Balancing the Grind with Thuy Thai, Chief Financial Officer at

Thuy Thai is the Chief Financial Officer at, a joint venture between and Sonic Healthcare, focused on developing AI-enabled medical solutions in pathology.  

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role? 

I am currently the Chief Financial Officer for, a joint venture between and Sonic Healthcare, focused on developing AI-enabled medical solutions in pathology.  

I have a set of skills deeply rooted in all things related to numbers as I started my career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley in mergers & acquisitions. I then took up an investment role at a healthcare-focused private equity firm based here in Sydney, and it was here that I picked up the mindset of an operator and developed a deep understanding of the complex and highly regulated industry that is healthcare and how to run healthcare businesses.  

When Dimitry and Aengus Tran co-founded, I joined the both of them as their Chief of Staff in 2018 to assist them in fundraising, deal making, and scaling teams. I have absolutely loved the dynamic, diverse, and versatile nature of this role and have since further developed my interest and skillset in finance as it was a big part of my role at

I joined the team this year as their Chief Financial Officer to ensure that has the financial resources it needs to achieve its mission of transforming the way care is delivered in pathology.  

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday? 

This may sound like a cliche but no one day in startups is the same as another. The common theme, though, is about growing a team and putting in place the right foundational infrastructure for the company to scale.

This means having 1-on-1 with my team members, attending team standups, and chairing project meetings. This is about 50% of my week, although I am very fortunate to be supported by an experienced, hard-working, and very fun team! 

I also spend a large proportion of my time looking after our overseas operations where cultural and time zone differences are always interesting challenges.  

The rest of my time is spent on investor relations where I liaise with our investors and/or directors, and prepare materials for the board of directors.  

3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal? 

I think work-life balance carries a different meaning to me depending on where I am in my career and personal life. Earlier on in my career, this concept did not exist! I am now able to have a much more balanced lifestyle; however, I also embrace the ebb and flow of a high growth start-up as it keeps me engaged and challenged!  

To use the infamous ‘big rocks, pebbles, and sand’ analogy, every quarter, I do a mental check and consciously decide what my big rocks are for the quarter and what the pebbles are. Then I make sure I stick to that, and reassess every quarter.

Sometimes work is a big rock and I may make some other compromises for that period. On the other hand, there have been instances this year where relatives were visiting from overseas and that was my big rock, so I invested a lot more time in my family during those months. It is a conscious and intentional plan for me to achieve a balanced life over the course of the year! 

On a daily basis, there are a couple of non-negotiable things for me though that keep me sane, no matter what the circumstances are. I exercise everyday, be it working out at my local F45 studio or running, even if it means pushing back a meeting, working later in the day, or waking up super early. I also eat my meals away from my desk as it’s important for me that I mindfully eat and catch up with my loved ones during mealtimes.  

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4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life? 

Being intentional and mindful about how I spend my time is a recommendation by a mentor that I now do on a regular basis. As mentioned earlier, I write down my ‘big rocks’ for the next few months and I try to get away and spend some time by myself every 4 or 6 months or so to do this.  

I recently looked back at what I wrote down and am glad that I did this as I am quite content about how I spent my time this year as it could have been so easy to get caught by life’s busyness.  

5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend? 

It was a team member of mine who recommended Atomic Habits by James Clear to me and I loved it! Big things are created from very small things that we do each and every day. The tips in the book such as stacking are so practical and easy to implement.  

Malcolm Gladwell is my favourite author of all time and I love his book Outliers. Success, sometimes, is a combination of lucky circumstances, rare opportunities, and other external factors which are out of our control, and not just to do with the individual. It’s a great reminder to not take life too seriously and that we can only control what we do, not the outcome.  

6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be? 

I would love to hear about work-life balance from Shemara Wikramanayake, current CEO of Macquarie Group. I was fortunate enough to have met her many years ago when I was still a university student and I was amazed at how Shemara exuded a calm, present, and people-focused style. She also spoke about her children and her family and I remember thinking to myself ‘how did she do it all?’ 

7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers? 

I think there is no universal definition of what work, life, or the balance of the two should look like. And there shouldn’t be!  

I believe it should be one’s conscious choice of how they want to lead their life, the relationships they want to build, and the impact they want to leave on the world or the people around them.

I think it’s important to know deep down in your heart what you value and care about and living a life that is consistent with that, I believe, is enough to be celebrated.  

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.