Ikbal Jannif Leaves Lifetime Of Legacies

Prominent business leader, innovator and Caines Jannif Ltd Chief Executive Officer Ikbal Jannif, passed away in Suva on Wednesday. The 76-year-old Pacific Fishing Company Pte Limited (PAFCO) chairman died at
06 Aug 2021 11:13
Ikbal Jannif Leaves Lifetime Of Legacies
From left: Mary Bainimarama, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, the late Caines Jannif Ltd chief executive officer and Pacific Fishing Company Pte Limited (PAFCO) chairman Ikbal Jannif and Kelsey Jannif.

Prominent business leader, innovator and Caines Jannif Ltd Chief Executive Officer Ikbal Jannif, passed away in Suva on Wednesday.

The 76-year-old Pacific Fishing Company Pte Limited (PAFCO) chairman died at the Oceania Hospital after a short illness.

The funeral will be a private ceremony.

Mr Jannif’s wife Kelsey remembers her late beloved as a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

“He always provided the best for us with anything we needed and wanted,” Mrs Jannif said.

“We celebrated our 50 years wedding anniversary last December. I am very grateful for the 50 years we spent together. We will dearly miss him.”


Mr Jannif was born in Suva, educated at Marist Brothers Primary in Toorak and Marist Brothers High School in Flagstaff.

He returned from Auckland University in December, 1969, and joined the family company in 1970.

Mr Jannif was appointed as a Director for PAFCO in 2012.

He was the Board Chair from 2013 to date.

Mr Jannif served on many key boards over the years: Reserve Bank of Fiji, Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FIRCA) (now Fiji Revenue and Customs Service), Fiji Public Trustee Corp Ltd,

University of the South Pacific Council for 25 years, Fiji National University Council for 10 years.

As a USP Pro Chancellor, Mr Jannif led the Council during a period of considerable achievements.

His deep knowledge of the business of the University and of the region gave his Pro Chancellorship strength, and interest in the further development of regional campuses has been deeply appreciated by member countries.

Being the oldest retailer, operating in the City of Suva for 116 years, Caines Jannif has stamped its mark in the photography business.

It was a pioneer.

Led by Mr Jannif the business continued to serve and evolve as technology changed.

It was a leader embracing new technology.


PAFCO board
At PAFCO under the leadership of Mr Jannif, and board members Bupen Khatri, Tui Levuka, Ratu Etonia Seru, Fay Yee and Mahmood Khan, things have turned around and look positive.

While other parts of Fiji are feeling the brunt of COVID-19, PAFCO’s operations are in full swing, 24/7.

The economic benefits are felt throughout Ovalau as people are going about their daily activities.

Mr Khan, speaking on behalf of the PAFCO Board members, said Mr Jannif was a great man.

“He has been on the PAFCO board for a while. He is great mentor.”

“He always went out of his way to make sure PAFCo measures were dealt with as a priority.”

Mr Khan since they had advertised the PAFCO CEO post and are in process of hiring a new CEO.

As the board chair Mr Jannif took on the responsibility of overseeing the day to day operations and management of the company, he said.

“He will be sadly missed by the PAFCO family.”


Marist Old Boys Tributes:
Former CEO of Air Pacific/Fiji Airways Andrew Drysdale described Mr Jannif as a complex man.

“He crossed the boundaries of race, tradition, and religious belief with love and compassion for all.”

“A strong character who stood his ground in matters he thought strongly about, yet a man who looked to consensus and agreement rather than conflict.”

“He was a true gentleman in every sense of that word, and this reflected in his dealings with those around him.”

“A thoughtful man who considered his words carefully and found ways to say things that did not offend but which conveyed his views clearly.”

“His wit was quick and piercing, his laugh soft and gentle.”

“This complex man was a very private person, yet he was able, at the same time to stride the corridors of commerce, academia, politics, and the intense social world of Fiji.”

“He was highly visible but played his cards close to his chest. He agreed with pleasure and disagreed without rancour.

“Ikbal’s family was central to his life. This gave him strength and love.”

“He was also deeply concerned for his employees and their families and for the company that was his inheritance.”

“I found in recent years that one of the few ways to get him to open up just a little about his private thoughts was to ask about Caines Jannif and its people.”

“He was very proud of the company, its history and its central role in Fiji’s society for more than 100 years.”

“He leaves behind many legacies, one of these is the Memories of Fiji And Beyond, a book written by Ikbal and 12 of his MBHS classmates.”

“It is a book he worked on with Kelsey to bring into publication.

“I can think of no other way to best describe this man, his achievements and recognition than in his own words, from his own story, in that book.”

“I commend “Memories of Fiji and Beyond’ to you.”

“Ikbal my friend, rest in the peace you so richly deserve,” Mr Drysdale said.

Fiji National University Emeritus Professor Rajat Gyaneshwar, grew up with Mr Jannif from primary school days and they have remained friends since then.

“Ikbal lived a full life able to deal with calamities and seemingly unruffled,” he said.

“His closeness to his family was a beautiful example for us all.”

“His staff seemed to adore him. They must all be devastated.”

“They must find comfort in having been close to a man about whom we are all proud.”

“I saw him in action taking over the affairs of the Fiji National University in a time of extreme crisis.”

Emeritus Professor Gyaneshwar said Mr Jannif’s leadership style was to facilitate others more expert in their tasks.

“He was respected at USP for his leadership when that Institution had many challenges.”

“At a personal level Ikbal was not averse to mentioning his Marist connections. I was embarrassed at a large function attended by the PM and other dignitaries. He was hosting the occasion.”

“I ended up being targeted to exemplify the glories of Marist.”

“In our early days we were treated as one of Ikbal’s brothers by his family. There was warmth, inclusion, hospitality and generosity in these interactions.”

“His family had a strong sense of community. His genes were ingrained in serving. Ikbal my friend, yes I had moments with you when we disagreed, but there were never any doubts in my mind that you were born for a purpose and you filled your role abundantly.”



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