From 18 March 2020, Mauritius is under confinement. The much dreaded scenario finally reached our shores. My last blog was posted four days before the confinement was initiated by the government. From then, one can guess, so many things happened. I kept observing the situation, and in a view to bring my contribution, opened a Covid-19 in Mauritius Facebook where every Creole & French spoken content is translated in English for my English-speaking friends.
On the island, French & Creole are most commonly spoken and also adopted by officers / Ministers when addressing a larger public
As anticipated, the rumors and fake news started to flood media, mostly social media. Someone rightly said that the social media is a platform where any fool believes he is a genius. Well, Mauritius being no exception, the usual panic started to show itself : in supermarket (panic buying), petrol stations (panic refueling), toilet paper / sanitizer and masks (panic panic!)… the usual stuff we saw on TV going on in other countries. Even if we were not accustomed to certain products, because it was subject to panic buying (again, as seen on TV), many created their own artificial rush and naturally shortage & scarcity followed. This Walking Dead kind of scenario lasted around a couple weeks. And then the commercial revolution took place; the ‘cyber-island people’ finally resorted to e-commerce !
It required a disaster (if I may call it) for us to finally adopt what we were pretending to be for years. a CYBER-ISLAND !
Suddenly all the stakeholders started to trust the system & worked towards its implementation; business owners, delivery people and the market. Banks were no longer that skeptical, authorities accepted this idea of business … the market understood that it could be interesting to stay at home, pay online and get delivered what you want. All understood that there was another way of doing business. Suddenly and after years that entrepreneurs desperately tried to ignite e-commerce on the island Work-at-home took shape… finally, CYBER-ISLAND we see you.
Let’s note that Mauritius is ZERO Covid-19 infected. We are now on the 20th day with ZERO infection, at the time this article is being written. We had 332 infections, unfortunately 10 deaths but 322 recovered.
Talking about the Cyber-island, it’s more of a wild revolution in the business world theese days. Some headless chickens running here and there. Everyday a new expert in e-commerce takes birth. The island is today infested (sorry for the word, but I don’t have any equivalent replacement) with all sort of e-commerce specialists; selling website, market-places, super-efficient e-commerce boosting tools and what not. Suddenly there are many experts claiming experience (and success stories) in a NEW industry. So be it. Contract car companies, fleet managers and tour operators, among others, are transforming themselves into delivery agents. Why not, this is an opportunity not be missed. But like every new industry, many will auto-eliminate themselves.
But let’s stick to the positives, e-commerce is here !
A wink at those looking forward to work, retire or invest in Mauritius: the doors to the island are still closed. It will remain so until and unless we are comfortable that the pandemic is contained on the international front. You can plan your relocation in its concept and take advice but there’s no guarantee that the rules will be the same. In fact, we anticipate that the Government will come with new measures to further encourage foreign direct investment. Remember, we have no natural resources and tourism is in a coma. So we will definitely need new ways to bring in investment, create jobs and relive the market. As usual, updates in this area will be documented, interpreted and explained here. So stay tuned. Click on follow to get instant notifications of our posts in the future.
Final word; Covid-19 reminded all mankind that we have a ‘thinking’ faculty. The survival mode has triggered more brain activity than ever witnessed before. We don’t know how long this virus will be around but for me personally, the much awaited change in mentality is happening. Now, we come to realize our vulnerability; we are no longer this invincible race born with a right to abuse our Planet.
I wish you all well. Stay safe !