The Success Story of Chong Phit Lian (CEO of Jetstar)
By Nicholas Sng, Xu JingFeng, Bai Yu Hui, Zhang Yi Kai
Chong Phit Lian was born in Johor, Malaysia. She was born in a poor family. Her family moved to Singapore for her to pursue in her studies. She was not good in her studies and often perform badly in her exams. She even had to retake her O Levels in Malaysia just because she failed her Bahasa Malaysia. At the age of 13 years old, she had to help her father in a rubber plantation by supervising the workers in the wee hours of the morning.
The Younger Days Of Chong Phit Lian
Chong Phit Lian was born into a low income family in 1952, her family lived in a small village in Kulai, Johor. She had 7 elder siblings. When she started secondary school, she helped her father in a rubber plantation until she entered polytechnic, where she gave tuition to support her fees for school. She got a scholarship for an engineering course in Birmingham. After her tertiary education, she worked in a factory and within 4 years, she became its general manager. After several jobs in business and engineering, she worked at Singapore Mint and eventually was chosen to become the CEO in Jetstar.
Chong Phit Lian was a very resilient person and she knew how to work around her imperfections regardless of what other people thought about her. Even during her schooling days, she wasn't tall, pretty, nor did anyone like her, but regardless of what people thought, she just focused on her studies.
She became a general manager within four years of finding a job at a factory and eventually became the general manager of Singapore Mint and soon rose to become the chief executive. In 2006, she was appointed to become the CEO of Jetstar Asia Airways.
She had to become her family's breadwinner after two of her siblings died tragically. The younger one died in an attempt to intervene in a fight while the older sibling died a few years later after being accidentally electrocuted.
'"You have to know your shortcomings. By so doing, you know what you need to do, keeping in mind your surroundings, your team's strengths and weaknesses, and your objectives."
Picture from The Peak Magazine about Quote by Chong Phit Lian: thepeakmagazine.com.sg/2015/08/chong-phit-lian-the-peak-power-list-2014.
Picture from Rainforest Alliance about Rubber Trees: www.rainforest-alliance.org/kids/species-profiles/rubber-tree.
Picture from Vulcan Post about Chong Phit Lian: https://vulcanpost.com/186481/10-women-singapore-experiences/
Picture from Talk Vietnam about Jetstar Aircraft: www.talkvietnam.com/2015/01/jetstar-receives-new-aircrafts/