ADB 2019: Raseru Looks Forward to the Growth of Our Timber Industry

The 28-year-old from Vakabuli Village in Lautoka is one of the re­cipients of the MaiLife 30 Under 30 award.
03 May 2019 17:21
ADB 2019: Raseru Looks Forward to the Growth of Our Timber Industry
Ratu Sitiveni Raseru

Vanua Levu Fiji Pine Ltd op­eration supervisor, Sitiveni Raseru looks forward to the growth and development of the timber industry.

This in both improving the rela­tionship between the company and the resource owners, so they can continue to have a mutually benefi­cial relationship.

The 28-year-old from Vakabuli Village in Lautoka is one of the re­cipients of the MaiLife 30 Under 30 award.

He was also part of the panel’s dis­cussion at the Sheraton Fiji Resort Denarau Island Convention Centre yesterday.

At 20 years of age and fresh from high school, he initially got a job as support staff in the finance depart­ment (a condition of his mataqali’s pine lease renewal with FPL), but soon found the supportive nature of the company inspired him to ap­ply himself and aim higher.

“I am very thankful I was given the best working conditions by FPL. I read my offer letter and the last paragraph captured my atten­tion, which stated that this is just the beginning,” he remembers fondly.

“The company will support you in climbing the ladder with the or­ganisation. This really inspired me and I started working towards this growth path.”

He said after sometime in the role he learned, more in depth, the dif­ferent aspects with the finance di­vision and the company promoted him to payroll officer as a result.

While he found it challenging, it was also interesting and he started taking on other roles within the de­partment.

“Then the next step of the growth ladder that came my way was more related to the timber production line. I was promoted to the posi­tion of Production Statisticians,” he said.

“This role requires thorough un­derstanding of the entire produc­tion process, recording of stock movements through the manufac­turing chain, coordinating stock­takes and providing daily produc­tion reports.

He thoroughly enjoyed this new role and one day was called to the General Manager’s office and asked what he wanted.

He had given it some thought and responded that he would like to be involved in operations. He was told to continue the good work and that they would consider him for such a move.

To his absolute surprise, within two months, he was called back and advised that there was an opportu­nity for the position of operations supervisor for the Vanua Levu based operations.

At first the company had adver­tised the role of assistant operation manager, which involved a higher level of managerial work. But upon consideration, the role was amend­ed to that of operation supervisor so he could step in.

With limited educational qualifi­cation, Mr Raseru work has moti­vated many of his peers.

“I feel it is a two-way process. The company provides opportunities; however, it is equally important for us to capitalise on those opportuni­ties and deliver to the best of our ability.”


Mr Raseru said timber is an im­portant source of materials for various industries like construc­tion and furniture making in Fiji.

He added FPL employs both di­rectly and indirectly, thousands of workers and provides a source of income for about 25,000 pine land­owners.


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