South Africa and Mauritius
Course Pack November 2019
As a small island country located in the Mascarene archipelago of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is noted for its rich historical antecedent. Discovered and named “Ilha Do Cerne” (translated as “Island of the Swan”) by the Portuguese in 1507, the island was colonised by the Dutch (1598-1710), French (1710-1810) and the British (1810-1968). In 1815, the British renamed the island Mauritius, from Isle de France by the French. Mauritius had its independence from the British in 1968 and later became a republic on March 12, 1992. The country has a population of about 1.2 million (as of 2016) and uses Port Louis (named after King Louis XV) as its administrative city. For the past decades, the city has remained one of Africa’s leading financial centres and home to the largest port facility in the neighbourhood of the Indian Ocean. The economy of Port Louis is highly preoccupied by port facilities, the export-oriented manufacturing sector (which concentrates on pharmaceuticals, chemicals, textiles, sugar and plastics), the financial centre, and tourism. The manufacturing sector is largely owned by private investors, with the government providing incentives and institutional facilities for production and growth. The city serves as an ideal international destination for investors and tourists. The currency of the island is the Mauritian rupee (MUR). Like Canada, Cameroon, and others, Mauritius shares a common identity of being both a French- and English-speaking country, and hence a member of the La Francophonie and the Commonwealth of Nations.
The economy of South Africa is undoubtedly Africa’s most advanced and fairly coupled with the advanced global economy. In terms of size, the South African economy is second only to that of Nigeria on the African continent. Within the southern African sub-region, the economy of South Africa is a colossus and continues to champion the sub-regional integration agenda. The country’s financial system, which is home to one of the world’s elite Stock Exchanges, is well-developed with almost all the features of the financial systems found in advanced economies. In the areas of telecommunications and physical and energy-related infrastructure, the country is well-advanced in the metropolitan areas but has a considerable infrastructural deficit in the rural communities. Similarly, while the South African economy is among the most prosperous and promising on the African continent, the country continues to grapple with high-income inequality and relative poverty.
As global leaders, it is vital to understand the business and socio-economic cultures of various countries around the world. This course offers an on-field, unique learning experience that exposes students to these key issues:
- Review the history, social-cultural background, and political economy of Mauritius.
- Overview of the economic performance of Mauritius.
- South African corporate investments in Mauritius.
- The economic success and challenges of Mauritius.
- Degree of Mauritian interest in South Africa and the African continent.
- Influence of Mauritian investment in South Africa, and vice versa.
- The nature of global investment in Mauritius.
- The influence of Western and Chinese investments in Mauritius.
- Mauritian employees’ values and behaviours.
- Assess the risks and opportunities of doing business in Mauritius.
- The central role of politics when doing business in Mauritius.
- Private enterprise and the specific challenges facing start-ups in Mauritius.
- Special and evolving characteristics of Mauritian capital markets and related risks.
- The emergence of an increasingly powerful middle-class in Mauritius, and its impact on the Mauritian consumer market and corporate social responsibility.
This study tour exposes students to different economies and cultures in various destinations, as well as different organisations in South Africa (Johannesburg) and Mauritius, including business schools, government agencies, state-owned enterprises. and private corporations.
On completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Draw on contemporary knowledge about business practices in South Africa and Mauritius that will assist them to appraise the basics and standard protocol of interactions with the business environment in these countries.
- Critically assess the economies of South Africa and Mauritius to determine their strengths and weaknesses for doing business.
- Compare and contrast different cultures and the way of life in Johannesburg (South Africa) and Port Louis (Mauritius) relative to Africa as a whole.
- Evaluate and analyse business models of selected companies in Johannesburg (South Africa) and Port Louis (Mauritius).
Curriculum linked to the context in South Africa
The study tour draws on diverse experiences of South African companies in various markets. Here, the extensive use of company site visits highlights comparisons between the companies’ operations in South Africa and their operations in Mauritius.
Curriculum linked to the context in African and other dynamic emerging market economies
The overarching objective is to identify opportunities geared towards increasing the volume of trade in the sub-region and climaxing for sustainable growth on the African continent, especially in the midst of the US-China trade war, the Brexit Brouhaha, the US-Iran tension, with the resultant fluctuation in global commodity and asset prices. The focus is to map these global issues to the level of individual African countries and major firms in those countries, to enable students to begin to address these issues at a management level.
The visits to companies and institutions that form part of the study tour address the optimal overall resource allocation in economies and the role of this allocation in economic systems such as free markets and command economies, or mixtures of these, in Mauritius (Port Louis) and South Africa (Johannesburg).
