Managing Partner, Strategic Communications

Top 5 Gallup Clifton Strengths:
Connectedness, Empathy, Intellection, Relator, Belief

Top Character Strength:
Spirituality (Transcendence)

Hi! I’m Darshana. My love affair with communications began when I became a child newscaster for a local television programme in Malaysia at the age of ten. I’ve always had a natural affinity for all things expressive and creative – writing, art, music, dance and more.

Later in life, I discovered I have a knack for connecting the docs and creating structure where chaos seemed to exist. Armed with a degree in Biotechnology, I did exactly what my parents didn’t want me to: I completely ignored the coveted science degree from Monash University and launched my career in communications in 2009.

And I haven’t looked back since.

I have a solid 15 years of experience in communications and PR across industries and disciplines in Malaysia and the region. My core strengths lie in strategic communications, specialised writing, and communications coaching.

Across the span of my career, I have led successful impact-focused communication campaigns and strategies at national, regional and global levels. Some memorable causes that I’ve worked on are the Malayan Tiger Project with WWF, global youth development initiatives with the World Scout Bureau, as well as HR and leadership communications with Leaderonomics.

A key achievement I hold close to my heart is mentoring new communicators in their early career, helping them navigate and learn the ropes of working on the job.I am committed to Illuminairre’s vision to humanise communications and make it a norm. My specialty is working with clients to:

  • Design communication and brand strategies that are rooted in purpose and long-term impact
  • Empower Gen Z and millennial teams by equipping them with future-ready communication leadership skills
  • Tell incredible impact stories through specialised writing projects

Connect with me on LinkedIn


Managing Partner, Professional Coaching & Publications

Top 5 Gallup Clifton Strengths:
Context, Learner, Restorative, Achiever, Developer

Top Character Strength:
Judgement (Wisdom)

With more than 12 years of writing and editing experience in publications (MPH, Marshall Cavendish and WWF), I’ve successfully published more than 15 coffee table books, countless children’s educational workbooks and written impact stories for brands like Sunway Paving Solutions and EcoWorld through Leaderonomics’ former weekly pull out in The Star; and The World Organization of the Scout Movement.

I’ve also developed a habit of uncovering flaws in every book I’ve had the opportunity to hold in my hands. This makes me a great editor friend and also someone you might want to strangle (if you’re a writer). But hey, let’s focus on the positive side: great editors ask the right questions or pose things to you that get you to write better.

Other than that, I’ve pretty much sang, composed, danced and choreographed my way in life throughout the years. I’m proud to be a Jazzercise instructor and still a huge fan of the programme.

Albeit relatively short-lived, 8 years of teaching drama to children and young adults as well as planning performance set-ups for corporations (I was extremely blessed to choreographed for Beiersdorf in 2019) made me realise that teaching, whether it be music or dance or maths, fuels me in a different way and I carve out time dedicating to education. I had great teachers who had a profound impact in the way I think and see the world, and I hope to bring the same kind of affect and influence as they have done for me. Cliché, but Whitney said it right: “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.”

Now a certified professional coach, a music teacher, a dance instructor, and a managing partner (with my Illuminairre sister, Darshana), I feel that my life is only going to be better moving forward.

I thoroughly enjoy my time speaking to teenagers, Gen Z and millennials to help them get out of their blind spots (if any) through coaching, and to do it with good food.

Other things that I do best:

    • I’m the ultimate decision-making machine! I love weighing all aspects objectively and considering arguments that are in conflict with my convictions. It’s like being a detective, uncovering all the evidence before coming to a conclusion. This trait makes me an awesome coach and listener, always ready to hear different perspectives and learn from others.
    • I’m a pattern-hunter extraordinaire! I enjoy looking for blueprints and patterns that emerge from the past to help clients map out their future. It’s like a treasure hunt, with each clue leading to a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve and help my clients make better choices that align with their needs.
    • I’m a problem-solving ninja! When things break down, I’m the first one to jump in and identify what’s wrong. Just like a puzzle, with each piece leading to the solution; I get energised by the challenge. If you’re facing a breakdown, I’m the partner you need to bring courage and creativity to the table.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

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