Sami Follows Father’s Footsteps
Suva market vendor, 45-year-old Jen Sami is now following his father’s footsteps Mr Ram Sami who was a market vendor in the early 70s.
His father died in August 2012 and this was also the turning point for Mr Sami.
He resigned as a worker at a spare part shop in Samabula in 1998 to be a market vendor.
Mr Sami said that his main competitor at the Suva market was his father.
He started his business at the Suva market from their savings with his wife Mrs Joyti Sami who was clerk at an auto-mechanical garage in Suva in 1998.
Mr Sami started his market business by selling vegetables.
His business expanded when he got a loan from the Fiji Development Bank (FDB) in 2004.
From his loan he bought a Toyota van. His wife helped but he got another blow to his business when she passed away last year.
He said he was very lonely in the market especially when he was accompanied by his wife for 18 years.
“I was feeling reluctant of coming back to the market when my wife died and my family advised to continue selling vegetables.”
He is getting his vegetable supplies from Sigatoka Valley, Tailevu, Naitasiri and Rakiraki.
Mr Sami said there were times when he travelled to see his suppliers to gauge their supplies and also related them what his customers told him about the qualities of the vegetables/
Most of his customers he said usually praised the quality of his vegetable.
Now Mr Sami was paying two large tables at the market and was getting new customers every week.
Mr Sami said the good thing about being a market vendor was that he was his own boss and decided on what he did to grow his business.
He never gives credit to anyone.
Mr Sami said he never regretted his decision to become market vendor.
For his future plan, he said after repaying his FDB loan he would open a fruit and vegetable shop in Suva.
He hoped that his daughter would run the shop when he died.