Innovative solutions have become vital, with global youth unemployment rates at record highs. African youth are the most adversely affected by joblessness. A trend has emerged for young people to start their businesses with passionate ideas and vision. This article lists the top 9 young business leaders in Mauritius.
Roomila Roothoorodoo is the founder of Focus Events, a photography and videography business in Mauritius. Since its inception in 2009, Focus has provided services to individuals and companies. They provide basic event coverage like weddings and large-scale coverage. Their video services offer editing and montage services (like reel and mini video creations). They produce all kinds of video content ready for the net, cinemas and tv. Focus has expanded into drone services, graphic designing, voice-overs and documentary filmmaking. On what inspired her to conceptualise Focus, Roothoorodoo said that she joined a course in Digital Photography after school. She shadowed a press conference and became enamoured with the work of the journalists working together that day. She believes in empowering young girls to study photography in Mauritius, to challenge the gender norm of it being a male-dominated field.
2. Aisha Allee
Aisha Allee is the founder of Blast Communications, one of Mauritius’s top communication firms. Allee considered studying law and then ended up working as a flight attendant. She went back to school and studied marketing specialising in business communication. In a few years, she set up Blast and became the President and CEO of The Jupiter Drawing Room (Mauritius). Her master’s degree in communication fuelled her passion even more. Her work spans campaigns that integrate advertising, press relations and digital. Blast has won three SABER (Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation Excellence) Awards, recognising Africa’s most creative communication campaign. Allee believes in humility, respect for ethics, and customers.
3. David Lam Chiou Yee
Chef David Lam Chiou Yee was the first runner-up JCI Mauritius Creative Young Entrepreneur Award 2021. The 34-year-old young entrepreneur chef heads up Gourmet Avenue. There he offers a new culinary experience to his customers. One of his passions is training young professionals with a passion for food. He also advocates for food sustainability.
4. Diane Nuteau
Diane Nuteau is the founder of The Creative Brainstorming, operational in communications, business coaching, and training. Nuteau has a background in Internet development in Africa, public relations and advertising. Additionally, she has lectured at the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce Business School. She is the 2018 winner of the JCI Mauritius Creative Young Entrepreneur Award.
5. Chetan Ramchurn
Chetan Ramchurn is the founder of Mazarin Artistry. His company specialises in strategy and design, including branding, advertising, corporate id creation, and photography. Ramchurn is also a popular political commentator in Mauritius.
YUVA, Africa’s largest youth-led NGO, offers a Certificate Programme in The Entrepreneurial Mindset. Through its YUVA Academy, participants understand entrepreneurial thought and various other skills as business leaders.
6. Jason Delorie
Jason Delorie is a co-founder of TutorMe. The educational company brings ease, trust, and transparency to the tutoring. It facilitates the search, evaluation, and booking of tried and tested tutors. TutorMe fast tracks online learning and facilitates a community of tutors to continue providing private tuition from their homes’ safety. TutorMe integrates Google Classroom into its operations and provides tutors with the training needed to work effectively. Delorie said they would continue to grow and support their network to ensure that access to education for all remains a priority.
7. Lalita Purbhoo-Junggee
Lalita Purbhoo-Junggee launched Design & Print Co LTD in 2011. The business model was to power large format digital printing in Mauritius like outdoor advertising: billboards and banners. Purbhoo-Junggee realised they were generating lots of solid waste in a complete shift. She came up with a new concept for her company and started collecting waste. Four years later, she upcycled the waste into a bag called Sakili. Her business evolved so much that by 2019 she had produced the first natural biodegradable sanitary pad in Mauritius. The Recycle Moi brand is 100% natural, made of corn and bamboo fibres. She has since won the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneur Award in 2019 for her achievement in bringing sustainable and affordable solutions. She creates jobs for women and hopes to expand production by introducing more biodegradable products in the personal hygiene sector.
8. Neelesh Kumar Bundhoo
Neelesh Kumar Bundhoo was inspired by safety to start his company, Audacity. He introduced personal alarms in Mauritius at affordable prices, and his ultimate goal has been for all Mauritians to feel safe in the country’s streets. The device carries easily and activates a loud alarm around 200 metres. He encourages Mauritian youth to venture into entrepreneurship and contribute to the economy where they can.
9. Melissa and Karuna Veerapen
Melissa and Karuna Veerapen are sisters who launched their clothing brand Kotpiale in 2015. The sisters grew up in a home that encouraged creative expression. Growing up, they loved creating new things, and both loved to craft their clothes. Melissa has a degree in Creative Advertising and a Masters in Multimedia Design. Karuna has a degree in Textile Technology and a Master’s in Marketing Management. They combined their talents to create something with a Mauritian touch. Their best-selling clothing items consist of dialogues typical to the Mauritian culture and language. Their advice to youth and women is never to abandon their dream and be original.
YUVA Intern Ling Sheperd is a writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is passionate about social justice and equity.