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Inspiring profiles of the Mauritian Entrepreneur Spirit

 
Entrepreneurs in Mauritius have been receiving a lot of attention lately. Both the Government and the private sector are giving due recognition and support to entrepreneurship development.

A nation without indigenous entrepreneurs is a nation without a future. Over the last 2 years, a number of competitions have been held both in respect of business plans and innovative ideas. Nevertheless, the life of entrepreneurs has never been a smooth sailing one. Being an entrepreneur is tough. Seeing a project through its first year, generating revenue and making a living out of the business can at times be next to impossible.

Two years ago, the DBM successfully launched ‘Le Boss’ supported by the MBC along with a wide coverage from Le Mauricien. For those entrepreneurs who have successfully implemented their projects, we would like to focus on their success. For those who did not fare well, we wish them success in the future. Hope that these profiles of enterprises will inspire others on the entrepreneurial path.

Cet article a été publié - Business Forum- Le Mauricien du 30 Octobre 2013.

Schadrac Ltd - Ricardo Moutou

Ricardo Moutou, un passionné de fer, avait débuté sa carrière comme soudeur. Il a démarré dans un petit atelier et graduellement il s’est tourné vers la fabrication des produits en inox. Il reconnait l’inox comme une matière noble et précieux qui assure la brilliance. Sans doute, c’est un travail de longue haleine mais Ricardo a su renforcer son savoir-faire technique.

Ricardo débordant d’idée et d’enthousiasme lance son enterprise: Schadrac Ltd. Il est soutenu par sa famille et il avance sur le marché. Sa reussite est principalement dûe à la satisfaction et de la publicité du bouche á l’oreille de son clientèle.

Aujourd’hui, il maîtrise chaque jour le haut et le bas de l’opportunité qui se présente á lui. De plus, ces deux dernières années ont étaient très bénéfiques pour son enterprise car avec sa participation dans l’émission Le Boss, son chiffre d’affaires n’a cessé de progresser. Aujourd’hui son savoir-faire et sa clientèle s’étendent sur l’ensemble du pays.

Marie Sylvianne Lilette St Martin – compassionate love for fine art

Marie Sylvianne Lilette St Martin is a handicraft maker. She is dedicated to her creations and has acquired much experience in the artisanal fabrication. Earlier she has been working in the same field in a ‘Tourist shop’.

Being a single mother with four kids, she decided to be financially independent. From her own savings, she started a business - the recycling of waste paper in the making of decorative items. She receives help from her children in gathering waste paper from the neighbourhood.

Her fighting spirit has succeeded in maintaining the survival of her small business. She runs a selling point at the ‘Naval museum’ in Mahebourg and sells her products mainly to visitors.

SOBHA SAHEED ART DECO - Glass painting

Mr. S. Sobha is an ex-police man. He had always had an artistic side to his personality. Painter since two and a half years, Mr. Sobha indulges mainly with paintings on glass.

One look at his Face book page, you would be sufficed at his artwork. He operates his business at home. He made glass painting his living. Furthermore, he exposed his exquisite painting tables in several fair in the country. His technical abilities and know-how blunch the consumers in an artful journey.

His paintings on glasses have recently earned him a window in an International Art Trade, where he will be able to display his portfolio of Art. Moreover, ‘Le Boss’ has been a showcase competition for him. For this talented artist, every challenge represents another opportunity to compete. Besides painting on glasses, he is now diversifying in paintings on silk fabrics.

Suisse Délices Ltée *

Après avoir vécu douze années à l’étranger, Chandrawtee Cotting (Brinda) revient à Maurice avec sa passion du chocolat qu’elle partage avec son époux originaire de Suisse. Qu’est-ce qui les ont motivé à revenir au pays ? L’idée de faire découvrir aux Mauriciens le chocolat suisse ainsi que la chaleur familiale. Le couple a initié son entreprise à domicile et dispose aujourd’hui d’un entrepôt à St-Pierre.

Le sourire aux lèvres de Brinda Cotting reflète bien son sens convivial. Par ailleurs, elle est exigeante et adore les défis. Son époux Gilles et elle décident de concrétiser leur projet grâce à l'aide de leurs beaux-parents mauriciens et suisses déjà bien en vue dans le secteur de la boulangerie et de la pâtisserie. Au début, l’entreprise a connu un certain succès et elle réalisait un chiffre d’affaires de quelque 3.5 millions de roupies par an. Les gens venaient des quatre coins de l’île pour goûter aux délices et chocolats suisses.

