Making Mauritius a Smart Paradise

I read, that before Malcolm de Chazal, the world renowned Mauritian writer, painter, and visionary decided to dedicate himself to painting and writing, he used to be an engineer in the government telecommunications department.

I then thought, there must be something in common between telecommunications and art. But I didn’t find the actual connection until I had some interesting conversations with my colleagues and local friends. Through these conversations, I gradually came to realize what the connection between ICT and art is.

The first conversation I had was with Ashish Arvind, Chief Operating Officer of Huawei Mauritius. He is an ICT engineer by profession. As we know, Mauritius is the only African state with 100% fiber coverage. More than 300,000 households now have access to the fiber-based services. Ashish said people could not believe this goal was achievable at the beginning, due to the huge cost, effort and talent that it required. As the one who actually contributed to this historic fete, Ashish recalls that there were technicians, electricians, engineers and a lot of talent in Mauritius, and the richness in human resource as basically the reason why such a hard-to-believe goal was realized....

“A very important part of my duty as an executive in an ICT company is to groom people and develop talent and skills. I have to be in the front line to do it,” Ashish told me.

The second conversation I had was with, JOYSHNA RAMASHIRE, a young woman who had been an intern at Huawei. Her story of personal growth was very interesting an inspirational. She had always dreamt of flying an airplane since childhood. But her studies took her in a different direction. As a graduate of with a degree in Telecommunications engineering, she found herself in the ICT sector, where as a young woman in a male dominated industry, she again thought about her childhood dream and made up her mind to prove the capabilities of women in whatever they do.

She started her career as an intern at Huawei Mauritius, before she got a chance to join the Air Mauritius with expectation to be one of a few female pilots in the country. “I want to break the stereotype that men are more capable in these fields,” she said.

Another conversation I find is worth mentioning here, is that with an expat, not a Mauritian. IAN VALENTINE is a business consultant at Huawei Mauritius. He enjoys using technology to solve business problems, and accelerate change in industries. He actually participated in several projects that brought ICT applications and services to Mauritius, including 4K TV and mobile payment services.

IAN describes the business environment in Mauritius as, “you have everything you need here, sophisticated digital infrastructure and fast market adoption. The technologies and skills are going to accelerate this country faster, and the Mauritian example of being a tech incubator can be exported to other African countries.”

He said he now feels very Mauritian, of which he is proud. When asked to define “Mauritian”, he said is a “combination of peaceful tranquil beauty and a purpose”.

So, after these inspiring conversations, I came to the conclusion that beauty of Mauritius lies in not only its island landscape, but in its people. All of a sudden, the dots of these individual personal experiences connected. I think what we do, as Huawei, in Mauritius is not only building connectivity but creating opportunities for people, the most valuable asset of Mauritius.

Since 2004, together with local partners, Huawei introduced Africa’s first 3G network in Mauritius in 2004, the first 4G network in 2012, and more recently, contributed to achieving 100% fiber coverage in Mauritius. With our philosophy of "in Mauritius for Mauritius", we have also been committed to the digital transformation, providing innovative ICT solutions for local needs and empowering SMEs, making the island a better place for citizens, visitors and investors. Furthermore, we have invested heavily in training over 3,000 students and ICT professionals in the country to build its digital expertise and expand its ICT talent pool, serving its inclusive, green and smart future.

We dedicate ourselves to opening opportunities for all. Opportunities that can turn engineers into leaders, ignite people’s ideas and inspire them to chase their dreams. With one opportunity leading to another, every opportunity is a chance to innovate for development, on personal, familial organizational and national level.

This is also why Mr. Malcolm de Chazal was able to transit smoothly from an engineer to a world class artist, combining art and ICT. It is about mutually inspiring, liberating experience and tapping into creativity.

As we know, Mark Twain told the world Mauritius was made first, and then heaven. Can we improve upon perfection? I think so. Connectivity and digital transformation is opening the opportunities that can make Mauritius a Smart Paradise. The power resides in us, the people.

Meet the Smart Paradise Team

Ashish Ramsurrun

I am Ashish, a Telecommunication Engineer. I am also the COO of Huawei Mauritius.