The visits to companies and institutions provide students with insights into innovation and entrepreneurial action and (managed) risk-taking, thereby enabling them to make decisions at a management level.
By focussing on examples of not only successful but also unsuccessful business ventures in Africa and other emerging markets, the course enables students to acquire a better perspective on foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences of business decisions and actions.
Course assesment and assignments
Please note, all visits and events on the global study tour are MANDATORY. Please refer to the standing orders regarding the tours. As a student you should review the Learning Contract and ensure you are fully aware of the methods and implications of the assessment approach as mark allocations cannot be changed retrospectively. If you have any concerns about the assessment you should raise this with your tour leader at the start of the course.
The Importance of Preparation for the Study Tour
The above readings should be read before departure. Students should also research on the companies that will be visited. The scope of this course covers a wide range of topics, thus a variety of readings have been carefully selected to provide different perspectives. It is essential that students focus on these readings and embark on company research. Appended with the readings are the links for ease of access. However, should you encounter any problems with the links provided consult the WITS library e-journals catalogue or consult the WBS Librarian.
Teaching emphasis in the MBA Global Study Tour is experiential and involves on-site action learning. The tour itself would entail visits to one or more destinations to provide broader international learning exposure for the student. Students should keep a learning log on insights that they gain from each business or organisation that they visit, and these logs are used for debrief sessions during the tour as well as to compile a post-study tour assignment on what they have learnt.
The articles, readings and cases included in this course pack have been copyright approved.
Assessment: Exam Equivalent Assignment
Deadline: 29 November 2019
Results Return Date: 10 December 2019
Assessment: Amazing Race
Deadline: 29 November 2019
Results Return Date: 10 December 2019
Please note: Students are required to sign and attach the WBS Plagiarism Declaration to each assignment submitted
Pass Mark Requirements
In terms of the Standing Orders, to pass a course a student is required to achieve a final cumulative average of 50% for a pass mark, and a sub-minimum of 35% for the examination. In a case where an assignment is an exam equivalent, failure to submit on time will result in the student being ‘failed absent’, with the result that the student will be removed from the programme.
This assignment relates to the following MBA themes: Context in African and other dynamic emerging market economies, sustainability, and entrepreneurial action.
Purpose: Based on the above MBA core themes, students will be exposed to experiential and on-site learning, thus they will need to contextualise the selected country and company in line with strategic management decisions.
Requirement: Choose ONE of the following assignments.
- Provide a PEST ANALYSIS of a South African company entering into Mauritius.
2. Discuss your “take-home learnings” from the trip:
- Discuss what you learnt from the Amazing Race; and what was new or different from what you had experienced before. Please include pictures to illustrate this.
- Discuss each business meeting: Give some background information about the company and the environment in which it operates. Please highlight at least 3 key learning points from each meeting.
- Discuss any other key learnings that you gained from going on this trip. (This can be anything you learnt either about yourself, the country or countries you visited, the people living there, your fellow travellers, or anything not covered in the two points above.)
- Your report must be 2 to 3 pages long (without references and appendices).
- Please submit a hard copy to Karen Trent at the International Relations Office with a plagiarism declaration by 29 November 2019.
- Use 1.5 line spacing and a 12-point font.
- Please ensure that you reference correctly, as per the WBS guidelines.
Penalty for late submission: For every calendar day, or part thereof, that your assignment is late, 10 % will be deducted from your marks.
Mark Allocation Criteria:
Application of theories developed and learnt throughout the MBA programme 30%
Integration of theories learnt and experience acquired during the study tour 30%
Research and use of relevant data to complement the assignment 30%
Presentation: Referencing, style, presentation, etc. 10%
The purpose of this assignment is for you to think quickly on your feet. It’s fun and interesting. You will be put into a syndicate group and will need to work as a team. This assignment requires you to think out of the box and familiarise yourself with the environment. As a suggestion, download maps, learn about the history of the country, all online attractions, and all modes of transport.
On completion of this exercise, each syndicate group must provide the following:
- A brief report on the successes, challenges and lessons learnt during the exercise (maximum 500 words).
- Pictures of the locations visited and anything of interest, relevant to the task.
- A short video summarising the core of the assignment. (Professional editing not required.)
- Receipts for the use of public transport and/or special facilities during the exercise.
Provide all the above, except for the receipts, on a memory stick.
- Chabane, N., Goldstein, A., Roberts, S., 2006. The changing face and strategies of big business in South Africa: more than a decade of political democracy. Industrial and Corporate Change, 15(3): 549-577.
