Hubert Burda Media

Prestige’s 18th Birthday With Doctors And Directors (4Of4)

Family comes in all shapes, forms and even walks of life. To commemorate our 18th birthday, we invited a few from our tribe to share their precious jubilations as well as fondest memories of Prestige.

RAJENDRAN KUMARESAN

The director of shipping firm, Selat Offshore, tells us his son is his pride and joy

“When you become a parent, your child’s every milestone, big or small, becomes a reason to celebrate. May it be a birthday, a good grade or an improvement in his attitude. One of the bigger celebrations we threw was for Raoul’s fourth birthday. My wife Shabnam and I had to deal with caterers, magicians, cartoon character impersonators and stilt walkers. It was a logistical nightmare as so many people were involved. We promised ourselves never to throw such big parties again but we forgot and went overboard for his eighth birthday. That time, we even included a fire-eater. It was worth the effort, knowing that our son had a good time.”

ADRIAN OOI

The consultant at the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery at Singapore General Hospital chats about his career highlights

Tell us about your academic journey. 
Five years of medical school, a year of internship, three years of general surgery training, four years of specialist plastic surgery training as well as two post-training fellowships in microsurgery and aesthetic surgery. It’s been up and down, with long hours and time away from friends and family, but extremely fulfilling.

Why plastic surgery?
It requires precision and concentration, with results entirely dependent on effort you put in. I found plastic surgery to be most interesting; we operate from head to toe and no two cases are ever the same. It is a speciality that truly marries science and art.

How do you celebrate career milestones?
With items that fulfil my practical needs. After completing my plastic surgery training, I got myself a MacBook, and a MontBlanc pen after my aesthetic fellowship. Gosh, am I too boring?

One patient you remember?
A patient had sustained severe burns on more than half his body in an accident. The prognosis is usually poor, with a mortality rate of almost 80 percent. He required a stay in the intensive care unit, multiple sessions of surgery and skin grafting. A year later, he is doing great and has returned to work.

A gentleman’s secret to success?
Recognise your own strengths and weaknesses. You also need humility and determination to work for what you want.

Your everyday wins?
In no particular order, well actually, a little in order. Happy wife. Happy family. Happy patients.

CLARA NEO

Some of life’s most precious moments are about making others smile, says this managing director of a shipping firm

“One of the most memorable celebrations I’ve been a part of was for someone outside of my family. I help out with a group of elderly living in rental flats in Hougang, and for the Mid-Autumn Festival one year, I organised a little get-together at the void deck and invited the elderly and my family. I also knew one of the ladies had her birthday that week so I planned a mini surprise celebration for her. She was very touched after we sang the birthday song. Later, she hugged and thanked me for remembering her birthday. With tears in her eyes, she told me she hadn’t celebrated her birthday for a long time. It was an emotional moment and I’ve learnt that a simple yet sincere gesture can mean a lot and bring happiness to others. These little things make their day. That’s why I make the effort to visit them every month.”

KRISHNA RAMACHANDRA

No matter how busy he gets, the managing director of Duane Morris & Selvam LLP always finds time for his family

As a legal eagle, time is precious. How do you best spend it?
I feel truly blessed as I absolutely love what I do and in a sense don’t feel the need to consciously prioritise my time. That said, my kids’ sports events are a soft spot of mine and indeed a pleasant distraction. They have priority and my clients get that.

What is one lesson you’ll share with your children regarding happiness?
Learn to fail without fear. Express their true self, and happiness need not be sought. It will be a natural by-product of their way of being. But it’s easier said than done and as parents we need to pick the examples and point out the distinctions.

What is the gentleman’s secret to success?
Be kind and humble, and do not begrudge anyone. This requires one to keep the ego consistently at bay, which is not easy.

You often head to exotic locales, what about travelling do you love?
It’s about spending time with the family with minimal worldly distractions. My wife Priya plans the best holidays in the world and it’s the quality time we spend that makes all locales so memorable. We are going on a wildlife photography cruise to Greenland next month and I think that will be special.

Most memorable celebration you’ve been to?
A surprise 40th birthday party organised by Priya. Having so many of my family members and close friends there to celebrate it, in my country of birth Sri Lanka, was truly special.

Krishna Ramachandra hails from the 2011 class of Prestige’s 40 Under 40. For 2018’s list, click here.

KAREN SOH

Strong family bonds are the foundation to a fulfilling life, the good doctor at Privé Clinic reveals

“Now that my kids are older, I am so grateful they are well grounded and close to my husband and I. We do many things together as a family, including hosting parties at home. One of the more memorable celebrations we had was my husband’s 45th birthday party. It was a durian party where guests enjoyed more than 100kg of the fruit. We also set up food booths including satay and laksa for everyone. Our closest friends turned up and we had an amazing time. I do believe the right mix of company is key at a party. And good champagne!”

MICHELLE ENG

When music takes over, this director of E-Lume Pte Ltd transforms into a different woman

What does Prestige mean to you?
We go way back. Hence, going to an event by the Prestige team is akin to having a good time with old friends.

Your best memory of Prestige Ball?
Prestige always throws a great party! There are so many wonderful memories but if I had to choose one, it would be when my husband and I were invited as guest DJs at last year’s Ball. I have never missed any (OK, probably one or two) since 2005.

Best party you’ve been to?
Other than Prestige Balls? That would be my friend’s wedding in Spain.

One thing we don’t know about you?
People think I’m unapproachable because I don’t smile a lot. It’s because I’m actually pretty shy. Get to know me and I’m one of the craziest people that you’ll meet!

Your life mantra?
You experience disappointment because of the expectations you have of others.

What to you is overrated? 
Growing up. Yes, you have financial independence and freedom but you grow old! Why not remain a child and have everything done for you? Plus you can get away with almost anything!

For the full glossy spread, pick up a copy of Prestige’s September 2018: Anniversary Issue.

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