Vendor’s path to success

Ana Uili

HE left school when he was in class eight. That was close to 20 years ago when Ronesh Prasad, now 31, took over his father’s business when he passed away. Prasad’s father was a market vendor who sold vegetables.

Prasad, the youngest of four children, said he usually went to the market to help his father when he was 12 years old. When the old man died, he made the decision to sacrifice his education in order to put food on the table.

“My father was very sick when I was 12 years old so I started coming with him to the market and help him out. And he put the business under my name when he passed away,” he said.

“I was so cheeky at times and my father smacked me. It’s good he smacked me because I learned more.”

When he started out with three tables at the market, Prasad said he faced a lot of challenges in taking over his father’s role to cater for his family.

“We lived in Tovata when I grew up, we were very poor with no electricity and no running water and I struggled so hard for my family,” he said. “At the time we had no vehicle, so I always walked from our house to Eight miles at 2 o’clock in the morning. When I got a vehicle, I then picked up my father from home because he had asthma and from there we came here.”

Prasad definitely counts himself fortunate because all that he needed to know, he learnt from his father.

“I was so lucky that at 12 years old, I learned how to do business, never mind the fact that I went only up to form two,” he says.

Now, Prasad has nine tables at the market and his business is growing every day.

“The money I get a week is approximately $700 to $800 and when the selling is not good I get $500 and at times $300 a week.

“I have nine tables with me and I’m so lucky and all the money from my stall is going up day by day.”

Prasad also provides vegetables to rest­a­u­rants, motels and a shipping company.

He says the business, in addition to giving him hope, also fulfils his dreams.

“Through this business I was able to buy a house and a vehicle. I was also able to go to Tonga, New Zealand and America just through this business.”

“Right now we are staying at Tamavua. I have three houses there. Two are for rent and another one I’m currently staying in.”

Prasad says everything he owns is because of his determination. Persevering despite all the struggles he faced, he can now afford the good things in life.

“I’m so lucky that I have everything with me and I just thank God today. And I also thank my dad for giving the business to me to run and put his name up and my wife for helping me with all the things here,” he says.

* Ana Uili is a university student on work attachment with The Fiji Times.

Source: Fiji Times. Date: October 5 2015