‘A one stop shop’
18 March, 2023, 7:30 pm
A BUSINESS that started off with two staff members in 2014 as a mechanical contracting firm, has now grown into a complete service provider employing more than 200 people.
Aquaheat South Pacific Ltd is a subsidiary business of a New Zealand-based entity – Horizon Energy Group (HEG).
HEG chief operating officer (Electrical/South Pacific/Group Procurement), Anusheel Chandra said in the past few years they have grown both through acquisitions and through organically winning work and through working on tenders in the market.
“We have acquired two businesses in Fiji – we acquired Airpro in 2016 and in 2018 we acquired Trade Supplies,” he said. The company also provides full service repair and maintenance for electrical, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and fire protection services while Trade Supplies looks after the retail side of business.
With the company providing all the services required by a customer under one roof, Mr Chandra said it allowed their clients to look after their core business while they looked after issues related to construction or maintenance.
He said as an overseas company operating in Fiji it allowed them to have its team to have the experience and knowledge of what the local market needed.
It also gave them the advantage of bringing in their team from New Zealand to train the staff in Fiji to enable them to provide top of the range services to their customers. “Our ability to step up and provide those services, whether we resource it locally, or we bring some overseas experience and knowledge to support equally.
The business has the ability to support these growth in Fiji because of a very strong balance sheet we break.
“Whether the local balance sheet of the business, or the parent company, we’re equally large to support all of that growth and the ambitions that we have.”
Looking at it from innovation and technology, Mr Chandra said their business was the only business in Fiji that carried an ISO 9001 and ISO 45,001 certification.
The company also places strong emphasis on its health and safety practices, ensuring the safety of its staff, subcontractors and suppliers at all times.
According to Mr Chandra one of their staff from the parent company was here in Fiji to train and retrain staff on safety procedures. In order to promote safety at work the company has invested in technology that which looks mainly at health safety allowing staff the access to do live risk assessments by identifying hazards at workplace and job sites online.
According to Mr Chandra this is a compulsory exercise taken by everyone that go out in the field.
“We run a six monthly net promoter score (NPS) where we go and talk to our customers through a third party team and they provide an opportunity for our customers to provide the feedback on how the business performs.
“They rate us so we know that if there is an issue, a customer has the ability to tell us what is going wrong, what we could improve and we use that information and data to improve our services.”
Mr Chandra said they also run internal survey across all our staff to gauge what they could do better as a business in terms of improvement to their systems, processes and procedures.
With the growth in the business and client base Mr Chandra said it was timely to appoint a new general manager for the Fiji business.
“The business always had operations managers, national managers, but it was time to allow a local person to take day to day charge and be the face and the name to the brand we have,” he said.
He said they introduced two additional roles to the leadership team to support the growing customer base in the Western division and also the Northern division.
The company announced the appointment of Raju as the general manager – Fiji.
Further acquisition and expansion plans
“We are certainly always looking for acquisitions. It has to be a strategic fit to our business.
We haven’t gone into plumbing so it could be another area that the business will look to grow. So provides what we call the mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire type operation and that will complete the services that we provide.”
In terms of expansion plans Mr Chandra shared that they had plans to expand their premises in Lami because they had outgrown the space.
The company has quite a large operation in Nadi and Mr Chandra said with their work growing in Lautoka and Ba they needed to open a branch in the area. Apart from the various services it provides Aquaheat South Pacific Ltd is also the only company
Fiji that can provide an asset management software for its clients.
With the software Mr Chandra said a customer’s assets could be loaded into their system. “Any work we do is recorded and
whatever needs to be actioned is all done through this record. “So we’ve maintained the history of all of that into one single
He said their construction team had adopted the same software, but in a construction module, where they had the ability to
do the cost to complete a regular job. “They have the ability to understand where the purchase is heading at any given point in time, from its cost perspective.”
According to Mr Chandra the software is also used for their inventory stock management, financial management and monthly
reporting. “So you can see it’s a one stop shop. From a large business perspective, we are very strong andtaking views of our customers.”