- Frankel, J., 2014. Mauritius: an African success story. In African Successes, Volume IV: Sustainable Growth (pp. 295-342). University of Chicago Press.
- Meade, J.E., 2012. The Economic and Social Structure of Mauritius. Routledge.
- Sharma, P., 2011. Country of origin effects in developed and emerging markets: Exploring the contrasting roles of materialism and value consciousness. Journal of International Business Studies, 42(2): 285-306.
- Sobhee, S.K., 2009. The economic success of Mauritius: lessons and policy options for Africa. Journal of Economic Policy Reform, 12(1): 29-42. https://doi.org/10.1080/17487870902739186.
- Tandrayen-Ragoobur, V., Kasseeah, H., 2018. Mauritius’ Economic Success Uncovered. The Mauritian Paradox: Fifty years of Development, Diversity and Democracy, p.85.
- Tchamyou, V.S., (2017). The Role of Knowledge Economy in African Business. Journal of Knowledge Economy, 8, 1189-1228.
Additional Info and Contact Details
Don’t forget your documents and chargers. Obtain the relevant adaptor when travelling outside South Africa.
Bring Formal Wear (School ties and scarves will be provided) and Business Cards for Company Visits.
The following dress code applies:
- Conservative suits for men in subtle colours are the norm.
- Women should avoid wearing high heels and short-sleeved blouses.
- Both men and women should wear subtle, neutral colours.
- Casual dress should be conservative as well.
- Both men and women may wear jeans. However, jeans are not acceptable for business meetings.
Travel Tips: https://www.flightcentre.co.za/blog/travel-in-mauritius-a-guide-for-first-timers
EMERGENCY CONTACTS: TOUR LEADERS, HOTELS & SOUTH AFRICA EMBASSY
Victoria Beachcomber hotel & Spa
Coastal Road, Pointe Aux Piments 21304, Mauritius
Phone: +230 204 2000
South African Embassy,
Port Louis, Mauritius
4th Floor, British American Insurance Building,
25 Pope Hennessy Street, Port Louis
Dr. Diran Soumonni
Phone: +27 739665736
(Ass. Lead Academic)
Phone: +27 633886992
DR DIRAN SOUMONNI is a Senior Lecturer in Innovation Policy and Management, and Programme Director of the Master of Management in Innovation Studies at the Wits Business School. He obtained his PhD in Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, where he focussed on both innovation studies and energy policy.
Diran Soumonni’s teaching interests include subject matter on creativity and innovation, techno-preneurship, the strategic management of innovation, and philosophical paradigms in scientific research. His primary research interest lies in the area of innovation for sustainability from both a systemic and a firm-level perspective.
Some of his previous publications span subject matter on electricity policy, biofuels policy, nanotechnology policy, and innovation policy and management. Prior to embarking on his doctoral studies, he worked as a materials engineer in the area of research commercialisation of display and energy-efficient lighting technologies.
In that capacity, he was part of a team that expanded the business opportunities of a new technology-based firm (NTBF), which was dependent on an enabling ecosystem for its survival and growth, while simultaneously working closely with large LED and display corporations such as Samsung (South Korea), Sumitomo (Japan), and Nichia (Japan), among others, to help solve specific technological challenges along the innovation value chain.
Diran holds a master’s degree in materials science and engineering (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA) and undergraduate degrees in Physics and Mathematics (Tuskegee University, USA). He is an active member of the Global Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (GLOBELICS) and of the Society for the Social Studies of Science (4S). He serves on the scientific board of the African Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation and Competence Building Systems (AFRICALICS), and is also a Steering Committee Member of the International Network on Appropriate Technology (INAT).
Mr Maurice Omane-Adjepong is currently a full-time second-year doctoral research candidate at the Graduate School for Business Administration, University of the Witwatersrand. Before joining Wits University, he was a full-time lecturer at the Department of Economics and Statistics of Garden City University, Kumasi, Ghana.
He also tutored professional courses (quantitative techniques, optimisation techniques, etc.) as a part-time lecturer at Career Spring Institute, Kumasi, Ghana. Maurice obtained his Master of Philosophy in Applied Mathematics (with distinction) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He is a member of the International Association of Official Statisticians, the Nederland Association of Statistics and Operational Research, and the South African Statistical Association.
His main research interest is on volatility modelling, market integration and forecasting, and the application of statistics in development economics and finance. As a young practising academic, Maurice has to his credentials several publications in ABS and ISI-rated journals such as the South African Journal of Economics, Applied Economics Letters, Research in Business International and Finance, and Physica A (Statistical Mechanics and its Applications). He is currently working on a number of research topics including fractality and the covariation of sub-Saharan African (SSA) and global markets dynamic behaviours.
