Fiji Sun Keeps Rising
Seventeen years old, saw the birth of the country’s third newspaper- The Fiji SUN.
Due to the competitive business environment back then many so called experts had predicted that this newspaper was only going to make a little impact and later die a natural death.
They were almost correct! The early management had lacked the expertise on how to run a daily national newspaper and as a result the company ran into losses. This made some shareholders at that time reluctant to put in more money.
However, we were blessed that our major shareholder CJ Patel through the leadership of the late managing director Mr Sundip Patel had a vision for The Fiji SUN and was not going to give in easily.
Mr Patel was not only a man of vision but he was also a fighter. He led the battle from the front as he spent many sleepless nights here working with the staff members in his endeavour to make things happen.
It was not easy as drastic decisions had to be made and this came about on May 19, 2000.
Today, I still remember that afternoon where we were informed in a meeting that some of us were going to be made redundant and be given a package. There were hugs and a few tears shed but we all took the decision well as we all wanted the Fiji SUN to grow.
For us that stayed on we had to face a 16.5 percent pay cut.
Life was tough back then. The 56 days of political chaos brought about by economic instability and lack of investments began to take its toll on the business sector. For us in the Fiji SUN- we survived on a day-to-day basis.
On pay days we would wait for the collections to be done and then we would line-up in front of the accounts department to receive our pay packet and that would happen late into the night.
I could go on and on. To cut the long story short, today we have seen all the changes that have taken place. At 4.25pm yesterday, a message popped up on my phone to inform me that my pay is in the bank. As it is this time every week.
We’ve seen the expansion of our press units and the big changes in our working environment and staff members being sent overseas for further training. This was something we only dreamed about back then.
Now, it’s the refurbishment of our building. Yes, we’ve been talking about it for almost two years but from my experience with the Fiji SUN- I can guarantee you that it will happen and there is no two ways about it.
Today, we are there right at the top spot of the print media business. We’ve done well to lead the market shares. Today we are a media business that has moved on to many platforms like Digitel but newspaper is still our bread and butter.
All of these could only be achieved through your hard work, dedication and commitment to a journey that started 17 years ago. Also
On behalf of management, I would like to thank each and every one of you for all your good works and support. Your contribution has taken the Fiji SUN a notch higher.
This was published as part of the Fiji Sun 17th Anniversary Lift-out.