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Investor Subhas

Shayal Devi
Saturday, February 02, 2013

A trip to India unravelled more than new sights and sounds for investor, Subhas Chandra.

The visit set off an idea that has today turned into a project unprecedented in Fiji.

Heritage Hamlet Fiji is an agro tourism initiative that provides an amazing and innovative means of economic growth - in addition to the opportunity it provides for Fijians to showcase their unique culture.

It is a project envisaged to revolutionise farming in Fiji.

Mr Chandra, who is the chairman for the Pacific Institute of Technology, recalls how he got started.

"We started in 1994 and in 1998, we commenced the TAFE in Victoria, Australia and Polytechic Program in New Zealand.

"These were very successful programs and drew so many students from all over Fiji. In the year 2000 we began to set up campuses around the country and in 2004 our head office, the Nadi Campus was opened," he said.

The Institute then expanded its horizons.

In 2005, the Sports Academy was launched and 2006 saw the introduction of the Hospitality and Training Hotel.

Another new program, the Flight Attendant Training was implemented in 2008.

Later in 2009 and 2010 the Junior Rugby Academy was launched. A 17-year-old graduate from the academy has been recruited by a French team and his contract will see him earn $1 million in 3 years. PIT's India office was opened in 2010 and in 2012 the institute commenced with the TAFE NSW program.

Speaking about his pet project, Heritage Hamlet Fiji, Mr Chandra says that the idea originated during his trip to India.

"While travelling in India, I noticed 70 per cent of the Indian farmers had livestock at their homes and through this, they have made India as one of the world's largest producers of milk.

"This made each farmer an entrepreneur, who in turn is giving employment to many white collar people." he said

"This made me curious and I spent months studying the concept and technical know—how by visiting rural India and staying in farms to understand the insights." he added

He also stated that India had a wonderful system of zero grazing animal farming, cross breeding techniques and dietary control that produced high and nutritious milk.

"This created a desire for me and immediately I thought of bringing this technology and know—how through our Agro Tourism project, the Heritage Hamlet." he said

"I shared this with my partners in India, and they agreed to support and invest in this project.

"I gave them the assurance that this project will get full support from our fellow Fijians and our very supportive government," he said

Heritage Hamlet, according to Mr Chandra, will showcase culture, cuisine and celebration, a unique farm tourism project.

"We are planning to bring the best of cultures of both countries, Fiji and India." he said

"Through this project, I would like to bring back the days of self-sufficiency, where every household had their own livestock, milk and vegetables," he said

Mr Chandra said that all guests that came to the village would be given a traditional welcome through soulful and melodious songs.

"We will have 25 different traditional tasty dishes spread over the village such as crispy pakora, hot jalebis and fried cassava prepared by the best cooks in the kitchens," he said.

"We will also have traditional games like lattu, gulell and archery, which I am sure will be a big attraction for everybody and bring back memories of their childhood," he added.

"People won't be able to resist the mud bath, open tube well bath after the traditional head massage. Ladies can enjoy the traditional mendhi," he said

There would be plenty of ethnic performances for the people to enjoy.

"This program will create a platform for all our people to come up and show their talents.

"It will be a chance for them to show and grow, enhance and showcase their talents to the international platform," he said

All in all, Subhas Chandra has outdone himself by introducing an innovative program that will be extremely beneficial to the lives of many people in Fiji and abroad.

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