His PhD thesis dives into assets and commodity markets of BRICS and extension to emerging economies in the G20 setup. During his few years of academic practice, Maurice has garnered some levels of experience from senior academics and students of different social and geographical backgrounds. He is modest, conservative and shares a Pan-Africanist ideology.
Company visits, Hotels and activities
1. Omnicane Group
Omnicane, born of the centuries-old Mauritian sugar industry, is now a leading modern group. A public company listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, its primary activities comprise sugarcane cultivation; production of refined sugar, bio-ethanol, thermal energy, and electricity.
An initiative of Omnicane Group, Mon Trésor is a real estate development conceived in collaboration with the European Investment Bank, urban planners and architects of international repute and under the aegis of the regulatory framework governing
2. Eclosia Group
From a start-up to a consolidated group: the path of a non-conformist company 50 years ago, Eclosia was born of the dream of Michel de Spéville. Passionate about nature and farming, his vision has always been to reduce Mauritius’ dependence on foreign products and contribute to making it a self-sufficient country.
With a skilled and tight-knit team at his side, and following the principle of uncompromising quality, the company evolved in a few decades from a start-up into a respected, diversified, and robust group in the Mauritian economic landscape.
A pioneer in the Mauritian dairy industry since 1976, Maurilait produces a wide selection of quality products (yoghurts, sterilized milk, and ice creams) up to the standards of established international franchises such as Yoplait, Candia, and Miko. The company benefits from a state-of-the-art factory and machinery as well as its own analysis laboratory. Innovation is at the heart of the development of the company.
In 2014, the company diversified its offerings and launched “J”, its own brand of fruit juices. The company’s certifications by the AFNOR for its integrated management, and by Campden BRI for food safety standards, exemplifies its commitment to quality at all levels.
4. RT Knits
RT Knits is the result of the fusion between Richfield Textile and Tang Knitwear. With origins dating back to 1970, it has pioneered the Mauritian Export Processing Sector and along with a strong heritage of trust, the company has been a major player in the textile industry since its establishment.
Today, RT Knits is among the leading textile companies in Mauritius, with aims such as: sustainable development practices, innovation and the shift towards being a leader in the fashion industry.
5. MCB Ltd
MCB Ltd, a subsidiary and the mainstay of MCB Group Ltd, is the longest-standing and leading banking institution in Mauritius while displaying an increasingly prominent foothold in the region. Backed by its sound business model, modern channel capabilities and high-quality customer service, the Bank has, throughout its history, been true to its guiding principle of assisting in the advancement of individuals, corporates and the country at large, thus playing a key role in the socio-economic development of Mauritius. The Bank embraces an innovative culture, with significant progress made in upgrading its IT platform and developing its digital footprint.
6. Turbine Business Incubator
Turbine is a co-working space and a start-up incubator in Mauritius. Launched by ENL Group in 2015, Turbine acts as a catalyst for entrepreneurs helping them convert their ideas into successful and sustainable businesses. Turbine is a national accredited incubator by the Mauritius Research Council (MRC).
Victoria Beach Comber
Delegates are treated to a full-day private Catamaran Cruise with assorted refreshments and enough fun on a historic Mauritian Island. Come along with your swimwear and any beach-related games!
Legal Declaration of Indemnity, Undertaking and Consent
- The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (hereafter referred to as ‘the University’) has insured itself for its liability arising from the acts and omissions of persons acting on its behalf, and that its registered students, staff and individuals who are subject to the University’s rules, regulations, policies, procedures and standing orders as amended from time to time are insured during the course and scope of their registered courses and/or within the scope of University’s business. This is subject to the proviso that the University’s maximum liability will be limited, whether for a single or multiple events, to the extent that is covered thereof;
- When the University arranges for me to travel to locations which are outside of the University’s precincts, and when traveling in vehicles which do not belong to the University’s and/or are not driven by University staff, I will enjoy only such cover as referred to in Section 1 above, provided that I depart and travel from the University’s precincts and return to it from an excursion arranged by the University, on a route agreed upon in advance by the University;
- In cases where no fault can be attributed to the University, I hereby indemnify, absolve and hold harmless the University, its officials, employees, students and invitees in respect of any damage the property, death or bodily injury to/of myself and/or third parties, whether on/off the University precincts, or whilst engaged in any related activity to the University abroad; and
- I understand that I attend and participate in the WBS Global Study Tour in various designated countries around the world during specified periods in 2019 at my own risk where the event falls outside the cover provided to or by the University.
