Suguna Madhavan is a respected global business and brand architect with a successful track record for charting new enterprise across diverse industries. She has over 25 years of strategic new product concept, market development and commercial operational experience spanning early stage start-ups to full commercial businesses.
Suguna is Founder/Director of Firesong Initiatives Pte Ltd, a specialised business and management consultancy she founded in 2005, with a focus on innovation and startup development from incubation to commercial launch and strategic growth. Through Firesong Initiatives and via highly selective mentorship and advisory board roles, Suguna works symbiotically with both individuals/founders as well as companies and has been strategically involved in a number of exceptional new concepts and businesses across different market segments spanning luxury, audio, mobile technology, and the digital space.
Since 2012, Suguna has collaborated with her long-time associate Frank Nuovo of DesignStudioNuovo (DSN), Los Angeles, in the strategic commercial development of a suite of cutting-edge new concepts, including the development of DatZing a mobile locational discovery application. She is currently engaged as Global Strategy Advisor to DSN, a design & concept incubator.
Between 2007 to December 2011, seconded as President, APAC & Middle East and dual-hatting as Global Chief Marketing Officer, Suguna played an instrumental role from inception in Steinway Lyngdorf, an innovative audio start-up which launched the world’s first fully digital luxury sound system. In parallel, in 2009, she was Asian Ambassador and Global Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer of the newly formed company Faberge Services Ltd, which expanded the revered Faberge heritage into exquisite contemporary jewelry for connoisseurs.
In 1999, as a key member of the global founding team of Vertu, the world’s first luxury mobile phone, she led the initial global brand development towards funding and played a strategic role in the global commercial development. She also spearheaded Vertu’s business operations across the Asia Pacific region from incubation through to full commercial operations until 2003 when she embarked on a sabbatical.
As Regional Director, Communications for Nokia Asia Pacific, she spearheaded the development of teams, processes and programmes across 12 markets from 1996 to 2000, and was credited for being part of the core team that contributed to the development of Nokia into the World’s number one cellular brand in terms of brand equity and market share. Prior to 1996, Suguna held several roles in strategic marketing and business consulting, sales, and the academic sector.
In the last decade, Suguna has been actively involved in charitable initiatives including the support of the arts and community services. She served as Board Director for Singapore Repertory Theatre, a leading English Theatre company, over 2 terms from 2010 to February 2016, has worked with Beautiful People, a volunteer community group that mentors young girls on probation through life-transitions and helps re-integrate them into society. Always one to support a good cause, her fundraising efforts include serving as a committee member for British Theater Playhouse’s 2016 Art for Charity fundraiser, benefiting the International Committee for the Red Cross.
A yoga practitioner for 30 years, she professes a long-standing love for the Scottish highlands and single-malt whiskies. She counts hill-walking, writing prose and poetry, reading, and the enjoyment of the arts amongst her hobbies. Along the way, she picked up a Bachelor of Arts (National University of Singapore), a post Graduate Diploma in Teaching, a Master of Science, International Marketing (University of Strathclyde, UK), and completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at INSEAD, Fontainebleau.