RECENTLY the Fiji Canada Business Association held its first networking meeting which was a tremendous success. This was an informative and productive and, above all, brought the businesses of the Fijian community together with diverse groups and stakeholders and individuals.
One magnificent moment for me was the opportunity to meet Bobby Naicker, a name that I have been all too familiar with. Bobby’s parents, K.S. Naicker and his wife, moved to Canada to give their children a better life. Bobby was just a child when he came here with them.
Bobby Naicker had to struggle when he came here. He started working as a dishwasher in Denny’s, one of the largest restaurant chains in North America, and he always believed in himself. He is now the President and CEO of Denny’s and One Bar, and a very well respected member of the Fijian community.
Recently Naicker was appointed the Honorary Consul of Fiji in Canada by Solo Mara, Fijian High Commissioner to North America, at an exclusive event that included the traditional ceremony of offering Kava and the singing of both Canadian and Fijian national anthems.
He said that his role as an honorary counsel is to build a better relationship between Canada and Fiji in terms of investment. He pointed out that the people of the Fijian diaspora who moved to Canada have been living here for over half a century. “They made a name for themselves, whether they are business people or worked for others. Fijians in Canada are humble and integrated into Canadian society,” he added.
“I am humbled by this appointment and I feel I can get the Fijians together with my background in business and know how to move ahead with the issues for adoption, expediting visas in case of death of a loved one in Canada. I plan to get all these sorted out and have the office up and running soon. But even today, while I don’t have an office space set up, if anyone has any question they can always contact me on my contact number. I am available to talk to them and see how I am able to help them out,” he added.
“I will also be looking at not just the business transactions but also to create interest for people to visit Fiji and will be looking forward to increase tourism between Canada and Fiji,” he added.
The President of the newly formed Fiji Canada Business Association, Chandra Sharma, welcomed everyone to the networking. He said: “It’s about time that the Fijian community got together to promote each other. This is our vision of our association, to promote Fijian businesses in the Fijian community as well as in the larger community.”
The Fiji Canada Business Association is an organization which strives to bring likeminded individuals together, and offers tools which can be used in strengthen business models. Its members all share the same goal of harboring and creating connections, so people of the Fijian community can grow and prosper their business together. This organization is the first ever business association of the Fijian community. Such a development would not have taken place but for Naicker’s role.
The following are the directors of the Fiji Canada Business Association:
President: Chandra Sharma
Vice President: Kavin Chand
Chair: Kamilla Singh
Secretary: Kamini Prasad
Assistant Secretary: Salesh Prasad
Treasure: Ganesh Murti
Assistant Treasure: Arvind Prasad
Director: Faiyaz Khan
(Contributed by KAMILLA & MANISHA SINGH)