- Year Selected: 2016
- Age at selection: 22
- Venture: Fiombonana
- Country: Madagascar
- Sector: Agriculture
Heritiaina lost his mother four days after his birth in 1994. Not knowing his father, he was raised by his grandmother in the village Faratsiho, a district in the Vakinakaratra region of Madagascar . At 16, he dropped out of the 6th grade to work, first as a water can distributor, later as a caca-pigeon sales person for his uncle; for a year without pay. Rather than letting his circumstances hinder him, he saw this inconvenience as an opportunity to start his own business, thereby birthing Fiombonana agro-processing company involved in dairy products, jams, and fruit juice production.
Fiombonana presently employs 12 people. Using only Malagasy raw materials it provides job opportunities for locals and farmers. Employing low-income locals, it not only provides jobs for those in need, but it constitutes a paradigm shift in the attitude towards cattle rearing and farming; “helping the community progress”. Tiana ensures the growth and development of his venture by finding solutions to existing problems and developing the most attractive products for the consumer.
Although his main challenge has been not having adequate space for the day-to-day running of his business, Heritiaina hopes to grow Fiombonana into a reputable agro-processing firm that would be able to provide jobs for thousands of Malagasy people, especially for the low-income earners, so as to combat poverty.
“Seeking solutions to existing problems is one of the most important contributions I can make as a person.” – says Heritiaina