Samoan company ventures to Tokelau
A team from Samoa Stationery and Books (S.S.A.B.) has left for Nukunonu, Tokelau, for their first roadshow there.
S.S.A.B’s International Manager, Marlene Kathleen Mulipola, is among the delegation.
Ms. Mulipola says it is an initiative by the President and C.E.O. of S.S.A.B, Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai.
S.S.A.B. being customer oriented is always trying to find ways to personalize and continuously improve her service to her valued clients- hence the idea for a Roadshow was initiated by our President during our visit to the Taupulega Nukunonu.
A proposal was put forward last year and approved by the Nukunonu Taupulega this year.
The roadshow theme is “Bringing the products to you”.
“The reason for this initiative is to make shopping easier for the Tokelauans, who are huge supporters of S.S.A.B,” she said.
“The objective of this is to take the products to our loyal customers in Tokelau.
“Our staff have travelled before to meet the Taupulega and to furnish the Maota o te Taupulega (official meeting house), but this is the first time we have travelled to hold a roadshow taking a wide variety of stationery, educational, resources, white ware, houseware and electronics there.”
She said the hope is to make shopping easier for the people of Tokelau.
“The offices and schools already buy a lot from S.S.A.B, but we learnt to reach out to families and individuals and showcase the wide variety of products we are offering.
“We also want to know what gaps we can bridge in terms of needs and wants of the people there.”
She said the proposal was put forward mid-year last year and in the beginning of this year, the Taupulega gave their approval.
But Ms. Mulipola said in any initiative there were always challenges as well.
“Space is one of the biggest challenges,” she said.
“As we know there is not enough space of the boat because there are so many products and so we had to really think hard of what products to take and what not to take.
“And mind you, we share the boat with more than 60 Tokelauans who have their own luggage as well as shopping for the village.
“Another challenge is the people want us to bring so many products, but there’s no space.
“And I think the most difficult one is the long boat ride because for us it only takes an hour to go from here to Savaii and six hours to American Samoa.
“However, to go to Tokelau its takes a day and a half to get there, so it’s really difficult to be on the boat for that long.”
She added the feedback so far had been excellent since the dates were announced to the people of Nukunonu.
“They are very excited and people are already sending though their lists of products they want us to hold,” she said.
She said they hoped in the future they would be holding other roadshows for the other two atolls in Tokelau.
“So Tokelau has three atolls, Nukunonu, Fakaofo and Atafu,” she said.
“S.S.A.B. is very excited for the first one and given its success, we hope to take a roadshow to the other two atolls by the end of the year, but that is my aim but have to see what our C.E.O. wants.
“They are very happy that we are bringing the roadshow because in my past trips, they’ve always identified things they want to be sold there, but they don’t have it.
“They normally have to send their lists to their families here to do their shopping for them and then their families will come to S.S.A.B. to buy those items.
“However, this time we are taking these products to their doorstep which to them is very easy now to get access to those products.”
She revealed four of them will take this roadshow.
“There’s Aoge Moto, who is the Personal Assistant to our President, Viali Williams, who is our Assistant Manager in Education, George Teo, Manager of Copier Section and Marlene Kathleen Mulipola Manager for S.S.A.B. International.”
The roadshow will start from the 17th to the 23rd of February 2018.