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This Fijian Couple Own a Six figure Business. They Arrived in New Zealand Penniless

This Fijian Couple Own a Six figure Business. They Arrived in New Zealand Penniless
Biren and Swaran Kumar with their long service awards.
September 09
12:46 2018

A Fijian couple who refused to let cruel thieves ruin their dream of moving to New Zealand now own a six-figure business there and are celebrating a personal milestone.

Biren and Swaran Kumar had been left penniless when their home was burgled just days before they were due to leave Fiji.

They’d saved hard for a new life in New Zealand when all their money was taken along with cash they’d just made from a sale of their possessions.

They were heartbroken, the theft shattering their hopes.

A family member ended up paying their air fares so they could travel to Auckland.

But 10 years on from that dark chapter and life has never been better for the couple, whose story is an extraordinary tale of faith and determination overcoming adversity.

After moving to New Zealand in 2008, Biren and Swaran struggled to overcome their financial setback but they eventually purchased a small cleaning franchise.

They worked tirelessly as cleaners to get ahead, eventually tripling the size of their CrestClean franchise.

Clean business.

With a regular income, they managed to buy a home for themselves and their two children.

Their new life in Auckland is a world away from how it was in Fiji before they left.

“When you are successful you have to look back to appreciate where you’ve come from,” Mr Kumar says.

To mark their 10 years with CrestClean, the couple this week received a long service award plus a NZ$2,500 (FJ$3,473.90) for a holiday.

Tragedy

It was in 2008 that Mr and Mrs Kumar’s dream of moving to New Zealand was dealt a cruel blow.

The couple and their two young children were preparing to leave Fiji when thieves struck less than a week before they were due to fly out.

Following a garage sale, raiders sneaked back into their home and grabbed $10,000 in Fijian dollars.

All their savings were taken, including money they had made from the sale.

Getting back up

Despite losing everything, Mr Kumar was determined to carry on, telling his wife they should not let it change their plans to emigrate.

“Whatever has gone has gone, it won’t come back,” Mr Kumar remembers saying.

In Auckland, the couple found work on a production line at a plastics factory.

But with Mr Kumar working days and Mrs Kumar on the nightshift, there was precious little family time left to spend with their children.

The breakthrough came when a family relative in Auckland, Rajju Prasad, offered the couple some part-time cleaning work.

Mr Kumar enjoyed the work and Mr Prasad, who has a CrestClean business, suggested he should buy a cleaning franchise of his own.

He offered to be a guarantor for the couple, paving the way for them to secure a NZ$36,000 (FJ$50,024.18) bank loan so they could purchase a small franchise.

Repaying the loan

The couple set themselves a target to repay the loan within three years.

“We somehow managed to do that. It was a miracle, God was with us,” Mr Kumar says .

“You just have to have faith in yourself and never lose hope.

“When we finished paying the loan, we were in a position to be able to buy our first house.”

As their business grew, they managed to move up the Auckland property ladder, selling their three bedroom house in Alfriston to buy a larger property in a better area of the city.

“Owning a CrestClean business has fulfilled an ambition to work for himself,” Mr Kumar says.

Dream

“I had a dream that one day I will be a self-employed man.

“Today I’ve achieved it and I am a business owner and I’m so happy.”

Mr Kumar, who worked as salesman in Fiji, says he loves being his own boss.

“I’m very proud to be a cleaner because we are the ones who are keeping New Zealand clean,” he said.

“We are giving our customers a very clean environment. We are so very proud to be part of CrestClean.”

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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