FIJI Water (FIJI) is a brand of bottled water that is derived from an aquifer in the Nakauvadra Mountains in Fiji. FIJI was created for international distribution in 1995, under the corporate name of Natural Waters of Viti Ltd. It was marketed to appeal to health-conscious and image oriented consumers by touting the water’s silica-rich property that has been attributed to anti-aging and immunity boosting. FIJI Water has captured a large share in the bottled water industry in the niche premium segment alongside Evian and Perrier. The initial success of FIJI has been overshadowed by multifaceted issues that were exacerbated by management’s actions.
In the beginning, Natural Waters of Viti Ltd. recognized the importance in establishing and maintaining good relations with the indigenous people of Fiji. An emphasis was placed on hiring, training, and advancement of the inhabitants of nearby villages. Strong leadership by Ian Lincolne, native of the Draunivi village, created an organizational culture that aligned with employees’ values of interpersonal relationships, attendance of religious services, and support of community. The company constructed a kindergarten classroom in each village and established a community development trust fund to finance projects to improve hygiene, sanitation, and safe drinking water. To create additional employment opportunities to surrounding villages, FIJI contracted out services such as transportation to and from work, security personnel to guard the factory, food preparers in the canteen, ground maintenance, and laundry. All of these efforts were acknowledged in 2004 by the U.S. State Department, bestowing upon FIJI the Award for Corporate Excellence for Outs...
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