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Fiji Time: 12:59 AM on Friday 18 April

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Logging success

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, January 17, 2013

USING waste logs to start a small business is what pushed a primary school dropout to achieve his dream of becoming a successful businessman.

Although he lost his mother at the age of six and left school in Class Seven, Jimmy Qalovaki is now the proud director and owner of Island Tropical Forest — a timber exporting company based at Veisari outside Suva.

"When the cutting of mahogany is completed in one area then it's my turn to come in and collect the waste mahogany that has been left behind," he said.

As an iTaukei miller in Fiji, he is now exporting his products directly to China, trading with the Zhuan Xin Teakwood Manufacturing Company Limited.

His passion started in 2003 after Fiji Hardwood Corporation Ltd (FHCL) started cutting mahogany logs and he grabbed the opportunity to venture into the timber industry.

"I sought advice from FHCL and they encouraged me to go ahead with my business because I wanted to buy waste logs from them," Mr Qalovaki said.

He uses waste mahogany wood which is 0.9m thick in varying lengths.