Sunny side up
FOR 70-year-old Appaduria Kuppusamy, each day is Fathers Day because his two sons are close to him.
For the past 10 years, his sons Barath Appaduria, 38, and Viknesh Appaduria, 33, have been helping him and his wife Thanaletchumy Kumarasamy run their poultry business in Kluang, Johor.
Barath holds a business degree while Viknesh is an engineering graduate. Rather than pursue their careers elsewhere, the small town boys returned home to help their parents manage their farm, the Barath Poultry Farm.
“There was a sense of responsibility to help out with the business. Plus, we felt we could put the knowledge gained from our education into practice and expand the family business,” says Barath.
Viknesh chips in: “From young, we’ve watched Appa and Amma work hard to grow their business. We also grew up helping to sell eggs at the morning and night markets. It seemed like a natural progression to join the family business.”
They had always worked together as a family, but their business is now stronger because Appaduria recognised his sons’ strengths.
“Appa knows Viknesh and me better than anyone else. He harnesses the best of our abilities to manage the business. There aren’t any communication barriers as we know each other so well,” says Barath, a father-of-two.
He is in charge of marketing and distribution, while Viknesh manages the overall operations and also helps his father sell eggs in the market.
The brothers still live in the family home – located on their farm – with their wives and children.
Each day, Viknesh wakes up at 4am. After loading the eggs in his lorry, he heads off to the market with his wife, Jesminn Loh, and Appaduria. Their stall opens at 5am, and they work together to sort their eggs according to grades and serve their customers till they close at 11am. Meanwhile, Barath loads his lorry and travels to different parts of Johor to deliver the fragile goods. Barath’s wife Mukai Ganesan, 35, helps to manage the family accounts.
Ther working hours are long but the boys aren’t complaining.
For Viknesh, it’s all about continuing his parents’ legacy, the fruits of 30 years of hard work.
It’s also about staying united as a family.
“The best bit is that we are able to have homecooked meals together and our children are growing up together. Sometimes, business meetings are held over dinner with the entire family, with our mother and wives,” adds Viknesh.
For 70-year-old Appaduria, there’s nothing more rewarding than having his children by his side.
Brothers Viknesh (centre) and Barath joined their father Appaduria’s business because they want to stay together as a family.