Yanuyanurua tells of value in crotch logs
Young executive director stamps his mark in the local export industry.
Meet 25 year old Rasalato Yanuyanurua, a young entrepreneur stamping his mark in the local export industry. Mr Yanuyanurua is the executive director of Aswhy Enterprise, a local privately owned company which exports mahogany products to overseas markets like China, Europe and United States of America. He was among local exporters, Fijian business owners and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) at the second series of workshops of the 2016 Path to Market (P2M) programme at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel in Suva last Thursday. The modest Mr Yanuyanurua said it was a privilege being one of the youngest entrepreneurs out there. “Sometimes I feel embarrassed when I’m in workshops like these and I see most of my colleagues are quite older in age than me,” he said. The former Lelean Memorial School student hopes to establish a good foundation in his career at a young age.
“To me personally, I don’t think highly of myself as an entrepreneur, I usually think of myself as a normal working person. “I treat every day as a normal working day and be on the grind. Just try to make a living and work hard,” he said.
“The only part I enjoy about it, is that I can be my own boss. I don’t have to take orders and I can plan my own time.”
About Aswhy Enterprise
Aswhy Enterprise, based in Waila Subdivision in Nausori, mainly specialises in mahogany crotch logs which are exported and later used for veneers for interior designing in airplanes, boats and cars. The company was founded in 2010 by his father Sereicocoko Yanuyanurua, who is a former civil servant and the former director of water and sewerage at the Water Authority of Fiji. Aswhy Enterprise also deals with civil engineering consultation works and sustainable agriculture activities. Mr Yanuyanurua said they saw an opportunity in mahogany crotch logs as most suppliers saw it as a waste in the forest.
“No one in Fiji does this product and now we see how well it is going,” he said. While they export weekly, Mr Yanuyanurua revealed that they were planning to diversify into other mahogany products like sawn timber. “We are looking to supply to other markets like Dominican Republic and we are in talks with buyers there,” he said. “It’s looking good and we are in the final stages of closing the deal in making our first shipment to them.”
Benefits of P2M workshop
Mr Yanuyanurua said the P2M workshop benefitted his company in terms of gaining connections and exposure to Australian and New Zealand markets. “This workshop helps us to find markets and to penetrate through to our Oceania partners. “It is very useful for our company because we can actually source our markets there to expand to those regions,” he said. Mr Yanuyanurua also encouraged and recommended similar workshops like P2M for our local exporters.
“It will not only help them in their business perspective exposure, it will also help them personally through establishing network connections that will be very useful in growing their business,” he said. The P2M is an export capability building programme that combines the range of export facilitation services and expertise provided by the Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I) to help export ready and export capable businesses enter new export markets. The workshop, which was hosted by a delegation from PT&I and cohosted by the Fiji Export Council, was held in Nadi and Suva last week.
Aswhy Enterprise executive director Rasalato Yanuyanurua, 25, during the the second series of workshops of the 2016 Path to Market (P2M) programme at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel in Suva last Thursday.