Mauritius and South Africa
Course Pack March 2019

Overview

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 colonized 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 centers and home to the largest port facility in the neighborhood of the Indian Ocean. The economy of Port Louis is highly preoccupied by port facilities, export-oriented manufacturing sector (which concentrates on pharmaceuticals, chemicals, textiles, sugar and plastics), financial centre, and tourism. The manufacturing sector is largely owned by private investors, with government providing incentives and institutional facilities for production and growth. The city serves as ideal international destination for investors and tourists. The currency of the island is Mauritian rupee (MUR). Like Canada, Cameroun, and others, Mauritius shares common identity of being both French- and English-speaking country, hence a member of La Francophonie and Commonwealth of Nations.

 

As global leaders, it is vital to understand business and socio-economic culture of countries around the world. This course is on-field learning which will expose students to a unique experience covering the following key issues:

 

  • Review the history, social-cultural background, and political economy of Mauritius;
  • Overview of Mauritius’s economic performance;
  • South African corporate investments in Mauritius;
  • Mauritius economic success and challenges;
  • Degree of Mauritius interest in South Africa and the Africa continent;
  • Nature of global investment in Mauritius;
  • Local employees’ values and behaviours;
  • Assess the risks and opportunities of doing business in Mauritius;
  • The central role of politics in doing business in Mauritius;
  • Private enterprise and the specific challenges facing start-ups;
  • Special and evolving characteristics of Mauritius capital markets and related risks; and
  • The emergence of an increasingly powerful middle-class and its impact on the consumer market and corporate social responsibility.

This study tour will provide students with exposure to different economies and cultures in various destinations. It is designed to expose the student to different organisations in Mauritius including business schools, government agencies, state owned enterprises and private corporations.

 

At the end this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop contemporary knowledge about business practices in Mauritius which will assist them to appraise the basics and standard protocol of interactions with the business environment in these countries.
  • Critically assess the Mauritius economy and determine strengths and weaknesses for doing business.
  • Compare and contrast different cultures and the way of life in Mauritius as in relation to South Africa and Africa as a whole.
  • Evaluate and analyse business models of selected company examples in Mauritius.

Curriculum tied 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 shows comparisons between the company’s operations in Mauritius and Malaysia with South Africa.

 

Curriculum tied to Context in African and other Dynamic Emerging Market Economies
The overarching objective is to identify opportunities for growth of the African continent, especially in the midst of the US-China trade war and the associated drop in commodity and asset prices. The focus is to map these global issues to the level of individual African countries and major firms therein, thus enabling students to begin to address these issues at management level.

 

Sustainability
With the use of company and institution visits, the study tour addresses the optimality of overall resource allocation in economies and its role in economic systems such as free markets and command economies.

 

Entrepreneurial Action
The institution and company visits provide insight into innovation and entrepreneurial action and (managed) risk-taking, thus enabling students to make decisions at a management level.

 

Critical Engagement
By focusing on examples of successful and unsuccessful business ventures in Africa and emerging markets, the course enables the student to acquire a better perspective on foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences of action and business decisions.

 

This study tour underlies all other MBA courses as it contributes to the overall Masters qualification by providing a capstone integrated learning experience, whereby students can bring to bear their knowledge of the whole Masters programme. This knowledge will allow them to analyse a foreign economy and businesses in that economy. In addition, this course directly supports the core themes of the Masters in terms of critical engagement, context of South Africa and on issues of sustainability.

 

Decisions and methodologies which students are exposed to in their company visits and cultural in country interactions – from Strategy to HR to Operations to Marketing – are expressed as the underlying issues and learnings of this course.

Course assesment and assignments

Learning Contract

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 Methods

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.

 

Copyright Statement

The articles, readings and cases included in this course pack have been copyright approved.

There will be no conventional written examination.

The course assessments will be weighted as follows

  • 60% individual assignment
  • 40% on-field syndicate.

 

Please Note
A student is 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 accumulative average of 50% for a pass mark, and a sub-minimum of 35% in the examination. When an assignment is an exam equivalent, failure to submit on time will result in a student being ‘failed absent’, with the result that the student will be failed off the programme.

These assignments 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 students will need to contextualise the selected country and company in line with strategic management decisions.

 

Requirement
Choose ONE of the following assignments:

 

  1. Provide a PESTLE ANALYSIS of a South African company entering into Mauritius.

OR

  1. Provide a country risk profile for a company of your choice.

OR

  1. Formulate a Business plan for a South African idea that will be viable in Mauritius.

OR

  1. Discuss your “take home learnings” from the trip:
  • Discuss what you have learnt from the amazing race; what was new or different from what you have experienced before. Please include pictures to illustrate this.
  • Please discuss each business meeting: Give some background information about the company and the environment that it operates within. Please highlight your key learning points from each meeting (at least 3 per meeting).
  • Please discuss any other key learning points that you gained from going on this trip. (This can be anything you learnt either about yourself, the country, the people, your fellow travellers or anything not covered in the two points above.

