Saketa Leaves Bank Job To Pursue Business Idea

When couple, Frank and Losavati Saketa were brainstorming ideas for their own business, they came up with all sorts of suggestions. When they finally found the right one and registered
09 Jun 2018 10:00
Saketa Leaves Bank Job To Pursue Business Idea
From left; Vui Saketa, with husband Frank Saketa and children Emily Charis and Makaio Saketa.

When couple, Frank and Losavati Saketa were brainstorming ideas for their own business, they came up with all sorts of suggestions.

When they finally found the right one and registered it, the process proved quite an an experience.

“We were wrecking our brains trying to come up with a suitable business name that was relevant, unique and had a ring to it,” said Mrs Saketa.

The couple decided to go with the name ‘Kanalevu Kitchen.’

Kanalevu” is an iTaukei term that is associated with a large appetite,” she said.

“I thought Kanalevu kitchen would be such a cool and catchy name that people would remember, and more so because are both ‘Kanalevu’s’ we registered that as our trading business name.”

Kanalevu Kitchen is a home-based start-up, which serves good, home-cooked meals for breakfast and lunch.

It is the brain child of Mrs Saketa, a 32-year-old Lawaki, Kadavu native, commonly known to many as Vui Saketa.

Mrs Saketa, a self-confessed foodie, is the oldest of seven girls and learned to cook by watching and experimenting with the women in her family.

Ms Saketa has worked for different organisations over the last 13 years and decided to venture into the food industry in early this year.

She worked for ANZ Bank from 2007 till 2017.

When asked why the sudden change, she said: “Financial freedom – that’s the inspiration. It’s not just about having or making more money, it’s a lot more than that.

“It’s the freedom to be who you are and do what you want and just have independence in your daily routine, where you can redirect and spend your time, money and energy in a more meaningful way.”

Being married with two kids and leaving a guaranteed to pay cheque meant this decision was not made lightly, however with a supportive spouse and family, she insists this was a good move for her.

Another factor for Vui, is the sacrifice her parents made in order to put her siblings through school.

While she says she is forever grateful to them and her upbringing, she doesn’t see herself working till retirement age.

In order to keep overheads low, Kanalevu Kitchen is based at their residence in Valelevu.

Ms Saketa is the only staff of Kanalevu Kitchen and gets the rest of her family to help as and when it is needed.

Power of social media

With an initial start-up investment of about $500, Ms Saketa was able to launch this venture whilst using the power of social media to market their business and has not looked back.

“People are very visual, we thought Instagram would be the perfect platform to lift our content brand and reach our target market a lot faster,” she said.

“Although, we don’t discount word by mouth marketing and other mediums, we’ve had more success using social media.”

Looking into the future, Ms Saketa is looking at expansion.

“I’d like to expand in the future,” she said.

“However, one of the challenges is finding an affordable space with an ideal location.

“The other major obstacle is because we’re a startup business and the market is already saturated with food vendors, we have to work harder to establish ourselves.

“With this though comes the excitement of learning so much about ourselves, our limitations, our talents – it’s no different than having a full-time job, it’s just as tiring and demanding with the same goal and vision; but we’re taking a different route.”

Ms Saketa urged entrepreneurs to take risks if they wanted to succeed.

“In our world today, everyone is taught to finish school well, get a good paying job, find financial security and work to set yourself up for retirement,” Ms Saketa said.

“We are taught to stay away from risk, but this isn’t something I see myself doing.

“For anyone who wants to start a business of their own, there will always be risks, but with proper planning, great family support, belief in one’s self and a large dose of faith it can be done.”


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