SUNBIZ

Former Cleaner To A Successful Double Award Winning Businesswoman

Meena Gounden wants to give her competitors a run for their money. She is the double winner of last year’s national annual Small and Micro Enterprises award. Ms Gounden started
07 Jan 2020 09:17
Former Cleaner To A Successful Double Award Winning Businesswoman
Meena Gounden of Gopal's Poultry Farm with her FDB's 2018 National SME of the year award during FDB National SME awards at Grand Pacific Hotel on February 28, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Meena Gounden wants to give her competitors a run for their money.

She is the double winner of last year’s national annual Small and Micro Enterprises award.

Ms Gounden started her career as a cleaner, a job she retained for 16 years before her big break came.

Stunned at winning more than one award, she said the awards, organised by the Fiji Development Bank made an impact on her egg farming business.

“I had been applying for the FDB Awards for eight years but I was not able to get the award,” she said.

When she heard prize money was involved, Ms Gounden did not want to pass up on the opportunity.

“I was only expecting to win one award, but receiving two just doubled my happiness,” she said.

The 42-year old farmer started farming in 2010 when she started her business Gopal’s Poultry Farm.

“I started with 200 tray of eggs,” she said.

Challenges

Her start-up wasn’t easy – she faced problems with water and electricity supply.

“As a female doing a business for the first time, I didn’t take these challenges seriously as I just kept on running the business as it is,” Ms Gounden said.

Awards boost business

A motor vehicle she has used for the past eight years to deliver eggs, was playing up.

“I bought a new vehicle from the prize money that I won through the award,” Ms Gounden said.

Her initial plan was to use the prize money to pay off her debts.

Ms Gounden, a mother of two, decided against it and invested in a new vehicle instead to boost her business performance.

“Right now I have problems with managing the eggs as my farm is so far from town,” she said.

With her new vehicle, Ms Gounden has managed to sell eggs to nearby villages where she believes more customers live.

“I get more customers there compared to selling in Labasa town,” she said.

Ms Gounden has big plans to sell eggs to the bigger supermarkets such as Morris Hedstrom and RB Patel.

She won the Best Risk Managed SME award and the National SME of the Year Award.

Her farm is located at Coqeloa, Labasa.

The Best Risk Managed SME award was sponsored by Sun Insurance.

The National SME of the Year Award was sponsored by the Fiji Development Bank

Feedback: laiseana.nasiga@fijisun.com.fj

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