 

Instructions

  • The presentation can be in any format you desire, be it PowerPoint, word or any other format you wish to use;
  • A minimum of 2000 words is required;
  • Please submit a hardcopy to Karen Trent in the International Relations Office (Outeniqua House) with plagiarism declaration by 13:00;
  • Use 1.5 line spacing and 12 point font (Times New Roman);
  • Please ensure that you reference correctly as per WBS guidelines.

 

Penalty for late submission
For every calendar day, or part thereof, that the assignment submission is late, 10% will be deducted from your mark.

Purpose
The purpose of this assignment is for you to think quickly on your feet. It is fun and interesting. You will be put in a syndicate group and will need to work as a team. The purpose of this assignment requires you to think out of the box and familiarise yourself with the environment. As a suggestion, download maps, know the history of the country, all online attractions and all modes of transport.

 

At the end of this exercise, each syndicate group must provide the following:

  • A brief report on the success, challenges and lessons learnt during the exercise (maximum 500 words).
  • Pictures of the locations visited and any other thing of interest relevant to the task.
  • A short video summarising the core of the assignment (professional editing not needed).
  • Provide receipts for the use of public transport and/or special facilities during the exercise.
  1. Provide all the above (except receipts on a memory stick).
  2. The tour leaders will provide details of the assignment.

 

Submission Deadline
To be determined by lead academic/tour leader.

 

Return Deadline
To be determined by lead academic/tour leader.

 

Mark allocation
40% (Criterion will be provided on the day of the field-based assignment/Amazing Race).

  • Meade, J.E., (2012). The Economic and Social Structure of MauritiusRoutledge.
  • 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.

Additional Info and COntact Details

Do not forget your travelling documents and electronic chargers. Obtain the relevant adaptor when travelling outside South Africa.

 

Kindly consult these online resources for a few tips

Weather
https://www.maurinet.com/about_mauritius/geography_climate

Travel Tips
https://www.flightcentre.co.za/blog/travel-in-mauritius-a-guide-for-first-timers

Maps
https://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/google_map_Port_Louis.htm

 

Dress Code

Kindly bring formal wear and business cards for company visits. The following dress code applies:

  • Conservative suits for men with subtle colors are the norm;
  • Women should avoid high heels and short-sleeved blouses;
  • Both men and women should wear subtle, neutral colors;
  • Casual dress should be conservative as well;
  • Men and women can wear jeans. However, jeans are not acceptable for business meetings.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS FOR THE TOUR LEADERS, HOTELS AND SOUTH AFRICAN EMBASSY

 
SOUTH AFRICAN HIGH COMMISSION, MAURITIUS
Address:

4th floor, British American Insurance Building, 25 Pope Hennessy Street, Port Louis

Phone:
212-6925/6/8/9

 
 
HOTEL
LE MERIDIEN ILE MAURICE
Address

Village Hall Lane, Pointe aux Biches, Mauritius

Phone:
+ 230 204 3333

 
LEAD ACADEMIC
DOCTOR GRANT SIEFF
Email:

grant@icgrowth.co.za

Phone:
+27 (0)83 442 7465

Doctor Grant Sieff
Strategy | Leadership | International Business

 

Grant is the CEO of IC Growth Group, and founder of the Centre for Consulting and Strategy.  He is also a Visiting Professor at Rhodes Business School and a part-time Senior Lecturer in Strategy and International Business at Wits Business School.  He has a background in strategy, leadership development and general management, and global experience in financial services, management consulting and corporate education.

Grant specialises in strategy development and delivery, change management and in performance and growth. He is particularly interested in strategic behaviour and organisational dynamics. He has worked in Australia as a vice president for Citibank, and as a partner for the Centre for Corporate Strategy, and in South Africa as a partner at Accenture. In 1999, he established Infochoice Growth, a research, education and consulting organisation. It now trades as IC Growth Group, specialising in consulting, strategy engagement and execution, and leadership development.

Grant teaches on executive programmes in strategy, management consulting and change management at business schools in South Africa and Europe. He and his team deliver strategy consulting and leadership development interventions across the African continent.

He holds degrees from the University of Cape Town (BA Economics and Psychology; BSc Honours Computer Science), and the University of Sydney (MA Psychology; MBA). He holds a PhD from the University of Johannesburg, with a research focus in strategic leadership.

Company visits 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.

 

3. Maurilait

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 socioeconomic development of Mauritius. The Bank embraces an innovative culture, with significant progress made in upgrading its IT platform and developing its digital footprint.

 

6. Natec Medical Ltd

Natec Medical Ltd is an integrated design, development and manufacturing company specialized in Percutaneous Interventional Medical Devices for the global market.

 

7. 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).

Student Commitments

Legal Declaration of Indemnity, Undertaking and Consent
  1. 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;
  2. 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 arrange by the University, on a route agreed upon in advance by the University;
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 

Assessment Policy
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 off 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 selection of destination will be entertained once confirmed.

International Applicants
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.

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.

Fees
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 field work, 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 remain 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.

NB: To be completed and returned to Karen.Trent@wits.ac.za before you leave.