Ces deux dernières années, l’entreprise de chocolat a connu des difficultés. Les deux entrepreneurs ont été vraiment déçus, vu le prix exorbitant de la matière première ; donc ils se sont tournés vers un créneau plus profitable, c’est-à-dire la boulangerie et la pâtisserie dont les Mauriciens sont plus friands. Ils n’ont pas contracté un emprunt bancaire pour mener à bien leur projet et proposent à leur clientèle, dont les diabétiques, les végétariens et les enfants, des choix divers à des prix abordables. L’entreprise a su conserver ses parts du marché.

* FONDÉE EN 2010

Située dans un petit village à St-Pierre.

Prakash Jankee, a wood lover

Jankee Prakash, a former executive at the Ministry of Finance, decided to leave the comfort zone of a secure civil service job and embark on a new enterprise. He set up an innovative carpentry company. He started by importing Indian Chesham wood furniture from Jaipur and Jodhpur. The company is unique in the sense that it designs its own models and carries out all the finishing works.

Jankee Prakash, a graduate in marketing and administration, inherited the business of his father. His wife assists him in marketing and customer care while Prakash Jankee concentrates on carpentry works. The initial focus was to provide a better quality of furniture at an affordable price.

To provide a better operational and customer service, the Company by the name of Rustic Elegance has purchased a commercial outlet of 350m² in Curepipe. This houses Rustic Elegance. Situated in a strategic location, the company is able to tap a wider market. Rustic Elegance is trying to achieve its long-term goal of establishing itself as a major supplier in the world of handmade furniture.

Rumila Mungur, a big supplier of strawberries

    

 

Rumila Mungur was always fond of strawberries. She had always thought of better ways to produce a more refined breed containing less sugar and more fibre. Satisfied with her samples, she set her mind on producing strawberries on a greater scale. In 1992, with the help of her family, she grew 500 plants of strawberries in her backyard. The quality and freshness of her strawberries soon attracted people in her vicinity. This caught the attention of a major supermarket. She soon became the sole supplier of fresh strawberries in her region.

The Mungur family then moved their production of strawberries to a greenhouse which is supervised by Navin who is also a director of the company. This change has led to a higher turnover. The Mungur family decided to launch itself in the entrepreneur competition, “Le Boss”. Mrs Mungur botanical creativity and business acumen earned her a nomination in the competition.

Mrs Mungur then secured an agricultural loan with the Development Bank of Mauritius to pursue the expansion of her business. The Mungur family has now started the plantation of strawberries and fresh vegetables on 6 acres of land. They are one of the biggest suppliers of strawberries in the country.

Arielle Rene-Fatim - a wild passion for ‘Le Fer Forgé’

Arielle Rene-Fatim completed her academic education and began to learn the job of welding with her father, who was already in the business and the owner of a small metal workshop. Ariel has taken over the business and specialised in the manufacture and design of 'Fer Forgé' products.

Arielle Rene-Fatim is a real 'Dame de Fer'. To boost up the business, she contracted a loan to finance the purchase of additional equipment and working capital. She is today the soul of her enterprise 'La Passion du Fer Forgé' and manages the business with her fully supportive husband.

Arielle’s business has continued to grow. She runs two showrooms at Saint Pierre and Rose Hill where she displays her own designs. She has been invited to take part in the "Salon de la Maison".

Ramraj Chuckun - Horizon Furniture

Ramraj Chuckun, ébéniste et sculpteur, passe le plus clair de son temps à transformer les morceaux de bois en objets décoratifs. Dès l’âge de 10 ans, il s’est initié au métier et compte aujourd’hui plus de 40 ans d’expérience. Pour cet artiste, le bois est un matériau noble, rare et assure le confort.

Après le cycle secondaire, il met le cap sur l’Europe où il prit de l’emploi dans une menuiserie. Fort de sa formation en Belgique, Ramraj Chuckun lance Horizon Co.Ltd. Très talentueux et créatif, il progresse avec le soutien de son épouse qui partage sa passion. Aujourd’hui c’est elle qui gère l’entreprise.

Le savoir-faire de l’ébéniste-sculpteur dans le haut de gamme explique un chiffre d’affaires grandissant au fil des années.

Ved Luchmun, director of Maubon Foods, the honourable winner

Facing unemployment, Ved Luchmun, a young graduate, decided not to remain idle. Being in the vicinity of banana plantations, an idea germinated in his mind, that of producing banana chips. Thus, the Maubon Foods Ltd saw the light of day in 1994. In a short span of time, the company achieved local and international recognition.

Mr. Ved Luchmun started with only four employees. Due to the great demand of his tasty chips, Ved contracted a loan to expand his business and employ fourteen more workers. He derives his raw material from various local planters.

