People | Parcels of success … Maharaj thankful business doing well

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Dharmendra Maharaj with his roti parcels in Dreketi Macuata. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

He lost his job during the COVID-19 pandemic and returned home a troubled man.

How he was going to support his family in Dreketi, Macuata troubled his thoughts.

Worried about this family’s future, Dharmendra Maharaj decided to start a small food business.

Since that day, he has never regretted his decision to do something on his own.

He now earns between $150 and $200 a day from selling roti parcels in Dreketi, a small shopping centre where bus passengers to and from Nabouwalu stop briefly before continuing the journey.

The father of four has fast become a popular face in the area.

But more popular than his face, is his spicy curry lamb and roti.

“Everyone else does chicken with potatoes, but I sell curried lamb neck and roti and it is popular,” he said.

“We have to be business smart and creative so that we can attract more customers and get more money for our business.

“Since 2020, I’ve earned enough to support my family, pay the bills and I just bought a car as well.”

Mr Maharaj believes that laziness is the cause of poverty.

“There are many ways to earn an income. When we get lazy, then we become poor and I have had to cook curry and make the roti when my wife is sick or attending to our children.

“Every day we make roti parcels so my wife makes the roti and I cook the curry and it’s this partnership that has made our small business successful.

“Sometimes, I bring 100 parcels, by 3pm it is finished so I go back home to bring another 50 or 70 and I sell a roti parcel for $2 each.”

Mr Maharaj returns home every day a happy man as he earns more than enough to support his small family.

“I also have my own customers and when they travel across to Viti Levu, they order roti parcels so I prepare and they pick from home.

“Apart from my roti parcels, I also plant vegetables for our daily meals because I am also looking after my parents.

“So while running my business and looking after my family, I also have to do the farm work and it’s an enjoyable task because when you go to sleep at night, you feel satisfied that you are doing your task as a father.”

Mr Maharaj also drops his two older children at school every day on his way to sell his parcels.

“When I return home, I start my chores and I thank God for my wife, who is iTaukei and hails from Nakalou in Macuata.

“She has been a big help and I believe that when we are united, we can achieve anything.”

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