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Tale of success

Monika Singh
Friday, October 13, 2017

IT is one of the most popular brands of active wear in Fiji and its popularity continues to grow among the sports fraternity.

Tau Sports has become a household name in Fiji and its managing director Awadei Veeriah Gnanarajah believes it will grow even bigger with the confidence of its customers behind them.

The company started its operations from its office at Raojibhai Patel St, Suva in 2010 with seven staff members and one printing machine.

"I came to Fiji from Sri Lanka as a production manager for a garment factory but then I got inspired to start my own active wear brand and so I started my own company. Now I employ about 100 people and I have 14 printers in my factory," he said.

Today he owns six stores and one restaurant with a second restaurant set to open soon at the Suva Central.

Mr Gnanarajah said so far he had invested about $2 million in the business and would continue to invest more to bring in new technology.

The company opened its first outlet in Nadi in 2012 and today there are six outlets - the sixth outlet opened in Nakasi on Wednesday.

Mr Gnanarajah said Tau Sports was a Fijian brand and he had plans to take that brand name to greater heights.

"Tau Sports specialises in sublimation and we receive about 15,000 orders on an average basis."

Sublimation is whereby the designs are printed directly on materials and Mr Gnanarajah said they had invested in machines that could do the work for them.

He said they recently bought three machines from China and with it came expatriates who then taught his staff members about how to operate the machines and fix them if need be.

"There is a lot of potential for active wear in Fiji because Fiji is known for sports. I actually started this company because I wanted to make Fijian brand a popular name.

"I have had a lot of support from locals and we are always supportive of the sporting events that happen around the country," he said.

For a company that doesn't advertise actively in the mainstream media, Tau Sports has done very well and Mr Gnanarajah says the credit goes to their customers who are forever supportive of the brand and the high quality of products from the company.

The company now has branches in Samoa and Papua New Guinea with marketing arm in Australia.

Mr Gnanarajah said the company also manufactured school uniforms for 75 schools in Fiji and exported 60 per cent of its products to the US and Pacific.

"We do have expansion plans for our factory but at a later date. But we will stick to manufacturing active wear and school uniforms.

"In terms of competition we have faced competition from some existing brands in the beginning but now we have quite a big market share and our turnaround time speaks for itself," Mr Gnanarajah said.

He said majority of their staff members came from the local tertiary institutions while they trained other staff members.

He said with new technology being introduced on a regular basis in the garment and printing industry it was important for them to keep up to date with the developments and for that reason they provided refresher training for their employees on a regular basis.

According to Mr Gnanarajah their employees were well trained and knew all the operations and processes that were required at the various levels of production.

"We installed our own embroidery machines here at the factory and when there are orders that need embroidery done we do it ourselves.

"So really our factory is a one stop shop for all production needs," he said.

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