Hubert Burda Media

In The Fast Lane

Bristling with optimism, VASHTY SOEGOMO believes a woman can do anything she sets out to do.

Vashty Soegomo is a modern-day superwoman. She has time, or rather makes time, for almost anything. Early morning shoot? She’s on set minutes before we expect her. Strike a pose under the hot sun? She gives us her all for 10 straight hours. Order chicken rice to keep the Prestige team nourished and energised? Done and delivered promptly at noon.
Photo shoot shenanigans aside, the native Indonesian is truly “super” more for the multiple roles that she plays. The busiest of them all is Soegomo’s role as mum to a pair of active, energy-sapping four-year-old twin boys and a beautiful six-month-old baby girl. She is also a wife, daughter, sister and to top it all, a woman set on making a mark in her career.
We ask: How does she do it? “In our society today, women want to do it all and do it well. The key is to get your priorities straight and once this is set, everything else will fall into place,” Soegomo, the eldest of three children, replies thoughtfully.
Her top three priorities are her devotion to God, her kids and her family. Only once these responsibilities are fulfilled does she dedicate time to other pursuits.
One of which is her position as a director at her family-owned integrated logistics company that has presence in Indonesia cities such as Jakarta, Medan and Semarang. Over the past decade, the firm has also branched out to Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
While her twin brothers manage the business in Indonesia, the only daughter in the family manages the other Southeast Asian branches, including its Singapore-based headquarters. Apart from overseeing its day-to-day operations, she also spearheads its expansion into the region. She remains reticent about the company’s upcoming plans but reveals that much is underway.
With the three siblings entrusted with growing the logistics company, Soegomo reveals that their businessman father now concentrates on the family’s other business interests, which spans fertiliser production, power plant management and land banking.
The 32-year-old’s introduction into the world of business came after completing both her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in International Finance. It was her dad, whom she shadowed at meetings, who taught her the inner workings of the corporate world, she says. “My introduction came a little later than most because my parents wanted me to enjoy my youth and concentrate on school.”
An early self-starter, Soegomo left her hometown of Jakarta to attend high school and later underwent the International Baccalaureate programme in Singapore at the United World College of South East Asia and the Overseas Family School respectively. After which, she headed to London to pursue her undergraduate studies in Business Economics and Finance and postgraduate studies in International Finance at London Metropolitan University and University of Westminster.
Thanks to her well-intentioned parents, she did indeed enjoy those years away from home, she says. Apart from developing a sense of independence, she was also exposed to friends from different corners of the globe.
“It opened my eyes to new cultures, widened my views of the world and I even picked up French,” she shares. “This, to me, is priceless and I would like the same thing for my children when they grow up.”
Like all devoted mothers, Soegomo wants the best for her children, which is why she usually brings them along for her travels around the region. When at home, they enjoy simple things such as watching television and having a meal together.
Despite her dedication to her children, she remains conscientious about showering her Australian-Japanese husband Thomas McNee, a trader in a bank, with utter devotion.
“As parents, a lot of things centre on our kids and we tend to forget that we are a couple,” she admits. The couple work around this by committing to a weekly date night where they indulge in their common love for food. Some of their regular haunts include Ristorante Da Valentino, Gunther’s, Tetsuya, Akanoya Robatayaki and Akashi.
Later this month, the couple will embark on a grand sojourn, sans the children, to the Italian cities of Milan, Como, Tuscany and Florence. As Soegomo puts it, it is a much needed break from the daily grind for the both of them. “You have to make the effort to spend quality time together. To me, that is the secret to a happy relationship.”