Yanuya­nu­rua tells of value in crotch logs

Young ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor stamps his mark in the lo­cal export in­dus­try.

Fiji Sun - - Business - FILIPE NAIGULEVU SUVA EDITED BY: FILIPE NAIGULEVU Feed­back: filipe.naigulevu@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

Photo: FILIPE NAIGULEVU

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.

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