In 2005, I joined Huawei. My experience in Huawei allows me to witness and participate in the development of telecommunication infrastructure in my homeland. My team and I have brought 3G and 4G to Mauritius and many other countries, making fiber to the home a reality....

In 2005, I joined Huawei. My experience in Huawei allows me to witness and participate in the development of telecommunication infrastructure in my homeland. My team and I have brought 3G and 4G to Mauritius and many other countries, making fiber to the home a reality.

It is indeed a great approach when office has proposed me to participate in the video campaign, which allows me to share my own experience as someone passionate in ICT industry. It will definitely remind me, my family and my team about those days when fiber connectivity has just been introduced to my homeland.

I wish this video will also inspire those who have been working in Mauritius ICT industries. We all look forward for a smart Mauritius for all.

Ian Valentine

I joined Huawei in 2014 nearly 7 years ago, and travelled to many offices, customers and regions around the world with my work. Everywhere I traveled I found the same work ethic, dedication and perseverance, and good spirited teams. So when I was asked to move to the Southern Africa region, with Mauritius as my base, I knew I would feel at home.

For my first year or so being based in Mauritius I still travelled extensively, in the region and to HQ, supporting customers and projects, so my desk was rarely occupied....

However, since COVID came that all changed, and I spent much more time in the Huawei office in Ebene, and managed to understand more of special nature of the team here.

During lock-down we were brainstorming how to help people understand what it’s like to work with Huawei Mauritius. We really feel responsible for so much on the Island that is good. The conclusion was: “Just tell your story” – we are all so different, but that is what makes the whole team special.

Making the videos was fun, it took a number of days of shooting in different locations, and basically sharing our hearts to a blank camera. Thanks to the wonderful production crew and editors we had the privilege to work with, they managed to capture the essence of each of us. Our journeys, characters and purpose, and made Mauritius look beautiful too!

We sincerely hope this helps everyone understand Huawei Mauritius, and perhaps, just a little, appreciate our contribution to life on this beautiful Island.

Jyotshna Ramashire

Coming from an engineering background, I never thought that I would be participating in a professional shooting. Though back in my teenage years, I was acting in sketches with my school friends, being in front of a professional film-making team to share my life experiences was a wholly different proposition.

The production of this video has been very enriching. From the first meeting with the producer and the project manager to the last voice recording, everything has been so new to me....

Thankfully, the team was so encouraging which made me feel at ease to perform. I learnt how to act naturally in spite of having the focus of the whole filming crew. Even my mother, who participated in a scene -a first for her- was very happy with the end results.

On set, I was amazed by the number of people and equipment required for the making of a video. There were staff responsible for the lighting, sound, cameras, accessories, wardrobe, makeup, location and so on, and each person’s input was vital to the completion of this project. The video production did not end on set; after the video montage, I had the chance to do voice recording at professional studios, which was somewhat challenging.

The shooting was quite hectic on some days; I remember I was once picked up at half past five in the morning for the filming and came home at around seven in the evening. On that day, I realized how crucial timing is for each shot, because failing to shoot at the right time of the day could mean having to reschedule. This was fortunately not the case and everything went smoothly.

I watched the final video with a smile as it brought many happy memories.

For a few days, I felt like a real actor and I enjoyed myself while learning about a new world; the world of shooting.

Huawei Mauritius

Huawei entered Mauritius in 2004, as the ICT leading company in Mauritius, we provide latest and competitive ICT solutions to local operators. Huawei has participated in the development and transformation of the telecom industry in Mauritius over years, bringing more connectivity to Mauritians and making Mauritius as a better destination for investors, visitors and citizens.

Huawei Shared Service Centre (SSC) is one of the key organ of Huawei Mauritius, it provides accounting services and enables financial capacity for Huawei branches in more than 50 African countries.

Multi-country headquarters is also established in Mauritius overseeing business in 12 countries/regions.

We currently have over 300 employees, of which 60% are locals. Mauritians are holding high level positions, such as directors, Managers and Senior Expert in various departments including Sales, Solutions, Delivery & Service, Financial, Accounting, etc.

