Yesterday I was with a friend who was at the airport to receive an expatriate he was bringing for a cafe that he ran.
He said that he owned a small cafe that was managed for him by his male in-laws. Despite business being good his wife and he were not getting any returns from the cafe. So he went to his island recently and spent sometime in the cafe, investigating what actually was the reason for not making any profits.
According my friend, the cook in the cafe, who was an expatriate reluctantly told him about the business they were doing and how they were losing money. Most of the purchases have been jacked up (he found out) and half of the purchases were not properly billed to the customers. On top of that the people who he had charged with the cafe, spend much on their personal matters.
So he finally decided to bring another expatriate well known to him, who had worked in Male’ before. This person is now going to be in charge of all purchases and cashiering. My friend has also told that once this chashier-cum-purchasing manager comes, they should not involve themselves in any of those activities. He however told them they could still engage themselves with the other things in the cafe and get a salary for what they did.
My friend was at the airport to receive this new employee of his, who will bring him the true riches that he was entitled to. His estimate was a net profit of 70,000.00 Rufiyaa of which he or his wife have not seen a cent in the hands of his “local partners”.
He has also registered a small recruitment agency in Male’ for a foreign company. Things were very simple. He had to register the company and coordinate all the logistics in Male’. For this purpose he and another partner of his (who is an HR guy of a “big” company) were paid a decent salary, and provided with office space and office equipment and expenses which were paid for by the foreign company. On top of that, the foreign copmany pays them a 25$ commission for the services of each labor recruited. They had their guys coming to Male’ frequently for marketing purposes. They will be signing contracts to provide labor for major projects which had requirements in the range of 150 – 900 labor vacancies.
I could not help but wondered for myself: what a precise snapshot of “doing business in our country and the expatriate factor”. I am not making judgements, but placing the facts on the table. These are nonetheless fascinating facts that show that we are a nation that is dimantling: no purpose, system, or values.
On another note, the 600 bed resort built in Addu by MTDC will be opening during the first week of November, for which a hundred per cent of all manpower are Maldivian.