Successful Samoan shares his story

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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Alex Fala, CEO of Vend (third from the left) with some of the particpants at the Samoa Business Network gathering last Thursday

Alex Fala, CEO of Vend (third from the left) with some of the particpants at the Samoa Business Network gathering last Thursday (Photo: Elizabeth Ah-Hi)

The Samoa Business Network is sticking by their mission to provide a platform for Samoan business people and entrepreneurs to connect with like minded people in Samoa and across the Pacific.

On Thursday they did just that when they invited New Zealand Samoan, Alex Fala, to be their special guest during a gathering at Taumeasina Island Resort.

Alex Fala is the C.E.O of Vend. It is a scale up company that specialises in point of sale and accounting systems and is recognised as one of the fastest growing tech companies in New Zealand by Deloitte’s “Fast 50 companies of New Zealand in 2015”. 

The timing was perfect for Mr. Fala who was also here as one of the key speakers for the Pacific Wave Conference held at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s on Friday.

He was happy to share his journey and professional experiences with other aspiring and established entrepreneurs.

“I can’t promise you wisdom but I will give you the truth,” he said at the start.

 He then proceeded to tell members about how an average kid with familial roots in Sa’asaai in Savai’i, but raised in the greater Wellington region, happened to find himself as a young C.E.O of a software company with a global workforce of 200 that handles tens of millions of dollars a year.

Mr. Fala said he had enjoyed his work experience at Orion Software and Trademe in New Zealand leading up to his appointment at Vend and while his decision to take on a start up company was risky, it came out of a real desire to go global and be a part of a company that had international influence. 

During an interview with the Sunday Samoan, Mr. Fala shared his thoughts about what he thinks it takes to get ahead in the realm of international business.

 “A lot of it comes down to actually having faith in yourself and being self confident,” he said. 

“The sort of skills that you require to be successful are things like creativity, independence and taking risks. A lot of those things start from being self aware and understanding what your strengths are and then having the guts to go out there and do something with them. 

“So those skills needed have changed, and it’s no longer about working hard and getting a degree, ticking boxes and then things will come. To me the people that are really successful now are the ones who are able to bring together different ideas from different parts of their life and their experience and then also as I said, be prepared to take a chance.”

Mr. Fala said he is excited about being in Samoa and that speaking at events such as the Samoa Business Network Evening and the Pacific Wave Conference satisfied an aspiration of his to give back especially to his own people. 

“The most important thing I want to do is give more than get stuff out of it,” he said. “I feel that I have been really privileged and lucky to be part of this wave of technological change and I feel lucky about that in N.Z. let a lone being in Samoa and I’m really excited about the changes in infrastructure that are going to enable a lot of changes in technology when then in turn enable business so really why I am at the Pacific wave Conference to do is to share my experiences and hopefully people can take something from that and also I hope to learn a little bit more about Samoa to see if there is an opportunity for me to help out somewhere along down the road.”

Mr. Fala was well received by members of the Samoa Business Network who found his talk to be inspirational and informative.

S.B.N Board member plan to bring in more speakers from around the region of Mr. Fala’s caliber.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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