Island News

The lights to shine in the North

Written By : KAILASH RAO. Get ready Labasa! If all goes according to businessman Vinesh Dayal’s meticulous plans, the North will attract citizens to a brand new nightclub like moths
30 May 2009 12:00

image Written By : KAILASH RAO. Get ready Labasa! If all goes according to businessman Vinesh Dayal’s meticulous plans, the North will attract citizens to a brand new nightclub like moths to a bright light.
It is something that has made this young entrepreneur noticeable among the Northern crowd, just like his biggest investment project ever, the Northpole Hotel.
It stands out in the middle of this dusty town and is an admirable piece of structure.
Together with an impressive look from outside, Northpole has quite a modern interior and attracting a clientele never experienced before.
“It was a risk-taking investment,” Vinesh said. “Partners had foresight and confidence that built us up to where we are today.”
He had taken a major risk by hosting many brainstorming sessions and making more applications to Fiji Development Bank’s Labasa Branch.
He even switched his plans around to suit certain bank criteria and asked for the same kind of involvement and undertaking from FDB, through its Business Manager Sharda Nand.
Northpole has exclusive services such as a sports bar themed restaurant, a wide range of grilled food, Labasa’s first coffee shop, free Internet in most rooms and good people.
People have said it is “just another player” in the accommodation market. It has been running for the last six months.
Vinesh is no different from any other businessman in the struggle. He came close to bankruptcy on one occasion. He has worked hard and his story is one of determination.
Born in Kinoya, Suva around 35 years ago, he lived with his parents and four other siblings as they made a living out of cabinet making at the Department of Forests.
His father became his greatest mentor, saying things like, “Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Focus on the right direction because success has no timeline, it can come overnight, and it can take 20 years.”
His mother contributed to the family income by sewing. Vinesh helped his father during the weekend. They are in the US now, along with three siblings and he is left with another brother. Dinesh Dayal is a property director in Suva.
He attended Assembly of God Primary School and went on to Mahatma Gandhi High School, after which he pursued tertiary education on government scholarship at Fiji College of Advanced Education and later to University of the South Pacific.
After a short teaching stint, Vinesh joined Burns Philp in 1993, and then joined Asco Motors in 1994 before moving to Carpenters Finance as Sales Supervisor. The position created a business hound out of him and he became Carpenters Manager North soon after.
He became the company’s youngest middle manager in 1997. It became apparent that he wanted to diversify his talents by going into a restaurant business and offered Pizza and Beer in Labasa for the first time in 1998.
A tragic fire incinerated his buildings and plans just after seven days and it went with seven other shops in the area. He had to resign from Carpenters in 1999 because he accumulated a lot of debt in the process.
He broke into fulltime restaurant ownership and got a thrill doing it, because it helped him pay off some niggling debts.
As he progressed, his proceeds began looking good and he bought Centerpoint Hotel in 2003 on a five-year lease. He gave it a total look and got him going for the moon.
He also began courting Rachael, a relative of Labasa’s Robinson family and married her. They have children and she jointly manages the property with him.
It has been a big risk.
“One has to take risks and when the risk wears out, you get to reap the benefits.”
“The risk I took was not only for me. I am proud that during the project stages, it employed and provided for 35 families and now provides for 20 people with permanent jobs.
“I am also planning an exclusive nightspot which could become the first of its kind. If everything goes well, come Christmas 2009, Labasa will proudly offer its visitors what they have been looking for.
Labasa will soon go with blinking lights in the middle of town, thanks to risk-taking Vinesh.

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