NATION

Local Artist Opens $100k Solar Business

Former well-known lo­cal artist, Joe Beraki has returned to Fiji on a different mission – to pro­vide affordable solar energy through his company, Solar Fiji.
31 Jul 2022 14:26
Local Artist Opens $100k Solar Business
Solar Fiji managing director, Joe Beraki. Photo: Nicolete Chambers

Former well-known lo­cal artist, Joe Beraki has returned to Fiji on a different mission – to pro­vide affordable solar energy through his company, Solar Fiji.

Solar Fiji will be the hub of the Pacific for all world renowned brand Vitron so­lar products from the Netherlands.

A majority of super yachts around the world are fitted with Vitron solar equip­ment and while setting up here, Solar Fiji has already serviced a few of these yachts that had docked in Fiji.

The company has also fitted three phase solar power on some of these su­per yachts.

His $100,000 business opened at Nam­aka in Nadi, aims to bring savings to the ordinary people, businesses and visiting super yachts through the solar equipment he has brought in with him.

Before leaving Fiji’s shores in 1981, Mr Beraki vowed to return someday and give back to the country.

“Before that I was heavily involved in the music industry in Fiji playing at hotels and nightclubs,” Mr Beraki said.

He has played alongside the likes of Vili Tuilaucala, Marika Gata, Saki­usa Bulicokocoko and many other re­nowned local musicians.

He also had some gigs in Japan in the mid-70s and returned to Fiji before leav­ing for Australia in 1981 where he learnt the intricate parts of acoustic engineering and taught fellow church members in Australia.

“Whilst in Melbourne I always had the entrepreneurial mind where I always wanted to do things that I knew I could do. So my partner and I started our first business in Melbourne in 1985 where we started a small nursing home,” he said.

“We ran that business up until 1991 before I ventured off to the United States to further my stud­ies in theology but I was always thinking of business.

“My dream has always been, and I mentioned this to my wife that I was indebted to my country and the people and I want to do some­thing that’s going to be beneficial not only to the people but also to the environment.

“If I can help them to better the economy and the livelihoods of people then that would fulfill my dream and my aspirations, both physically and spiritually.”

Mr Beraki said he wanted to see villages be lit up with solar power where they would not have to spend on fuel or paying power bills.

“It will be rewarding to me to see the joy and satisfaction in simple home villages where they will have lights without the use of generators where children can study without any noise pollu­tion.

“People out in the islands will not have to travel to the mainland for fuel.”

From left: Solar Fiji staff members Walsall Muavesi, Joni Ravai, managing director, Joe Beraki, Semiti Tuivou, Lice Ratulevu and John Aitcheson. Photo: Nicolete Chambers

From left: Solar Fiji staff members Walsall Muavesi, Joni Ravai, managing director, Joe Beraki, Semiti Tuivou, Lice Ratulevu and John Aitcheson. Photo: Nicolete Chambers

Vitron brand

Solar Fiji has been set up to be the main service centre or ‘hub of the Pacific’ for Vitron.

“Now it’s easy for yachts com­ing in and need their equipment serviced or are looking for parts as we will have it here in Fiji,” he said.

“We have already serviced two super yachts in Fiji and that is because we are on Vitron’s global website where we can be located through Google.”

Mr Beraki said even while set­ting up here they have had to tend to orders coming in from other Pacific Islands.

“It is important for us because while we’re spreading our prod­ucts around the world we must have centers where we can ser­vice and be able to have our local technicians trained and attend to these services,” he said.

Mr Beraki said Vitro was sup­posed to set up in Fiji earlier but COVID dashed all that and now that the products were here, com­pany executives from the Neth­erlands were planning a visit to Fiji and train local staff in the handling and servicing of Vitron products.

The company has a range of products from small 60 watts pan­els with a 50 amp power battery to three phase commercial size solar equipment.

“We have already done a three phase set up for the ice cream fac­tory on Taveuni which is owned by a German national and his Ital­ian wife,” Mr Beraki added.

“Everything they do from the small things to making ice cream is done through solar power.”

Affordable solar products which can power three to four lights, tel­evision and fridge are available and suitable to homes in villages, rural areas and those in the mari­time areas.

“What sets us apart from other solar companies is that our staff is continuously trained,” he said.

“We are here to empower people to live with extra money in their pockets and a chance for them to start or grow their small business without having to worry about overhead costs on power or fuel bills.”

He employs eight staff and plans to expand his company with branches in Suva and Savusavu.

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Subscribe-to-Newspaper