survive” when faced by radical disruptions?

We are pleased to have Eugenia Gajardo, Counsellor and Pyschotherapist and Suguna Madhavan, Innovation & Management Strategist; Transformative Leadership Mentor-Coach, who will delve into their own personal and professional experiences to discuss the differences between “surviving” and “thriving”.  They will also delve into two traits, “Courage” and “Resilience”, which are often lauded as key to overcoming difficulties, to weigh in the values and skills that help them rise above crisis.


Eugenia Gajardo, Counsellor & Psychotherapist, Knowthyself

Eugenia is a well-established, knowledgeable, highly intuitive and inspiring Counsellor & Psychotherapist. She has over 30 years’ experience in the personal growth and development field, and provides counsel and guidance specific to her clients’ needs. Her approach is straight-forward, deeply empathetic and compassionate, while at the same time, non-judgemental and practical. She helps clients to create alignment between what they think, say/do and feel, as she believes that only in a space of inner congruency, peace and happiness can be found.

Eugenia is an existential and eclectic practitioner who has developed her own treatment model based on her extensive experiential and academic knowledge. She guides her clients through a process of enquiry towards a simple understanding of the self, guiding them to create their own solutions and healing, thereby helping them to make choices from a point of empowerment and strength. She often uses the breath and, where relevant, mindfulness, as tools towards calmness, mental stability, self-knowledge, clarity and well-being.

Having spent 18 years in the corporate and business worlds, being a divorced mother and professional, an existential seeker, a poet, a writer and a painter, she brings with her a deep understanding of the business and corporate workplace, of life and all its multiple facets.

She sees individuals and couples. Her areas of expertise are multiple and they include, but are not limited to issues of anxiety and depression, work and personal relationships, confidence and self-esteem, motivation; life purpose and other existential issues.


Suguna Madhavan, Founder/Director, Firesong Initiatives; Innovation & Management Strategist; Transformative Leadership Mentor-Coach

Suguna is the founder and director of Firesong Initiatives, a specialized business consultancy which focusses on collaboration to deliver innovative concepts to market. She is also a Portfolio Mentor to Golden Equator Group. With a three-decade long passion in innovation, especially in technology and premium consumer segments, Suguna began with consulting in the 1990s. She then headed up Nokia Asia Pacific Communications during its high-growth trajectory from 1995 to 2000. Suguna was a global founding management team member and Asia Pacific head of two breakthrough technology startups –Vertu, the world’s first luxury mobile device; and Steinway Lyngdorf, the innovative global  manufacturer of hi-end sound systems.

As a Transformative Leadership Mentor-Coach to C-suite executives, founders and entrepreneurs globally, her expertise is in the space of exponential growth for individuals and their businesses alike. She is especially fulfilled when partnering those who seek to create transformations out of the transitions they face in life and igniting high-achievers to realize their fullest potential.

She has been a guest speaker and panelist on subjects close to her heart, including on leadership at INSEAD’s Asia Campus for MBA 17D orientation and on creativity and empowerment at Lumas Singapore’s International Women’s Day VIP event 2017. At Open Circles Forum 2019 in Bali, she facilitated a keynote conversation on “Consciousness and Kindness in Business” with Actress and Activist, Alicia Silverstone. In 2019, she also delivered a keynote on “Mentoring for Success” at the US-based Channel Company’s  Women of the Channel Summit in Singapore.

Her charitable commitments included being a Board Director for Singapore Repertory Theatre (2010-2016), a mentor for Beautiful People’s mentorship program for young women at and beyond reformative homes, and fund-raising for British Theatre Playhouse(2016).