The business of fishing

Weekender

By STELLA BITA
FROM being the provincial taxman to a seafood entrepreneur is a remarkable jump for Jeffery Aisoli from Meteran on New Hanover, New Ireland.
Aisoli was formerly the Internal Revenue Commission’s provincial manager based in Kavieng but resigned in 2015 to concentrate on his own business.
“My business began when I sold fish on the weekends and after hours to make extra cash as the fortnightly salary I was receiving could not sustain my family.”
“Because my village is only a 4-hour boat ride from Kavieng,regular visits from extended clansmen and women to my office and house for accommodation was inevitable,”he said.
Aisoli’s small seafood hobby started with one esky,filled with ice that was purchased from the nearest Chinese shop, and soon grew to several eskies. The business, though small at that time, provided an efficient service for its customers who were mainly town residents. Different species of marine products, mainly fish, were purchased from local villagers,to supply clients demands , people who loved seafood but had no time to go fishing themselves or togo to the market on Saturdays which is when it is the busiest, complete with a large variety of fish.
Aisoli’s was also a convenient stop for visitors to the province who could easily stop over and make purchases.Registered under the name Patiosau Fishing Services, business quickly started to pick up and the eskies were used less and less in favour of a new deep freezer.
At that time, Aisoli had started marketing his business to the outer islands to create partnerships and networking for obtaining fish, lobsters, crabs and other sea food, culminating in a solid growth in supply of seafood. With his wife in full control of sales and book keeping, the business was on track.
The decision in 2015 to leave active government duties to concentrate on his own setup wasn’t difficult to make and in truth was made easier by the fact that Aisoli had years of savings anchored in Nambawan Super. With his payout, he purchased land at Kulangit village (on the precinct of Kavieng Town) and quickly erected a house and a shed.
An additional four deep freezers and ten more eskies were added to his list of business assets.
The entrepreneur admits that starting a small business is not an easy road. He said discipline and determination are overcomers of challenge and gradually opportunities blossom.
“We cannot continue to dream, we must turn dreams into reality. And that opportunity (to make real his dream) was backed up by my retirement savings with Nambawan Super,” Jeffery said with a proud smile lighting up his face.
Patiosau Fishing Services currently employs five permanent workers, including fishermen. The company has extended its clientele to retaurants in Port Moresby, Kokopo and Lae, a sure sign of its steady success. It’s biggest buyer is a major catering firm on the mining island of Lihir.
The next step now for Aisoli is acquiring an export licence and moving into the international market, although he admits that this will require a steady supply of preferred fish and sea products, which also have to be of the right size,to maintain business.
Sales of fish and other marine products are by weight, size and quality. Costing per kilo for small reef fish, lobsters, mud-crabs, large fish tuna and filleted fish is reasonable for the everyday client.
Nambawan Super CEO, Paul Sayer says “fortnightly deductions made to Nambawan Super are worth the sacrifice.”
“However the need to increase your savings through Voluntary Contribution gives a substantial boost to a member’s net balance.”
“It’s a wiser move to save for life in retirement. With Nambawan Super’s voluntary contribution product your savings are bound to grow as your super contributions grow in a tax virtually free environment and this helps you have a better life in retirement.”
Stella Bita is senior publication and media officer at Nambawan Super.

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