Stories & articles of our work & our people
The SBN calendar of events was officially launched on Tuesday 24 February 2015 with the first networking evening of the year.
Guest speaker, businessman and current Chair of the New Zealand-Samoa Trade and Investment Commission, Tauili’ili Fatu Fuatavai, captivated the audience with some sage advice and lessons from his own experiences in business.
Tauili’ili, a qualified engineer by profession, recounted his extremely interesting history in business, from his start in doing “odd jobs” in building decks and house renovations for people in his church until he reached a point in his career when his private jobs earned him more money than his day job.
Tauili’ili’s talked at length about residential and commercial property development and the lessons he drew from those experiences. He expanded on the steep risks involved in investment decisions and the amount of due diligence that is required. Tauili’ili especially drew on his experiences in taking calculated risks and identifying opportunities in the market. He illustrated this with a rollicking example from the early 1990s when he took advantage of changes in government housing policy and delved into residential property investment.
Tauili’ili’s main points of advice were to never stop learning and always try to be nice to everyone, and always keep your mind active. Learning could even come from watching movies, as he explained that he learned a bit about mergers and acquisitions from watching the movies, Pretty Woman and Working Girls. This stood him in good stead for the second half of his career when he acquired several businesses and gradually sold them off over time for a profit.
The current phase of Tauili’ili’s life, now involves him engaging in volunteer work. The work he does for NZSTIC comes with the aim of growing Samoa’s export earnings into New Zealand. A market where Samoa currently imports over $100 million from, yet only exports $3 million into.
The night wrapped up with the introduction of the year’s events, including the upcoming workshops and networking evenings and breakfasts lined up for the year.
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