After two years, the promoter is striving to expand. Who would have thought that banana chips could be exported? From the modest start in a small rented building at La Flora, a mega factory of 8000m2 soon emerged on the same premises in order to cater for the international demand. Ved is now assisting small planters to find outlets for their bananas and related products. He also diversified in the field of exporting tropical fruits and vegetables.

Chez Jeanette - La Maison Tropicale

Jeanette Gaspard owns and runs an eight double bedroom guest house. The business-woman first started with cookery. Many people applauded her talent for the delicious food which she prepared for a feast.

With the support of her husband, Jeanette rents a chalet with an overview of the green valley ‘Montagne Bois Noir’. Unlike other guest-houses in Rodrigues, she offers the traditional ‘hospitalité rodriguaise’ with food cooked on ‘feu de bois’ and served on banana leaves. Jeanette’s idea was to provide overall services like a one-stop shop. Today, she is able to provide good accommodation, food and leisure activities to her clients.

Those who know Jeanette would recall that she was ill while in Mauritius for ‘Le Boss’ preliminaries. In spite of this situation, ‘Dame Courage’ went through the final of the competition. Now, she has fully recovered and with the support of her husband she is active in her business. Her facebook page and website attract a lot of attention. Jeanette always has a high level of occupancy. In the year 2011, she obtained a winning award for her entrepreneurship style.

Lionnet & Fauzou


Anais started stitching outfits for her dolls. In fact, fashion and creativity are not new to Anais as they run in the veins of her family ; her mother was a dressmaker and a designer to some extent. Anais became a stylist after meeting Fabien, a renowned designer, in a fashion show. She obtained some financial support from her family and started designing a few dresses which sold out easily thus motivating her to proceed ahead.

Anais is already a successful business woman for her unique designs. She joined Fabien to open the Lionnet Fauzou Ltée based in Roches-Brunes. The competition ‘Le Boss’gave a further impetus to her business. She then created a wider clientèle in the fashion industry. Apart from individual ventures, she reckons many renowned corporate clients such as the Mauritius Union, ENL group and GM Goupille.

Anais has been lucky to participate in a Fashion Show in Paris resulting in many orders for her designs from overseas. She has also got an offer from the SMEDA to participate in a big fashion show in Africa. Her turnover has been steadily increasing from R1.3M to an expected figure of R3M in the coming year. Anais is now planning to fly higher up as the sky is the limit by organising big shows to tap the export market.

Mr. Mohammad K. Abdool Raschid Muthy
Author of Colour Mauritius

Khalil Muthy is a novelist and a cartoonist. He is also fond of the historical treasures of our country. He has been working for five years as a Graphic Artist at the Ministry of Arts and Culture. With this background, he decided to launch his own venture of publishing colouring books which highlight our historical and cultural events.

After his Higher School Certificate, he followed a course in Fine Arts at the MGI. He holds a diploma in Marketing and Production Management. Khalil Muthy published his colouring books in the name of ‘Colour Mauritius’and has always been attracted by the world of imagination. He loved visualizing his ideas in different art forms. His colouring books have thus become his preferred means of communication.

After the Competition 'Le Boss' he succeeded in selling 200 books monthly. Nowadays, he evolves also in paintings on canvas. He intends to go to Dubai to exhibit his paintings while continuing with publications.

J.S. Dorelio Bernard - The Artist

Art is a form of self-expression whether through writing, painting, music or film making. J.S. Dorelio Bernard is however an unconventional artist. Since his early childhood, the young painter participated in many art competitions.

Dorelio’s passion for art was stirred by his cousin who was a reputed artist. The young painter noticed a lack of creative art in the community leading him to pursue his dream. His enterprise provides creative ideas and support to local companies as well as to private clients. His range of skills varies from painting on canvas to fresh mural and interior designs.

Bernard Dorelio is now a reference in the world of mural painting. His enterprise has generated quite a number of jobs. His deep sense of dedication has won him very faithful following including corporate clients like Orange, Parabole Rodrigues Ltd amongst others.

        Nabiilah Hyath - web referencing

After working in a French company in Mauritius, Nabiilah acquired knowledge and experience to work for herself. The motivation behind her starting the business was to work in the comfort of the house. She believed that it would help earn a living without neglecting her family life.

Thanks to her experience and exposure, Nabiilah got a lucrative offer to work for a company. She is now a successful Web Marketing Manager for the WEB Companies located in Vietnam, Reunion Island, Mauritius, Denmark, Seychelles, and Madagascar.

Conserverie Sarjua International

D. Sarjua can be called the Mauritian Serial Entrepreneur. He started his career at the age of 24 as a vegetable seller and was the first Mauritian to export ‘ti piment vert’ to Réunion Island.

