SINGAPORE – For the first 12 years after starting her company, Ms Reene Ho-Phang did not take leave.
As the co-founder of BrandStory, a strategic travel marketing consultancy, she had eight offices around the region to manage and clients as far away as Azerbaijan and Iceland to service.
The only times she managed to get away were when her clients’ offices closed for Christmas and Chinese New Year.
In late January this year, she and her husband, Mr Peter Phang, 50, who runs the company with her, flew back to Singapore from their base in Shanghai for Year of the Rat celebrations with their extended family.
On the seventh day of Chinese New Year – a significant occasion known as Everyone’s Birthday – her father suddenly died at age 78. A retired civil servant, he had looked after finance for BrandStory’s headquarters here.
“It was…” Ms Ho-Phang trails off and