News on Sunday

Indian Ocean island Games 2019 : playing field for business

The D-Day for the most awaiting sport events is here. It is not only a memorable moment for sportspersons but also a lucrative business for traders of different sectors. From small traders to big ones, they are all earning additional revenue at this period of the year, where business is usually slow. Another interesting phenomenon is online business that has escalated new heights. 

Marketing expert, Dr Nirmal Kumar Betchoo, explains that this time around, since the beginning of March itself, the marketing for the Indian Ocean Island Games has kicked off. He believes that there is a unique enthusiasm among the Mauritians already and with the Games torch having circulated around the island, the buzz is now even more. “During these nine days, things will be very positive for various businesses in various sectors, ranging from small commerce to big ones. Places in the vicinity where the Games will be carried out will mostly benefit from it.” He further explains that big companies also will highly benefit. “Many private companies have sponsored this event and hence, this will have a positive impact on their image as well as their businesses.”  

Small traders: Mixed feelings 

On the roads, there are some merchants selling flags, key rings, stickers and caps across the country. They reveal that they are seizing this opportunity to make some extra money. They also add that Mauritians are showing some interest in this Games. Iqbal from Zia Collection in Flacq is commercializing special T-shirts. He avers that before the start of the Games, he has made a good sale. “Some models and sizes were sold fast. Currently, we do not have much left. People like to wear the special shirt. It is an additional earning for us at this time of the year.” 

However, Raj Appadu, President of the Common Market Front, argues that unlike the previous editions, this year, businesses are running slow. “I still remember in 2003, on every corner of the street, there was great enthusiasm among Mauritians and they would buy many things. This year, it is quite slow, as there is also the phenomenon of online sales.” 

JioiClothing : Special collection for all 

Clothing shops around the island have also geared up to welcome and celebrate the IOIG 2019. The shops have come up with various concepts: Shirts in the colours of the Mauritian flag, with the logo of the Games, with the mascot ‘Krouink’. At Citadel Clothing, a special T-Shirt collection to please children, teens and adults are on sale. Krish Chedumbrun Communication and Events Officer at Tamak Group explains that the T-Shirt collection has been designed especially for the celebration of the Games. “It is a way for us to welcome the Indian Ocean Island Games. We have been here for 35 years and it is thus important for us to support this unique event. Our mascot Dood is supporting the Mauritian athletes in the different disciplines on all our shirts.” T Shirts are also available at the Island Haze. The brand has also designed a special T Shirt collection in line with the JIOI 2019. The shirts available for both men and women. “The Indian Island Ocean Games is a very special event for our nation and we did not want to miss it. The T-Shirts will remain a souvenir for all”, explains Kimberley Bill Administrative Marketing Assistant at Exotic Group.

Online businesses: Flourishing  

This edition is being marked by online selling of special products. Several small businesses have grabbed this opportunity to sell different products with free delivery. For example, Rehana Asgarally, an online entrepreneur, is selling various products ranging from hats to umbrella online. She confides that she is so busy that she is unable to attend all the calls and customers. It is the first time that she is doing business on this kind of event and she is appreciating this fervor. “Ever since we have posted our products on social media, people all around the island are calling. They are showing a keen interest for all the products. As we are delivering all around the island, people are loving this service. So, it is a chance to grab for business purposes.” The product that she is selling the most are pillows and T-shirts. 

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Another online service Chic Et Choc is experiencing a boom on orders. Saoline Sautrelle explains that for the first time, she has seen much vehemence among Mauritians. “We are selling a range of products such as vuvuzela, T-shirts, spectacles, scarves, wigs and flags for cars. We are delivering at different places. People in office are taking big orders as well. Another surprise is that we have received orders from France and Germany also for the products.”  

Ala Cado, another online shop, is offering special mugs. The director reveals that they have chosen mugs as they know people will like a souvenir that they can use and there is no better than a mug. “They are three different models. We are also offering the chance to people who want to further personalize the mugs by adding their names.” 

Products  Price
T-Shirt  Rs 250-Rs 400
Key rings As from Rs 75
Umbrella Rs500
Mug Rs 125-Rs 400
Pillows Rs 250-Rs 350
Bottle of water As from Rs 300
Cap Rs300
Vuvuzela As from Rs 50
Bracelet Rs 25 and above
wig Rs 600 and above
scarf Rs150
Spectacle Rs100
Flag Rs 25-Rs 7000
Wristband  Rs 25-Rs 100
Garland As from Rs 50

Accommodation

The President of the Association of Hotels de Charme de l’île Maurice, Bissoon Mungroo explains that the Games is definitely beneficial for businesses around the island. “Mauritius being the host of the IOIG 2019 is, without any doubt, very beneficial for us at the business and economic level. There is not only a craze for the Games among Mauritians but also tourists who are visiting the island. Many are keen to be in the stadiums to assist the different matches. Some foreigners, namely those who live in the participating island, wish to travel to Mauritius to attend the Games but unfortunately the tickets are sold out. If we had more tickets and better communication on the details of the matches, we could have welcomed more tourists in the island.”

He trusts that the IOIG is lucrative mostly for businesses in the north of the island. “As the athletes are accommodated in a hotel in the north, this will definitely be a boost for businesses in that region whether it is food, activities, and others. Hotels are also overbooked in the north as those accompanying the delegations and sports enthusiasts prefer to stay there to be closer to the stadiums. It is however business as usual for the hotels and other businesses found in the east and west because the Games are taking place in other parts of the island. But in general we can say it is very positive for the tourism and hotel industry as we are currently in the low season.”

JIOIHe trusts that a village for the Games would have been more beneficial for businesses around the island. “If we had a village in the centre of the island, for example last time it was in the Ebene and Rose Hill region, businesses around the island would have benefitted. However it is certainly positive for the hotel group which is accommodating the athletes. I also trust that some days following the closing of the Games, the foreign athletes will visit the island and businesses will benefit. Moreover, I truly believe that the IOIG is a very good marketing strategy for our island.” 

Flag: Private sector investing massively 

During such an event, flags are the most unavoidable and the most wanted item. Mahen Sumputh of Solaflag recalls that this time, he has observed a unique interest among the private sector. “This year, the private sector has been investing massively in flags and scarves. There have been phenomenal demands. Some private sectors have ordered these products massively, which are to be distributed among their employees. It is an additional revenue for all businesses and a boost for local business as well.” 

Stamps on sale 

Post offices across the country will also be part of the sports festival as from Friday with the selling of stamps and envelopes with official logo and effigy of mascot. Stamps will be at Rs 7, Rs 21 and Rs 24. Souvenir sheets at Rs 52 and First Day Cover at Rs 150.


Côte d’Or multi-sports complex at the cost of Rs 4.7 billion 

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The multi-sports complex is an infrastructure that will serve as an iconic landmark in the Côte d’Or skyline and demonstrate Government’s objective of promoting sports and physical activities. Government is already working on a business model so that the sports complex can generate its own revenue and, in the long run, become a sports city.

The Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, made this statement, on Monday during the official inauguration ceremony of the Côte d’Or multi-sports complex in presence of Ministers, Members of Parliament, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of China in Mauritius, Gong Yufeng, and other personalities.

Prime Minister Jugnauth stated that this project, to the tune of Rs 4.7 billion, which has benefitted from financial assistance of Rs 1.8 billion from China and a loan of Rs 875 million from Saudi Arabia, has been completed in a relatively short time despite its magnitude and one of the priorities of Government, he added, remains the speedy implementation and completion of projects in the designated timeframes. He expressed his conviction that this multi-sports complex will soon be recognised as a pole of excellence in sports in the Indian Ocean and will help achieve the goals set out in the National Sports and Physical Activity Policy.

The Côte d’Or multi-sports complex, recalled the Prime Minister, comprises an Olympic stadium with a seating capacity of 15,000, a modern football pitch in compliance with FIFA standards, an athletics track with covered stands and a capacity of 3,600 spectators, an aquatic centre that can accommodate 1,500 people, a swimming pool to Olympic standards, and a multi-sports gym that can host disciplines such as basketball, volleyball, karate, taekwondo, judo and handball, among others. The complex, being a flagship for sporting achievement and training across the East-African and Indian Ocean region, will also be used as a hub for education and entertainment, thus having an impact on the socio-economic activities of the country, he added.

Mr Gong Yufeng, for his part, said that this project, which will promote and develop the sports sector in the country, is the collaboration between the Chinese and Mauritian Governments. He also reiterated China’s commitment in helping Mauritius in its social and economic development.


JIOIJewelry: Limited edition 

Ravior has come up with a special jewelry collection to mark the IOIG 2019. “We have a complete collection which comprises a Dodo in a bead version, designed for children and adults. We have a four-sided cubic silver bead that truly represents our country’s symbols, namely the Mauritius map and the Dodo. We also make, in limited edition, silver pins with Mauritian flag, silver charm with Mauritian flag and a Hope bracelet with the colours of the Mauritian flag,” explains Raksha Basanta Lala, Director of Ravior.

Why has Ravior decided to make these products? “To commemorate this special occasion. The pieces in our collection are perfect gifts for both kids and adults to always remember the IOIG 2019. For example, the Dodo, although extinct, has marked the memory of every Mauritian and it is a true symbol for our nation. This is why we have created and designed a small Dodo in a bead version for children, which is very comfortable to wear,” explains Raksha. The collection, she explains, has been designed by Ravi Jetshan, the award winning designer. “He always values and puts the Mauritian culture and history in the upfront. Not only at national but also at international level,” she states. The special IOIG collection can be bought in all Ravior jewelry shops.

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