Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A girl from Batinikama


from Peceli,
Another story of a Vanua Levu woman doing good work. Anshu comes from Batinikama, a place out in the countryside of babasiga. From the Fiji Times.
Anshu sets example
Solomoni Biumaiono
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Picture by SOLOMONI BIUMAIONO

A life changing experience has turned this environmental scientist from her conservative upbringing to a more robust and outgoing businesswoman.

Anshu Lata, originally of Batinikama now owns You and Me Talent Agency. But it has not always been this way for this Labasa girl.

Anshu or Zeus as her workers affectionately call her, first started off on the normal career path that is expected of many children around Fiji. Get an education, earn a degree, get a good job and then settle down.

"The only work we knew about back then was to be a teacher, to be a doctor, or to be an accountant. Those are the big jobs and everyone was all just gearing towards this," Anshu says.

She was a good science student in Form Four and she stuck to that throughout high school and eventually into the University of the South Pacific where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree.

"Looking back at it now, we never had good counselling, if you will, when it comes to making career choices while we're still back in school. Unlike today, students are provided with more options and given good advice about what subjects they could take," Anshu says.

To her, this meant a big thing because she had always wanted herself to be heard. She had always wanted to be independent and she secretly harbours a creative streak.

This was only brought to the fore after she left USP to start working and somehow gained new insights and knowledge that challenged her to become the person that she is today, a businesswoman.

"After I left JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) in 2007, I met many different people from different walks of life and backgrounds and I started to learn new things. I guess that new life experience changed me a lot into the kind of person I am today," she said.

Three years after leaving JICA, Anshu finally started a talent agency business and in her first year, she managed to find a lot of work, organising fashion shows and models, organising movie premiers and being a judge at the 2011 World Supermodel Australia Teens show at Amanuca Island.

And along the way she also met and made a lot of opposition, something that she says, is all part and parcel of running a business.

"As the saying goes, you can measure your success with the number of enemies that you have but to look back at what I did, I did start my business on an impulse but that has not stopped me at all.

"It has helped me to be a better person where I learnt to have more self belief, I learnt to be more patient, mature, more cautious and to be analytical," Anshu says. She admits that there were times when she wanted to quit, but one thing that kept her going was stubbornness, which surprisingly, was not a newfound quality she had learnt most recently but something she had learnt from a young age while growing up in Labasa.

Just two weeks ago she was on the verge of losing the Miss Earth Fiji franchise that she has with Carousel Productions Limited of the Philippines but she persevered and only confirmed it a few days ago.

"I want to be a good businessperson and to be a good example for all the youths and all the dreamers out there who want to make something of their lives," Anshu says.

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