Independence ‘key’ to success

DARSHITA Naidu believes that independence is an important trait that every woman must possess.

The director of sales at the Outrigger Beach Resort, who is originally from Kavanagasau Village, Sigatoka, said she understood the importance of being independent after facing so many challenges in her journey through life.

Her story is one that entails challenges, doubts, empowerment, and success.

Growing up in the village, she attended Kavanagasau Primary School before moving on to Kavanagasau College and furthering her studies at the University of the South Pacific in Suva where she successfully completed a bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management.

“Tourism was not something I had originally set my mind on,” she said.

“I always wanted to do something in the medical field but because it was expensive and coming from the village with my parents being farmers, we just couldn’t afford it.

“I had to jump into my second option, which was tourism once I landed the multi-ethnic scholarship.”

After her graduation in 2009, Ms Naidu began her tourism industry journey at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa.

“Tourism was booming and in demand that time and it still is. In between I began having doubts, so I tried doing something different — apart from tourism.

“But I think my heart was where it was supposed to be, so it kind of pulled me back doing sales.

“Eventually I began to fall in love with tourism and my passion for the industry grew.”

From the InterContinental Ms Naidu joined a few other companies and in 2015 she found her way to the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort.

She started off as a sales manager before she climbed the ladder to her current role.

She shared that growing up, her mother, Nimala Naidu and father, Satya Naidu, laid the best foundation for her life — they were her pillars of strength.

“I have two other brothers but I was always encouraged to do more. Education came first in my family and the household chores and other things followed suit.

“Because my parents were farmers, they knew that the way forward was through education.

They never brought us down, but instead empowered us to do better.

Ms Naidu said her parents’ teachings made her feel strong — that she could do everything and anything she put her mind to.

“I’ve travelled to Vanuatu for work. I’ve lived alone ever since tertiary school, and these were all personal choices. “I believe my parents raised me to be strong, and that’s why I am here and not forgetting the other ladies I am surrounded by in my workplace.”

Just like many successful individuals, she faced challenges along the way, but always found the strength to forge ahead. “I believe the lack of assistance in education then was a challenge for me.

“Despite being so eager to prosper and to learn — the assistance was not there. I could have done something different and followed my heart, but due to the lack of assistance, I was not able to do so.

“I guess the main challenge when stepping into my career was that there was no assistance in terms of finance.”

Along the way, Ms Naidu managed to overcome the little road humps and moved ahead, regardless.

“Being strong and having a strong mindset helps you achieve greater things in life. There will be people, situations and challenges along the way that will try to bring you down, but you must be strong. If you’re educated, you have to be independent and through this, you can do whatever you want.”

For Ms Naidu, being independent and promoted to her current role as director of sales were some of her greatest achievements. “I wouldn’t have been here today without the love and encouragement of my family and the challenges I’ve faced. “The challenges made me stronger.”

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