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No big deal for Asita

Solomoni Biumaiono
Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Fiji Times


he gave up her dreams of being a lawyer and even a career in Information Technology to crawl in confined spaces and hunt rats and cockroaches.


She is Asita Chand, a director of Fastkil Pest Control Services, a company which she runs with her husband Vinay.


Asita grew up in the Sigatoka Valley where her father was working for the Ministry of Agriculture.

While attending Sigatoka Methodist Secondary School, she had set her sights on becoming a lawyer, but later changed her mind and pursued and attained a Diploma in Information Technology from the then Fiji Institute of Technology.


"But after I met and married Vinay, I changed my mind again, and liked the idea of becoming a pest control technician and so that is how I got started in this career," Asita says.


For 15 years, Asita followed Vinay around, learning off him and also making use of his course books and researching the Internet to know everything there is to know about pest control.


Asita says cockroaches and rats are the main pests in Fiji but at times, they are also asked to clean out bed bugs or 'kutunitana', millipedes and centipedes. She adds that Fiji's tropical climate only makes it a good breeding ground for many pests and bugs.


"Every time, it became more and more interesting and there was no turning back," she said.

Starting off their company with only $200, two workers and an array of glue boards, gel and powder pest control devices, Fastkil Pest Control is now employing 15 workers, owns its own vehicle and equipped with the latest pest control technology and chemicals.


And Asita is in the middle of all these, doing administrative jobs as well as taking charge of field operations.

At times, when work is required to be done early and at far flung towns of Viti Levu, Asita ensures that all her children's needs are taken care of in the morning before she leaves for the job.


"Just like the other day. We were to go to Rakiraki and that means we had to leave early that morning. I had to make sure that my children's breakfast and lunches were ready before we left," Asita said.

And this included working odd hours and even at odd places as Asita helps Vinay build their company around their solid technical expertise and good customer service.


"I really enjoy my work. It gives me great satisfaction that my customers are happy."

Asita has just recently attained her qualification for urban pest management from Australia and this means that she can handle corrosive chemicals used in pest control exercises.


Already she has drawn up plans with her husband, Vinay to build a chemical laboratory and set up a training institute where local pest control technicians can learn their trade.


Asita can launch herself into a thousand cockroaches and rat infested places and you can even find her in odd places as she would rather work out in the field than be caught dead in the office.


"But when it comes to the household lizard, I am still afraid of them. I just can't stand them at all," she says.