SUNBIZ

Spice Expert Diversifies Export Range

He established his Nadi-based business, Ashwin Export and Import Company Limited, which trades in turmeric.
12 Sep 2021 13:31
Spice Expert Diversifies Export Range
American businessman, Ashwin Khandhaliwala, in Sigatoka. Photo: DHL Global Forwarding

American businessman, Ashwin Khandhaliwala, left his hometown in India on a bicycle, bound for America, when he was 23.

The year was 1979.

The globe cycler who made headlines from his trips, started work as a driver in America, before he opened a candy shop there.

In 1984, the Gujarat-born established a grocery and spice line business, in Edison, New Jersey.

He continued his global tours – this time in search of spices.

In his pursuit, Mr Khandhaliwala discovered Fiji in 2018, where he found what he described was the world’s best turmeric.

He established his Nadi-based business, Ashwin Export and Import Company Limited, which trades in turmeric.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has diversified its product range to include saijan, moringa oil and locally made pickles, to its range of exported goods.

The company’s exports to the USA dropped by more than half the average amount, following the COVID-19 pandemic impact, he said.

Located at Namaka, Nadi, the million-dollar company exports to the United States of America.

“The only items we import are for packaging purposes,” Mr Khandhaliwala said.

Ashwin Export and Import employs 10 employees.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has provided food rations to collectors of the raw material.

“We also help them financially, by getting their houses and roads fixed,” Mr Khandhaliwala said.

“We now focus more on farming and cultivation of saijan; preparing our farm for when the borders open.”

Moringa oil

Moringa oil is extracted from saijan pods, and is used as a hydrating skincare product.

Like its turmeric supply, Ashwin Export and Import sources saijan from farmers in Sigatoka.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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