- I acknowledge that I have read and understood the contents of this indemnity in every respect.
This document is applicable to all modes of delivery of the Global Study Tour from 2017 onward.
All assignments, including the attendance of the Amazing Race and all scheduled visits to businesses, other organisations, and cultural activities, is compulsory.
Failure to comply with this policy will result in an automatic failure of this course. A record of attendance at each prescribed tour activity will be kept by the Tour Leader and will be submitted to the International Office as a formal record for student assessment. Should a student fail (including as a result of non-attendance and failure to participate), the tour will have to be repeated.
A candidate who has not completed all the requirements for this tour by the end of the minimum period of study and who is permitted in terms of Senate Standing Orders to continue will be required to register again for this tour at the beginning of the following academic year and pay the relevant fee.
Registration for the Global Study Tour
A candidate is required to register and pay in advance for the Study Tour in order to be admitted to complete the course.
If a candidate wishes to amend his/her selection of destination, a prescribed period of time will be permitted as indicated by the Global Study Tour Coordinator. However, no changes to the selection of destination will be entertained once confirmed.
Applications from international exchange and immersion students are welcome. All international students need to conform with the University’s requirements and the South African legislation that pertains to such students.
Credits towards MBA or MM to other degrees
Students may be granted credits for this tour at international partner schools however please note that the granting of credits is based on the credit weighting exchange between the WBS MBA and other international programmes.
The pass mark for this course
In order to pass the study tour, a student must obtain a minimum of 50% as a final mark subject to the subminimum rule.
Students must register for the Global Business Study Tour (BUSA 7442A) in order to pay the travel component cost for the study tour. Students will be advised as to the Rand value that has to be paid for the study tour of their choice. The deadline for the choice of study tour and payments will be communicated to students by the School’s International Office. Failure to pay the full fee for the Global Study Tour in advance or failure to attend the tour for whatever reason will still hold the student liable for the full amount as indicated for the selected tour package. Please note that fees may not involve the same costing as certain travel destinations are cheaper than others. Also, note that whenever indicated students will be responsible for their own transport and cost of meals and incidentals on each tour. Tour leaders do not carry additional funds to allow for students who do not make personal provision for their own expenses.
Allocation of Marks
The mark composition for each assignment will comprise a combination of marks awarded for assignment projects and fieldwork, both individual and syndicate work. The mark allocation for the course is detailed in the course pack.
Syndicates may apply to have non-performing members excluded from the syndicate mark for their assignment, or have a portion of the total mark allocated to the non-performing student.
Publication of Final Course Results
The results of the global study tour will be published by the Faculty Office as soon as possible, normally within four weeks from assignment submission.
Disputes and Grievances
Any disputes or grievances that arise as a result of the application of, or failure to apply, the provisions of these Standing Orders should be managed within the Faculty’s existing appeals and grievance procedure. Problems should always be resolved as close to the source as possible. The grievance procedure policy and applicable forms are available from the Faculty Office.
Code of Conduct
All students will abide by the daily dress code as indicated by the Tour Leader depending on the daily schedule of events and places visited.
Students are also advised that whilst they are encouraged to enjoy the tour, they are reminded that they are participating in a Wits Study Tour programme and are not traveling for their own leisure purposes. As such, the prime focus is on teaching and learning and at all times students will need to participate in all prescribed activities and field visits.
Students are advised to heed the guidance and instruction of the designated Tour Leader on each trip. In addition, students are advised to serve as professional ambassadors of Wits University and the Wits Business School at all times whilst on tour. Students are also advised to download a copy of the Wits Student Code of Conduct to familiarise themselves with the policy.
During visits, students are to ensure that all mobile phones are switched off.
Students are to be punctual for all visits, failure to attend a visit without a valid reason will render your attendance as incomplete.
Failure to adhere to the above could result in a disciplinary action being lodged against the student.
Recording of Global Study Tour Activities
Business visit sessions may only be recorded (by audio, images or video) with the express written permission of that organisation. Students will be required to agree in writing that:
- recordings will only be used for purposes of their own private study and revision;
- recordings will not be copied, shared, communicated, published or distributed in any format whatsoever and using any medium whatsoever, unless requested to do so by the lecturer;
- unedited copies recordings will be provided to the lecturer if requested to do so; and
- Copyright of all recordings remains the property of the University.
It is noted that infringement of any of these conditions may result in disciplinary action being taken against the student.