Cover Photo: Unsplash

From a football coach to the CEO of a family-run business, four career-driven ladies share how their fathers have inspired their success

As we celebrate the dads and the father figures in our lives this month, we are reminded of the weighty significance that the father-daughter dynamic has on four women from different walks of life.

Read on to learn how KSK Group CEO Joanne Kua, the eldest daughter of Tan Sri Kua Sian Kooi, and other successful women have been empowered by their fathers to thrive in the workplace and in life.

More: Ruyi & Lyn's Lyn Siew Pays Tribute to Her Dad 

Raja Jastina Raja Arshad, head of Astro Shaw

What's the best lesson you learnt from your father?

The reason I am where I am is because of the role models I had in my life. My father, Raja Tan Sri Arshad Tun Uda, is one of them. He always taught us to do the best we can, no matter how small the task. Back in the day, even when I would take minutes for the bosses, I made sure they were the best minutes. I believe that if you put your best into anything you do, there will be no regrets. So, no matter how small that thing is, do the best you can. That’s a key thing I’ve learnt from my father.

Related: Why Raja Jastina Arshad Believes Malaysian Stories Are Universally Appealing

Joanne Kua, group CEO of KSK Group

How has your father empowered you to succeed as a leader in the workplace?

I think it’s his level of constant entrepreneurship and innovation. He demonstrated a lot of innovation in his day when he started Kurnia, and that’s how we took the lead as an insurance provider in the market.

The whole notion that 'change is constant' is really from him. That same inspiration drives me as well. Another thing that inspires me is his grit and the fact that he always has the courage to do something different. I would say my courage comes from him, and the ability to say ‘Don’t worry, let’s do this, let’s go forward!’.

What’s the best advice your father ever gave you?

To stay humble in everything you do. And that respect isn’t a given when you’re a CEO; it's something you have to work on, something you earn from people. That translates to working hard and taking nothing for granted.

In case you missed it: Dads in Asia Open Up About Work-Life Balance, Imposter Syndrome and More Infrequently Asked Questions

Keshika Subbarao, head coach of FC Kuala Lumpur First Team and Little League Soccer Putrajaya

Growing up, how did your father encourage you to excel in sports?

My dad would share stories from his playing days. We would also watch football together regularly. He gave me the space to pursue my interests, whether that was in sports or life, and to me, that was the best encouragement.

What's the best lesson you learned from your father?

I learned the value of working hard and believing in your dreams. He taught me that by setting an example. He went after his ambitions despite having nothing and persevered through the challenges he faced. That showed me that anything is possible.

Related: Retired Squash Queen Nicol David Turns Her Attention to Nurturing New Talents

Fariza Sakina, co-founder of Gigple

How did your father, Datuk Farish Rashid, encourage you to excel in life?

My dad has always inspired me with his ever-growing ambition to keep pushing the boundaries. In his younger days, he was stationed in the jungles of Sabah and then transitioned abruptly to the corporate world in Kuala Lumpur. He has proven that success can be achieved with the right intention and ambition.

How has your father influenced how you see yourself?

My dad has this famous ‘godfather’ type persona where he taught me two things: you can do anything but never go against the family, and never let anyone push you around.

But he has always protected me and given me this sense of pride, which has influenced the way I carry myself. Moreover, he has never let me believe there were any limits to what I could achieve.


Family Business: Dato’ Beh Chun Chuan and Garvy Beh

Marina Mahathir Pens a Father's Day Essay

KSK Group CEO Joanne Kua On Building A Successful Family Business That Can Last Generations 

A resource for women to be their best selves, Front & Female celebrates trailblazers, breaks taboos and tackles timely issues in Asia. Join the community by subscribing to our newsletter and following #frontandfemale

Tatler Asia
© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.