Mr D.Sarjua’s rural family background helped him to launch a number of agro-related projects namely the production of pickles, jams, spices, herbal tea with betel leaves and Tuna with pink pepper. Much concerned about food security, he decided to use the ‘Le Boss’ programme to launch his pioneering project to produce ‘manioc’ and ‘breadfruit flour, which had impressed the adjudicating panel.
Today, he is the Director of Conserverie Sarjua International Ltd employing some 80 people. He diversified his business quite substantially. To his already exhaustive line of products, he added the ‘manioc’ and breadfruit flour. They are already referenced in many supermarkets in France and in other parts of Europe.

The environment - conscious Ricaud Aza

Welder by profession, Ricaud Aza had a passion for aqua culture, particularly that of seaweeds. He decided to embark on the production of bio-diesel derived from seaweeds.

Mr Aza constantly tries to refine his products. To better make known his idea on bio-diesel, he took part in the national entrepreneur competition `Le Boss`. His unique and out of the box thinking gained him some recognition in the eco friendly milieu. He caught the attention of some investors who provided him with a start grant to develop his bio-diesel project. However, the latter seems to be well ahead of its time needing substantial investment and further research. Hence, the venture has been put on hold.

Mr Aza has now embarked on the diversification of waste recycling and waste oil. He is currently awaiting the approval of the Mauritius Research Council to proceed to the next stage of the development of his business model.

Nalini Aubeeluck — dreams and passion

 

At the age of 18, when most girls think of getting a stable job, living life smoothly and enjoying their youth, Nalini Aubeeluck decided to embark on the entrepreneurial spirit by setting the Nalini Dance Group. Dancing and performing arts were her passion. To further improve her skills she went to study abroad in a prestigious fine arts university.

Nalini Aubeeluck is a woman set on bursting the common myth that women-led businesses do not go too far. Nalini seized her opportunity when noticing a void in the local entertainment scenery, weddings and social gatherings and created the Nalini Dance Group. Her path has not always been smooth, she has stumbled a few times along her way, and the main stumbling block was the lack of support by financial institutions. She had to sell her apartment to keep her business afloat and service her debts.

She has now diversified her company, to include her own fashion-clothing line, a fitness centre, a production company and a one-stop shop for relooking and styling. She employs around twenty-five people and her company has been involved in more than thousands of shows across the country. Her performances are always a delight to the public. Her advice to young entrepreneurs is to never give up dreams and passions. With hard work and dedication, success will follow.

Aeris mobile solutions

A group of five University students aged between 22 and 23 grasped the opportunity to turn a University assignment of one of them into reality. What motivated them ? To be employers rather than employees after their studies. The platform that laureated them was DBM competition ‘Le Boss’They had no previous experience in entrepreneurship.

The business is driven by Kavish. With the assistance of his friends, he launched the Aeris Mobile Solutions Ltd in a small garage. The group created a sms platform to sell, inform or simply create events on behalf of commercials. It started with 1, 000 sms with one or two companies and today it has reached a figure of nearly 100, 000 sms per month with blue chip companies.

The performance of the group has been satisfactory during the last two years and the enterprise is now forecasting a turnover of R4M in the near future. The group ambitions to target the international market and secure a reputable name in the region.

Archnet Ltée *

Abdool Kureem Rossaye met en oeuvre son projet universitaire en tentant de créer une plate-forme semblable à « EBAY ». Diplômé de l’université de Maurice et ingénieur depuis plus de 10 ans, il décide de mettre en exergue ses idées novatrices à l’île Maurice dans la vente en ligne.

Abdool Kureem Rossaye entend par l’entremise de sa passion sensibiliser le Mauricien au plaisir et à l’utilité de l’informatique. Avec l’aide de son épouse, qui travaille aujourd’hui dans l’entreprise, il a concrétisé son idée de vente en ligne accessible aux Mauriciens et aux PME (PETITES ET MOYENNES ENTREPRISES) pour écouler des produits en seulement 5 cliques, sans risque et avec des facilités de paiement.

Ce jeune et dynamique entrepreneur a dû faire face à de nombreuses difficultés. Etre lauréat ou non de la compétition (Le Boss) n’était guère son objectif ; il privilégiait la revalorisation des ventes en ligne. Le Mauricien n’est pas prêt pour le « Ebay mauricien ». Les raisons étant multiples. Son projet n’a pas eu le succès escompté. Il savait qu’entrer dans la cour des grands n’était pas simple mais il a persévéré.

Il s’est finalement reconverti dans des recours logistiques dans le domaine de la sous-traitance où les entreprises peuvent effectuer des paiements et factures en ligne. En ce qui concerne l’avenir, il demeure serein et positif.

* FONDÉE EN DÉCEMBRE 2010BASE DANS LE CENTRE VILLE DE PHŒNIX, A MESNIL