New for villagers

Newly Opened PrinceWay Supermarket at Prices Road in Navuso, Nausori. Picture: AJESH SAGAR

TWELVE years of service as an accountant at the prominent supermarket Food 4 Less has finally paid off for 34-year-old Sunil Chand Varma who just opened his new supermarket at Navuso, Nausori last week.

The former USP graduate and former employee of Food 4 Less shared to this newspaper how he took up his first job at Food 4 Less and since then has learnt so much about running a business.

“I was with Food 4 Less for 12 years and it was my first job ever since I graduated from the University of the South Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Information System.

For 12 years I’ve been working there and I’ve learnt every bit of the supermarket business as no job is small, no job is big, and a job is a job.

“I take it as a challenge and I learnt everything from the beginning and my director was there Rudra Prasad and his family. They were very supportive, they taught me business dealings and ever since I joined Food 4 Less, I didn’t send any applications for jobs outside. My heart was there, faithful to Food 4 Less but then as time passes by the colleagues, staff started to become like a family and it’s very hard to break a family.

“Even though without any application, I got several offers outside Food 4 Less but then the idea in my mind was to stay in one place, learn a bit of it and then upgrade myself because I’ve seen my director and he became my mentor and I follow his footsteps because he opened one shop and then later he opened other shops so I said I better learn everything from him.

The working environment was good I learnt everything from there and then unfortunately everything had to come to an end.

“The lease expired for Food 4 Less in June 2018 and the shop closed and this idea came up because we were sort of family as it was hard to move away from the family because I was the first to open the shop, last to leave the shop for the past 10 years.

I was spending more time at Food 4 Less than at home.

“And then this idea came up, I heard about this property and then the idea was on my mind, why don’t I do my own because when I was in Food 4 Less I was doing the wholesale, the customers were like urging me ‘hey why don’t you open your own shop? Because wholesale especially in Lakeba, Lau, Kadavu, Vanuabalavu, Koro all those customers were there and they were urging me to open my own supermarket.

“I started looking for the premises and finally I got this in Navuso. Even though it is in the country side outside Nausori I analysed the market — Nausori is a bit congested now hard to get parking space so this place is just a two-minute drive from Nausori,” said Mr Varma.

“I never thought that it would come so easily at this age that I would be opening a business of my own but it was all due to the support of the family members, colleagues, friends, and co-workers and finally I opened the shop today,” said Mr Varma.

Present at the opening of the supermarket was the chief of Navuso Village Ratu Jone Savou who highlighted the benefit the new shop would bring to Navuso villagers.

“Before we would do our shopping at the canteen or right to Nausori but since this shop has opened here, it will make things easy for us,” said Ratu Savou.

For those who plan on starting their own business, Mr Varma advises to build an honest relationship with the co-workers.

“We need to have a good understanding between the employee and the employer. Those who want to treat their employees like a slave; the time is over now because you need to give an important place for the employees because it becomes your most important asset, staffs becomes a very important asset. You look after your staff properly, your business will prosper,” advises Mr Varma.

The new Princeway Supermarket hopes to open on Monday 8am-7pm and on Saturday and Sunday at 8am-9am.

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