SUNBIZ

Vinay Kumar’s Journey, From Cane Cutting To Company Owner

Mr Kumar stood tall, amongst guests at the opening of the RC Manubhai Tavua Branch as his company, Aqua Plumbing and General Contractors Pte. Limited had constructed the $1.5 million building.
12 Oct 2019 10:00
Vinay Kumar’s Journey, From Cane Cutting To Company Owner
From left: RC Manubhai Managing Director Dinesh Patel, Vinay Kumar of Aqua Plumbing, guests Rohit Kishore and R.C. Manubhai Managing Director Hiten Patel after the reopening yesterday. Photo: Charles Chambers.

Vinay Vinyl Kumar fought back his emotions as his memories came flooding back of him as a 13-year-old being told by his father to cut sugar cane as there was no money to send him to high school.

His father told him to let his two young sisters go to school as “boys had no problems finding work.”

Yesterday, Mr Kumar stood tall, amongst guests at the opening of the RC Manubhai Tavua Branch as his company, Aqua Plumbing and General Contractors Pte. Limited had constructed the $1.5 million building.

First step

His work was admired by RC Manubhai managing director Dinesh Patel who said Mr Kumar had delivered “an excellent project and I am more than happy to deal with you in the future projects.

“I grew up in Korunubu in Ba and my father was a cane farmer but we were not that well off.

“After completing Class 8, my father told me not to school again and I had to work, as young as I was, cutting cane.”

This almost broke his heart but he knew the situation the family was in so he decided to listen to his father

Year 2006 .

In 2006, he decided to look for alternative work and found a job as a labourer with Western Builders in Lautoka.

Into his second week on the job, he saw a plumber carrying out his work and immediately Mr Kumar decided that this was going to be his career – a plumber.

Tulsi Construction

He then moved on and worked for Tulsi Construction, also in Lautoka,and then Tropical Cyclone Winston changed his life.

“My house was badly damaged with the roof missing and I felt that even with the good pay I was getting from Tulsi Construction, was not enough to help me rebuild my house.

“So I went to Lautoka and informed the company that I would not work anymore for them.”

Mr Kumar’s work with Tulsi Construction did not go unnoticed.

While he was working for the company he had done some work for RC Manubhai.

So when he left and decided to venture out on his own, he was immediately given the backing of Mr Patel and Shavesh Kumar, Director of Roofing and Profiles Fiji Limited, a subsidiary of RC Manubhai.

Mr Kumar said while he was with Tulsi Construction, he would always use his spare time reading the plans with the building foreman at different sites and this assisted him to also build structures and not just carry out plumbing works.

Company owner

Today he has come through a period since starting his company as a time “where I used to think whether I have made the right decision or not.”

He presently employs 16 workers and will have a further 11 joining his company from Bangladesh at the end of the month.

“I have had to hire workers from Bangladesh because a lot of young people in Fiji now do not want to work as labourers or construction workers.

“They don’t want the hard work but want money,” he said.

He proudly disclosed that since his company opened – “I don’t have any defaults with Fiji National Provident Fund or Fiji Revenue and Customs Service.”His next big project is a three storey building in Tavua town.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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