Boonsiri Somchit-Ong

Boonsiri is Malaysian of Thai-Chinese descent and is well known in the multinational corporation circle where she had spent more than 30 years before she left to join her husband, Tony, in the business. 

Episode 10

Written by

Krista Goon

Published on

Share this episode on:

boonsiri somchit womenpreneur asia penang

Boonsiri Somchit-Ong

Boonsiri is Malaysian of Thai-Chinese descent and is well known in the multinational corporation circle where she had spent more than 30 years before she left to join her husband, Tony, in the business. 

Episode 10

Written by

Krista Goon

Published on

Share this episode on:

boonsiri somchit womenpreneur asia penang

One of the things I have learned is that some of the things that you go through in life, especially failure, is not something that you should be ashamed of. And unfortunately, I was ashamed of that for many years. Too many years.

Boonsiri somchit-ong

Today’s episode is about Boonsiri Somchit-Ong who is the co-founder and chief conceptualist of Xtrategize Technologies Sdn Bhd based in Penang, Malaysia. 

Boonsiri was a pleasure to talk to as you can hear from our delicious, direct, and crazy conversation.

boonsiri somchit womenpreneur asia penang
Because I’m the kind of person that if I don’t have fun, I will quit. So I have to have fun so if I’m going to have fun you might well have fun with me, right? – Boonsiri Somchit-Ong

Boonsiri is of Malaysian Thai-Chinese descent and is well known in the multinational corporation circle where she had spent more than 30 years before she left to join her husband, Tony, in the business. 

Technically, they were both supposed to leave the corporate world together at the same time and run the business but it took her a few more years before she finally joined him. She said that her husband thought that she was much suited for the role of an entrepreneur as she was more extroverted than him! 

In her previous corporate role, Boonsiri was a finance and operations professional leading a global team that delivered business accounting services that supported a multinational’s entire global entities. From her base in Penang, she managed and led teams in North and South America, EMEA and the Asia-Pacific.

In this interview, you will hear Boonsiri’s enthusiasm for life, work and family. She is determined, strong and capable and yet isn’t afraid to reveal that she too is human with her own shortcomings. Carpe diem is her favourite quote while she admits with unusual pride that she loves K-pop music by BTS. 

When I asked her what her milestones were, she said, “Staying calm and focused while balancing self-care, family health crisis, business, career and the pandemic”.

She cites her three daughters: Andrea, Stephanie, and Alicia as her inspiration. 

It is no surprise then that strong-willed Boonsiri is passionate about women’s empowerment and uses every opportunity to drive change for women. 

People wouldn’t do business with you until they really know your background. You have to have a good track record. People can google you, go to Linkedin and check you out before they believe you.  

Boonsiri Somchit-Ong

She is a board member of the Penang Island Golf Properties and a mentor for the Malaysian Talent Corporation’s Women’s Senior Leadership Programme.

Boonsiri is also with Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARUC) and Taylor’s School of Professional Studies as an industry advisor. She is also the author of a best-selling Malaysian leadership book, “When the Chicken Dies, Everyone Cries’ which was nominated for the Popular Readers Book Awards. Boonsirii was also recognized by a Malaysian business magazine as one of the 25 most influential women leaders in Malaysia in 2018.

In this episode, Boonsiri opens up about:

  • How she used to worry that she was always working and away from home and what her daughters thought (and what they said that changed her outlook completely about being an absent mom) 
  • What fear is to her and how she works with it, instead of against it or running away from it (and she gives a great way to think about fear) 
  • Why she openly and proudly revealed her biggest failure in front of a TEDx audience and her family 
  • How working parents can be a blessing for their children 
  • Why she believes that growing up in her village or “kampung” gave her the best leadership and life lessons 
  • What happened as a result of writing her quirkily and unmissable book, When The Chicken Dies, Everyone Cries 
  • How tough and uncomfortable it was for her to talk about herself and her credentials when she spoke to prospects and customers 
  • How she has to change her mindset from having a corporate budget to how to make money on her own 
  • What drives her now after decades of global, corporate work and managing a business 

Find out more about Boonsiri Somchit-Ong through these links: