Jilyin WongCEO & Executive DirectorEddie Hin Beverages Ltd (A Tappoo Group Company)On behalf of all of us at Eddie Hin Beverages Ltd, I welcome you here this evening.
Some of you will have wondered how the name “Eddie Hin”, synonymous with the history of Lautoka, has to do with the Tappoo Group. I am delighted to be able to shed some light on this and in the process, take you for a moment down the memory lane of Lautoka.
Eddie Hin Ltd was a soft drinks manufacturing company founded by my father, Eddie Wong, and his then future brother-in-law Hin Young in 1949. The company grew to be a household name in Lautoka and indeed the whole of the western part of Viti Levu. In 1952, Eddie Hin Ltd was also appointed distributor of Tip Top ice cream in the west. When Goodman Fielder purchased the Tip Top factory in Suva and began making Tuckers ice cream, Eddie Hin Ltd carried on as its distributor. With the untimely death of my father in 1992, Eddie Hin Ltd continued under the leadership of my brother, Professor Jilnaught Wong of Auckland University. It was inevitable that, with the Wong family having migrated to NZ, the family would look to one day divest its Fiji interests.
Through my friendship with my old Natabua classmate, and good friend, Yogesh Tappoo, we were able to come to an arrangement to initially contract-manufacture Pepsi for the Tappoo Group, and in May of 2004, Eddie Hin sold its soft drinks manufacturing business to the Tappoo family, and me along with it! When Eddie Hin’s ice cream distribution agreement ended in 2010, this property was also sold to the Tappoo family.
Since acquiring the soft drinks business, the Tappoo Group has also purchased the adjacent property for its warehousing of manufactured goods. This property will be developed into a 3,000 sq metre state-of-the-art warehouse in the near future. In the meantime, we have upgraded our soft drinks production line, and are currently adding a new canning line for beverages. Also commissioned recently is our new fruit juice manufacturing line, the reason for which we are all here this evening. I wish to take this opportunity now to publicly thank all of our hard working staff at Eddie Hin Beverages Ltd for their immense contribution
HAPPY TO BE A PART OF TAPPOO GROUP’S VISION
I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the Tappoo family, in particular, with the Tappoo Group CEO, Madhu Tappoo. The Tappoo family is to be admired for its firm resolve in growing its businesses in Fiji, and in turn, helping to grow the economy of Fiji. Their bold move into manufacturing is, I believe, both timely and astute. I am happy to be a part of this phase of the Tappoo Group’s vision. I have lived for many years abroad,but I still enjoy coming back to Lautoka. As they say, you can take the boy out of Lautoka, but you can’t take the “Lautoka” out of the boy!