SUNBIZ

South Pacific Business Development Awards: Jealousy Fails To Deter Devi

Held in front of almost 5000 women from all over Fiji who are part of the different centre who have been assisted by SPBD in their indi­vidual businesses, Ms Devi was announced the winner over four other contenders.
03 Mar 2019 17:07
South Pacific Business Development Awards: Jealousy Fails To Deter Devi
SPBD founder and president Gregory Casagrande presenting the SPBD Woman of the Year Award to Shalini Devi . Photo: Charles Chambers

Opposition and jealousy did little to sway Shalini Devi from making a life for her family.

That determination and a promise to make a better life for her husband and children with running the business with strict rules earned her the South Pacific Business Development Business Woman of the Year Award.

Held in front of almost 5000 women from all over Fiji who are part of the different centre who have been assisted by SPBD in their indi­vidual businesses, Ms Devi was announced the winner over four other contenders.

They were Lanieta Naimasi of Wanimakutu Centre in Suva, Paulina Marama of Laqere Centre in Suva. Sulameci Tinaitamana of Northland Korovou Centre in Tailevu and Sisi­lia McGoon of Vaileka Centre in Rakiraki.

“I started off in 2009 as a market vendor at the Nadi Market selling kava and our weekly sales saw us almost break even,” she said.

“Sometimes we had just enough to pay our stall fees.

“My husband, Ram Chandra, came to Savusa­vu in 2011 to purchase the kava from farmers to build our business.

“He spent the whole year here by himself buy­ing the kava and sending it to me in Nadi.”

The 39-year old said that she decided to shift to Savusavu in the same year with their two children.

When they arrived in Savusavu and settled down, she noticed there was fierce competition amongst those who ply their trade in the kava business.

“Some people including those who sold kava were jealous of our business so and they want

us to moved back to Nadi.

“There was a lot of jealousy.”

Ms Devi said they had settled well in Savusavu with the business growing.

“My first loan I took from SPBD was $1000 and since then have taken six loans.

“The two latest loans I took were $20,000 each,

and have since repaid one and still paying the

other off.”

She thanked SPBD for all that had been done for her and all women associated with the or­ganization.

Ms Devi walked away with a trophy and $500 savings.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

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