SUNBIZ

Determination Pays Off For Chand, Now he’s Celebrating Success of Sons

His determination to pull his weight above his more educated siblings while growing up in Waiyavi and grabbing every opportunity for overtime available while working as an attendant was the first step.
29 Jul 2019 18:09
Determination Pays Off For Chand, Now he’s Celebrating Success of Sons
Satish Chand, Managing Director of Chand’s Clothing, outside his new Warehouse at Lovu, Lautoka.Photo: Charles Chambers

The owner of one of Fiji’s leading second clothing outlets has shown that even the lack of education could not stop him from pursuing starting his own company.

Satish Chand, 58, Managing Director of Chand’s Clothing, of Lautoka, believes that his hard work in putting his two sons through education up to degree level has paid off.

His $650,000 investment for the land and the new head office complex at Lovu in Lautoka and six branches in Suva, Nadi, Lami and Lautoka is a stark contrast to the years up to 1991, when he was a bowser attendant at the then BP Service Station along Drasa Avenue.

His determination to pull his weight above his more educated siblings while growing up in Waiyavi and grabbing every opportunity for overtime available while working as an attendant was the first step.

The purchase of his first bale of second hand clothing which cost him $600 was the turning point he was looking for and he never looked back.

Today his eldest son, Stanley, a registered pharmacist, has taken control of modernising the business and looking after its day to day affairs with Mr Chand always on hand while his other son Rowen is a qualified accountant based in Auckland.

In 1991, he left the job he was doing and opened up a small business in the Sarju Prasad Building in Lautoka’s CBD selling new clothes bought from local garment factories.

He began his second hand clothing in 1997, under the name Fashion House and in 2001 opened up branches in Nadi and Ba but changed the name in 2009 to Chand’s Clothing with outlets in Lautoka, Nadi, Lami and Suva at Vivrass Plaza in Laucala Beach, Valelevu and Nakasi.

“We started importing our own containers of second hand items which was everything else including clothing but did not make much money.”

Chand’s Clothing and sorting station at their new warhouse in Lovu, Lautoka. Photo: Charles Chambers

Chand’s Clothing and sorting station at their new warhouse in Lovu, Lautoka. Photo: Charles Chambers

He said Victoria Clothing of Melbourne played a crucial role in keeping the company afloat in the early days as they would send him the containers and allow him to pay for it over a period .

“The 20 foot containers, which we paid a lot of money for including duty would arrive with raw stock at least 40 tonnes of the items unusable and had to be thrown away.

“Stanley joined the company and changed the shipment which now comes in 40 feet containers which was cheaper.

“With the 20 footers, we were barely surviving as we had to make money with 60 tonnes of the items left in the container and out of this pay the rent, staff wages and the bills and was left with very little.”

Mr Chand said when he opened Chand’s Clothing in 2009 he roped in two of his nephews to help him run the business as he was sick and  had to undergo a heart operation in India.

“They had since left and started up their own business.”

He said there were many second hand clothing outlets in Fiji and it depended on what you sold to the public that mattered.

He said presentation in the shop was also important.

Today Mr Chand employs over 60 workers based at the warehouse and head office and the outlets.

“For me it was a tough upbringing especially in a place like Waiyavi and this taught me always value things.”

“But my biggest achievement was giving my two sons a sound education which I could not get so today I spend more time with my church where we go around visiting and assisting the less fortunate in what way we can.”

Feedbackcharles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: