For KSK Group CEO Joanne Kua, accountability is the anchor of her approach to managing a family business. By now accustomed to the pressure that comes with working alongside her self-made entrepreneur father, KSK Group chairman Tan Sri Datuk Paduka Kua Sian Kooi, Joanne resolved early on that she would work harder than ever before and let her effort—rather than her surname—speak for itself.
“One thing about moving from a professional career into a family business is the level of responsibility involved,” says Joanne, who returned to Malaysia in 2010 from a career in credit risk management in Deutsche Bank in London. “Taking over the family business was about understanding the magnitude of that responsibility. It was an opportunity that not many people have and I realised that I had to work even harder than I would have in my professional career to stay accountable not just to the family and the chairman but to regulators and customers.”
In 2017, Joanne and her sister Cindy co-founded an insurtech startup, Sunday, which is based in Thailand with plans to expand to Indonesia and Malaysia soon.
“I joined the family business when they had just completed the sale of Kurnia Malaysia and diversified into property development,” shares Cindy. “The company was going in a new direction and I too was deciding what I should do. Back then, I worked closely with Joanne, since Krystine had not yet returned to Malaysia.”