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How The ‘Wonderful Company’ Is The ‘Amazing Company’ For Fiji

  In 1979, Lynda Resnick was the head of a very successful advertising agency in California, a company she had started at the age of nineteen. At that time Stewart
05 May 2018 11:03
How The ‘Wonderful Company’ Is The ‘Amazing Company’ For Fiji
Stewart and Lynda Resnick.

 

In 1979, Lynda Resnick was the head of a very successful advertising agency in California, a company she had started at the age of nineteen.

At that time Stewart Resnick was running his own office cleaning business, which he started to help to pay for his education in university.

He is a lawyer by degree.

They were both doing very well finan­cially but they wanted to start a business that would give life to their passion for pro­viding consumers with high quality prod­ucts that would encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle and to give them pleasure and happiness in their personal relation­ships, so together they bought Teleflora, an international organisation that delivers flowers ordered online and by phone.

They put their marketing expertise to work and started what was to be a long pe­riod of growth for their new business.

 

At the same time they started to buy stra­tegically located agricultural land in Cali­fornia, gradually building a significant holding of prime farm land and started production.

Over the years they carefully expanded the company to cover a wide range of healthy and tasty products.

Initially, they were located basically in the San Joaquin Valley in California but as the business grew so did the company footprint, first in the USA and then inter­nationally.

In the international markets they were both a marketing operation and a producer of products that fitted their vision for the company.

Expanding their business

With each product produced under the wonderful brand they continued to expand both production and sales at a relentless rate and in most cases achieved market dominance and strength within the catego­ry to the point where they are now amongst the largest farm producers in the world.

To get to this position in one segment is a great achievement but to get to be the world’s biggest in a number of different segments is truly amazing.

Today, they are one of the biggest farmers in the world, with involvement in a diverse range of categories covering fresh fruit and juice, pistachios and almonds, a range of quality wines from company-owned vineyards and wineries in some of the best wine country in California and FIJI Water, harvested from their own aquifers in Viti Levu, which is the largest selling premium water in the USA.

Now it is distributed to over 60 other countries.

Social involvement

In all these ventures the Resnicks have a personal involvement, although they have built a team of managers who have exper­tise in their particular area and share the Resnick’s passion for quality product, for giving back to the communities they oper­ate in and to the wider community of dis­advantaged people.

All this sounds very impressive but it is really not that hard.

All you need is a couple with the drive, tal­ent, passion and vision of the Resnicks.

It’s simple.

The Resnicks and their group branded as the ‘Wonderful Company’ have made a huge impact for the better in Fiji.

In 2004, FIJI Water was purchased from the founder of the company, David Gil­mour.

FIJI Water is one of Fiji’s significant for­eign income earners and a critical contrib­utor to the Fijian Economy.

Initially, the water resource tax on the FIJI Water product was very low but in 2010 there was a significant increase in tax, resulting in an estimated contribution to the economy of over FJ$26 million and the amount of water tax paid has increased every year since.

The company bottles the water at the source in Yaqara and around 50 twenty foot containers leaves the state-of-the art plant heading for the Port of Lautoka daily.

The iconic square bottle is recognised worldwide through the very clever promo­tions directed by the Resnicks, which use a lot of product placement in movies as a ba­sis for developing the appeal of the brand.

The wide promotion of the FIJI Water brand has also had a big impact on the awareness of Fiji and been a gift to the Fi­jian tourism industry.

Support for local communities

Although FIJI Water is a foreign-owned company, with the wine business based in the USA, the company has a good rep­resentation of Fijians, a good sign of the Resnicks understanding of the importance of the local communities that support their businesses.

The company is valued in excess of US$4 billion ($FJ8.27bn).

They also understand the incredible val­ue of the aquifer and the associated plant and have consistently spent well to ensure the facility is at world’s best standard and that the source is protected from any pos­sibility of pollution.

To understand the operation and the vi­sion of The Wonderful Company it is help­ful to understand the philosophy of Stew­art and Lynda Resnick.

The first and probably most important thing, is that they form a very strong team, bringing different skills to the operation and respecting each other’s input and act­ing on it.

Mr Resnick was asked on a visit to Fiji several weeks ago what he would advise new people starting up their own business and his short advice was ‘Just do it’.

That’s a business philosophy the Resnicks follow themselves.

They also stress the need for patience and the need to allow the new entity time to develop, but to also watch carefully and make changes as soon as the need becomes apparent.

Their business history shows a clear pat­tern of ‘sticking to the vision’ and staying true to their ethical beliefs.

For this reason the company continues to have a strong charitable programme which acts to give back to the community and to people in need of assistance.

In Fiji, in times of extreme weather events, the first need for damaged commu­nities is drinkable water and amongst the first responders is always FIJI Water.

I have always found ‘The Wonderful Com­pany’ a strange name, but after research­ing this article I think it is ‘The Amazing Company’ and believe that every Fijian will benefit from their presence in “The Beautiful Country.”

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj




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