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From Botswana to Perth, the streamlined way.
Ike Abdulla is thinking about writing a book on how to organise a hassle-free international relocation.
And considering he had a new car waiting for him at Perth airport when he arrived, had his children in school, a new house, a new business and even a new dog - all within eight weeks of setting foot in WA, it would seem he is more than qualified to do it.
Since moving in August 2006 from Botswana in Africa to Landsdale in the northern suburbs of Perth, Ike, his wife Emma, four of their five children (eldest son Reschard is studying dentistry in Adelaide) two dogs and a cat are now settled in their new home. Schools for the children are only a five minute drive away, and there are parks and gardens at the end of their street.
Both Emma and Ike love the freedom of living in Perth and have especially enjoyed the friendliness of their new neighbours.
“Even after two years, I still appreciate the wonderful weather and the freedom of being able to walk out of my front door and not see a big wall around my house,” Emma said.
“Compared to other states, Perth has the nicest feeling,” Ike said. “People enjoy their leisure time together here and the family unit seems to be stronger here than in Africa . In Perth , Sunday is the time for church and family,” Ike said.
“We chose it also because it is the closest City to Africa , and the time difference makes it easier to do business between the two countries.”
Moving to Australia gave Ike the opportunity to explore new career opportunities and while he was involved in Information Technology in Botswana with seven businesses, he decided on a change for his move to Australia .
After much research and discussions with Genelle Surace from the State Migration Centre, Ike decided grocery retail would be his new career and he bought into an IGA grocery store on the outskirts of the metropolitan area. With Ike's assistance, this store won the award for “IGA Store of the Year”.
Ike has now sold out of that business but stayed in the industry. He bought Waikiki IGA plus an interest in Port Kennedy SUPA IGA. He has also purchased a large refrigerated truck, employed his neighbour to drive it, and is delivering fresh market produce to his own stores, plus others who have taken up his offer to save money by buying direct from the markets daily.
Ike has also introduced computer systems to modernise his stores and save money.
“I have been able to install computerised security and accounting systems, as well as an automated rostering system for staff,” Ike said.
“Our new finger recognition system has revolutionised staff management and made rostering so much more efficient.”
Ike’s next project is building a new, wholly owned IGA store at Beeliar, south of Perth . This supermarket is due for completion by December 2009 and will create around 80 new jobs.
Most recently, Ike has been invited to represent Western Australia on the IT Steering Committee that reports directly to the Board of Directors of IGA.
In a very short period of time, Ike and Emma Abdulla have settled into their new home with no regrets. Ike‘s advice to others considering the move is to analyse the opportunities carefully and avoid traps set for the unwary.
“Make the most of the assistance at your disposal through the Small Business Development Corporation, the Business Migrant Network and the Chamber of Commerce,” Ike said.
“It’s important to find someone without a vested interest, who knows their way around the business world in your new country.”