Huawei Mauritius has provided over 500 direct jobs to Mauritians. Over the years, Huawei Mauritius has upskilled over 3000 students and ICT professionals and over 300 financial practitioners. Huawei Mauritius is one of major taxpayers in Mauritius with annual tax payment of over 2M USD. In the past 10 years, our accumulative total of local procurement reaches 64M USD.

Tailoring Digital Services

Huawei Mauritius is committed to supporting innovation Mauritius and tailoring digital services to meet local needs, to keep Mauritius ahead of the technology curve and a better destination for investors, visitors and citizens.

  • Huawei Mauritius signed MoU with The Economic Development Board in 2018 to provide policy consultation on AI, Blockchain and ICT development strategies.
  • Deployed Smart city project aiming at augmenting government to tackle challenges facing urban areas, such as traffic congestion, crime, environmental degradation and public health incidents.
  • Huawei being one of the partners of Mauritius Telecom Mobile Payment project.
  • In March 2019, powered by Huawei’s latest video solution, IPTV service was launched by Mauritius Telecom in the country. Up to date, numerous subscribers (50k by end of 2019) have be migrated. The successful collaboration is continuously enriching Mauritians’ life by 4K TV experience.

Boosting ICT infrastructure

Huawei Mauritius is dedicated to boosting ICT infrastructure in Mauritius to increase availability, accessibility and affordability of high-quality ICT services to connect the unconnected and to turn Mauritius ’s ICT margins into social economic development.

  • Partnered with local operators, we brought Africa’s first 3G network in Mauritius in 2004 and Mauritius’s first 4G network in 2012, raising the curtain of mobile broadband era in the country.
  • In 2017, we delivered Mauritius National Broadband project, which achieved 100% fiber coverage to households, moving up Mauritius’ Fiber penetration ranking to 8th globally. As a result More than 310,000 Mauritian families have been able to enjoy ultra-fast broadband service.
  • With our smart phone, smart wearable devices and office/home appliances powered by AI chinps, Mauritians are able to enjoy seamless AI life cross scenerios including smart home, easy travel, mobile office, fitness and health and entertainment.

Enhancing Digital skills

Huawei Mauritius keep upskilling ICT professionals in Mauritius, encouraging and supporting youths’ ICT studies and improving digital literacy among Mauritians.

  • Since 2017, Huawei has sponsored 30 outstanding Mauritian students of ICT-related majors to China for hands-on practice and training. Half of them have joined Huawei.
  • ICT Signed MoU with University of Mauritius to offer Huawei Excellence Awards, provide training and internships opportunities, and participate in ICT research facilities and capability building.
  • Organizing annual Huawei ICT competition to encourage Youth to study ICT and increase their digital competitiveness. Over 2000 students participated in the competition for last two years. Mauritius Team won the first prize in the global finals.
  • We continuously provide overseas Training & International Exposure Opportunities for local employees. To date, Huawei provided overseas training for over 300 Mauritian ICT and financial professionals.

Fostering Industrial Ecosystems

Huawei Mauritius is working closely with partners including government, industry and academia to foster an open ecosystem and talents pool, which is beneficial to every stakeholder in terms of innovation, human resource and sustainable growth.

  • Currently we are working with more than local 70 suppliers, sub-contractors and channel partners in the country. Over the years we have created thousands of jobs directly and indirectly in Mauritius. The revenue of top 3 subcontractors has increased about 30%.
  • Working with major telco’s in building connectivity and introducing new technologies to provide Mauritians with quality telecommunications services and good customer experience.
  • Organizing job fairs with partners to absorb ICT graduates.

The thinking behind Mauritius: A Smart Paradise

Xavier Wong

Global Creative Director, Huawei

Mauritius, with all of natural wonders, near-perfect weather, and beautiful beaches of sparkling white sand surrounded by crystalline turquoise waters, has long been known as a paradise. And what’s a paradise defined to be? A place of perfection, absolute joy and delight. And yet, if all of that can be shared, communicated and made even more accessible, then the power of digital connections in such a magical world would make it even more perfect.

What’s better than a paradise on earth? A smart paradise on earth.