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Ba’s Patels An Inspiration, Example, Says Bainimarama

Ba’s Patels An Inspiration, Example, Says Bainimarama
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
July 05
09:47 2015

The story of the Patel’s of Ba and Manubhai Industries development is an inspiration to businesses and an example to us all, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

He made the remark when he opened Manubhai Industries’ new factory in Ba yesterday.

“It is the story of a family who came to Fiji from the Indian state of Gujarat with nothing 90 years ago and built something of lasting value and greatness,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“And it is worth hearing all the more because what you see here today marks a rebirth for the company after adversity, a commitment to adapt, to do what is necessary to grow with Fiji, and to keep faith with its workers and customers.

“A little more than two years ago, the facility that used to manufacture foam and nylon rope here was destroyed by fire. Yet within a couple of months, the company was already making plans to rebuild, and soon afterwards, new plant and equipment was sourced and ordered.

“Two new factory buildings were constructed, and the new foam and nylon rope production facilities were commissioned toward the end of last year. Additional equipment was purchased to diversify the company’s range of plastics and polystyrene products.

“And the result is what you see today – a $10million investment in a brand-new complex with state-of-the-art production facilities and more than 80 employees.

“This factory supplies the entire Fiji market and exports its products to other Pacific Island nations. And I’m told there’s a good chance that exports to New Zealand and Australia will begin soon.

“But this is just the latest milestone in the story of this great company, because throughout its history, the Patel family has shown enterprise, commitment, determination and faith in the future of Fiji.”

“It’s extraordinary to think that until just 36 years ago, almost every polyurethane foam mattress in Fiji was produced by an Australian company. But in 1979, the Patels set up their factory in Nabeka Street, Ba, to manufacture mattresses and related products – the first factory of its kind to be established by a local company.

“Within five years, he’d put the Australian company that had virtually owned the mattress market in Fiji out of business.

“That careful planning, understanding the market and being adaptable has been the formula for building the RC Manubhai Group from the earliest days.

“Beginning with a small grocery store in Ba in 1926, the company added a hardware and building-supply business. And it eventually abandoned the grocery business completely to concentrate on the hardware and building-supply side by the 1980s.

“Today, the company has outlets all over Viti Levu and in Labasa, making and selling products that Fiji needs to grow. And from humble beginnings, the RCM Group has become a household name in Fiji.

“When I look at what the RCM Group has achieved, it reinforces my conviction about the best way to grow the Fijian economy – democracy, good governance and a free and fair market.”




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