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Harvest Group looks into tourism and forestry expansion

Harvest Group looks into tourism and forestry  expansion
From left: Harvest Group of Companies director, Michael Makasiale, CMFI president and founder, Reverend Suliasi Kurulo and CMFI director Isikeli Tuituku during the Harvest Supermarket one year anniversary celebrations yesterday. Photo: RACHNA LAL
April 26
14:20 2016

 

The commercial arm of the Christian Mission Fellowship International (CMFI) is considering expansion and diversification in the areas of tourism and forestry.

Harvest Group of Companies director, Michael Makasiale, has confirmed two ambitious projects which they are embarking upon.

This would be in addition to its supermarket chain as well as its properties business.

Mr Makasiale made these comments as its supermarket chain, Harvest Supermarket, celebrated its one year anniversary in Kinoya yesterday.

Earlier this year, the Church opened a $5 million three-storey Harvest Plaza Complex at the site and expanded its supermarket chain to Navua in February and Nausori in March.

Speaking on diversification in tourism and forestry, Mr Makasiale said these are two wide spectrum areas but they want to grow in a manner which would be sustainable.

For tourism, Mr Makasiale said they have some sites owned by the site and they looking at potentially developing a bigger site in Labasa.

“We are trying to look at if we are able to find an appropriate joint venture partner and try and develop an integrated resort type project,” he said.

“This would be something on a smaller scale to what Denarau has done but it would be for Labasa.”

As for the investment in forestry, Mr Makasiale said they have looked at a few options in terms of processing timber from basically from logging to the end product.

“At the moment we haven’t finalised anything as yet but that is something we are looking vigorously at.”

 

First anniversary

Meanwhile, the Harvest Supermarket in Kinoya was abuzz with customers yesterday who took advantage of the extra specials.

To continue expansion in a highly competitive supermarket environment has not been easy as there are already a number of big supermarkets who have been around for decades.

But Harvest Supermarket has overcome its challenges and continues to punch above its weight.

Mr Makasiale said the supermarket operation has been a learning experience for them and was something none of them have done before.

“What helped is we did recruit the right people to help manage it for us so it has been a learning experience,” he said.

One year on, Mr Makasiale said they have exceeded their expectations in terms of where they wanted to be in year one.

“Although we celebrating the first anniversary here, we have also opened up two other supermarkets – one in Navua which we opened in February and one in Nausori in March.

“So we can say we are the fastest growing supermarket chain here.”

Future plans for expansion includes in Sigatoka and Labasa where they are currently in negotiations for space.

So far, around $1 million has been invested by the Group in the fit outs of the three supermarkets.

 

Challenges

One of the challenges Harvest Supermarket had to overcome was with suppliers.

“The suppliers have not seen us as probably an outlet with a lot of volume,” he said.

“But now that we have three supermarkets, some of the suppliers are lot more open to us in terms of pricing and lines of credit.”

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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