Barely a day after innovation minister from faraway Mauritius challenged Estonian enterprises to come let's take African IT market together, the first firm decides to place its regional headquarters on the tiny island.
In Tallinn this week, via Postimees the Etienne Sinatambou proposed that the local businessmen use Mauritius as starting platform for entering tech competition on African continent.
«I am sure Estonia and Mauritius might be excellent partners to enter the African IT-market. Mauritius has lots of advantages to offer to Estonian IT-firms. For one, we are member of lots of African economic blocks, and doing business with them we are exempt from excessive taxation – this is free trade. What are you waiting for?!» said the minister.
Not to deaf ears.
That very day, using contact dada obtained from Postimees, business software maker Erply contacted the minister directly. What followed was a three hour meeting in Old Town, Tallinn and cooperation was on.
«In September we will go over and visit and present how local enterprises can go to the next level by applying new technology,» Erply business development manager Sander Sebastian Agur told Postimees.
What’s more, after the meeting Erply decided to establish its African headquarters on Mauritius, and, teaming up with local partners, will via that build its business all over the continent.
«Firstly, we will help small and medium-sized enterprises of Mauritius to adopt contemporary mobile software and will directly and indirectly create jobs on the island. The goal is, in cooperation with the government to help these enterprises to grow, by giving them the tools to manage their businesses and to prepare the soil for independent young entrepreneurs to emerge who do not hope in state support but in their own initiative,» explained Mr Agur.
In his estimation, Mauritius has an excellent business environment, contemporary-thinking leaders and political stability: «We will help with Western principles and try to show the locals that in everyone there’s the potential to make an input in the development of their nation.»
Erply is creating web-based business software, primarily for retail and wholesale companies. Headquartered in New York, it has branches in the UK, Mexico, Australia, Greece, Copenhagen, Estonia and Poland. Its clients in Estonia include ON/OFF, BonBon Lingerie and BMW, on global scene Elizabeth Arden, UNICEF, Walt Disney, The Athletes Foot and The East India Company.
«Under the leadership of minister Mr Sinatambou, Mauritius has obtained excellent Internet connection allowing us to launch pilot projects this very year. Provided we manage to make Mauritius a success story, it might infect other less developed African nations and, thereby, Erply will make a small contribution in regional development,» added Sander Sebastian Agur.
Mauritius lies in Indian Ocean, 900 kilometres East of Madagascar. The country additionally features isles of Rodrigues, Cargados Carajos, and Agalega.
Mauritius has 1.2 million living on less than 2,000 square kilometres. Known as a world class tourism spot, last year Mauritius was voted the best honeymoon resort of the world.