The synchronicity at the heart of Rogers’ Mauritian DNA is borne of the link between the country’s evolution and the changes that have shaped the Group. Proud of its diverse heritage, and inspired by the challenges at play in Mauritius, for more than a century, Rogers has responded to change with vision, purpose, and resilience.
As the Group looks to the future with optimism and resolve, we turn the spotlight on some of the historical milestones, illustrating how Meaningful Change is deeply rooted in the Rogers way.
Rogers aviation takes flight…
It is largely thanks to the enterprising Maingard brothers – Sir René and Amédée, directors of Rogers from pre-independent Mauritius to the early eighties – that the aviation sector in Mauritius was so successfully propelled on its course. Their wartime experience – René as a pilot in the Royal Air Force, and Amédée as a secret agent in the Special Operations Executive in France – had provided a number of contacts in international aviation circles. These proved particularly useful as they each assumed significant roles in Rogers & Co Ltd, after the Second World War. Global recovery during the post-war period saw the sector burgeon internationally; travellers were discovering the skies, and soon airlines were refuelling in Mauritius. Quickly recognising the importance of connecting the island to the rest of the world, the brothers secured important airline representation contracts at the airport for Rogers, heralding the debut of longhaul travelling between the North and the South of the globe.
The seeds were sown for the creation of Rogers Aviation; enhancing the airport’s capacity with handling services was the next step, and the young company’s strategic position was secured. In 1967, the launch of the country’s national carrier, Air Mauritius, in collaboration with the government and Air France, saw this sector quite literally take flight.
Today, Rogers Aviation is a leading provider of an integrated range of aviation and travel services, representing 13 airline companies in 7 territories of the Indian Ocean and Southern Africa.
And Rogers Hospitality gears up…
The strong link between the fledgling aviation sector and Mauritius’ tourism potential inspired Amédée’s next move. Preparations were advancing for Qantas’ connecting flight between Perth and Johannesburg, via Mauritius; layover facilities were needed… and the ‘Park Hotel’ in Curepipe opened its doors in 1952, under his watch.
Today, Rogers Hospitality curates the very best of Mauritius, creating memorable experiences for thousands of visitors who grace the island’s shores annually.
Finding growth, beyond the comfort zone
Shipping and trading in its blood and a pioneering spirit at its heart. From its inception in 1964 as Rogers Logistics, freight forwarding arm of the Rogers Group, Velogic has steadily evolved into the leading integrated logistics platform it is today.
Rapid industrialisation of Mauritius in the early 1970s, and Port Louis’ potential as a nerve centre for regional trade and industry, resulted in much needed expansion and modernisation of the port facilities. These were completed by the 80s and Rogers Logistics added services including customs clearance, warehousing, and container services to its repertoire. But further improvement was urgently required for the port to become a fully-fledged regional maritime hub. With valuable skill sets and capabilities in its fold, the Velogic team sought, and discovered, opportunities further afield and abroad. Velogic now has a global logistics reach spanning France, Reunion Island, Singapore, Madagascar, India, and Kenya. Domestic transport, courier services, sugar packaging, and stevedoring are integral to local operations.
Mauritius’ development has increasingly relied on the efficient, safe passage of goods onto and around the island. With sophisticated supply chain management and logistic systems underpinning their operations, today Velogic plays a pivotal role in the movement of everything from construction materials to pharmaceutical goods. Stepping up to the mark during the recent pandemic, the company took the initiative in sourcing and facilitating the supply of vaccines and other critical medical goods for the country.
Keeping pace with changes on the island, but also responding to its needs in difficult times, are at the heart of its continued growth and success.
Breaking new technological ground
Global business landscapes have been transformed beyond recognition in the last 40 years. ‘Digital’ is the name of the game, and constant connectivity defines the rulebook, demanding faster, more cost-efficient ways of working and communicating. Helping commerce and industry make sense of the challenges of fast-paced change has always been what Rogers Capital is about. Integrated products and services for the financial, corporate, and technological sectors are their tools.
Business relies on high-speed internet and data networks to function effectively, and until recently, megabits per second did the job. But the dawn of the ‘super’ digital age is the game-changer; gigabits are now the currency of ultra-fast internet connectivity, deployed through cutting edge, fibre optical technology.
Significantly impacting the reliability and speed of digital communication, the value in fibre optics for Mauritian businesses positioning themselves internationally, is immense. Quick to recognise this, Rogers Capital Technology Services is at the forefront of implementing fibre optical networks in Port Louis and Ébène, becoming a key telecommunications provider for the island.
Rogers Capital - still making sense of change, still finding meaning in it.
Creating opportunities - adding value, meaningfully…
Lifestyle destinations in and of themselves, shopping malls reflect contemporary society’s changing retail habits, having evolved to conveniently meet the needs of time-strapped modern day shoppers. But there’s so much more to the malls of the 21st century! Ascencia has recognised, crucially, that these spaces bring people together, creating opportunities for connection. Their malls are thoughtfully filled with an energy and a vibrancy that foster engagement and shared experiences.
And there’s an added dimension to this thoughtfulness, in the opportunities Ascencia provides to local entrepreneurs to showcase their products and talents, within the malls. The typical mall footfall is a valuable source of potential business for these small and medium sized enterprises – one they would otherwise not be able to easily access.
The first listed property fund in Mauritius, boasting a portfolio of assets which includes the largest of the country’s shopping malls at Bagatelle, is impressive enough. But adding core value to the lives of those who move to and from, in and around, these places?
That’s using change meaningfully. That’s adding value.
Ascencia’s partnership with Metro Express Limited in bringing the metro to their Phoenix Mall, paves the way for the first fully integrated, transitoriented development in Mauritius. Replicating the atmosphere of train stations in major international cities, with a retail ‘metro’ offering, the ‘Phoenix Mall Station’ is proving an inspired investment for Ascencia. But, as importantly, this collaboration is fundamentally an investment in Mauritian infrastructure. This supports the country’s economic interests, promotes greener mobility for its citizens and will ultimately enhance the quality of life of wider communities for many years to come.
That’s sustainability, front and centre.
Making Meaningful Change
For decades global issues, including climate change, biodiversity loss and social inequality have been demanding attention. And decades ago, long before social and corporate responsibility became a trend, Rogers paid attention. The group understood the urgency of these issues, accepted their responsibility – and started making changes.
For Rogers, social development and sustainability have always been a value. Through fundamental commitments and initiatives in key sectors, they demonstrate how it is now also a way of doing business and an economic opportunity.
Sustainability can create tangible results that benefit business, the communities they serve, and the planet we all inhabit.
Tackling a taboo head-on: a defining collaboration
Rogers was one of the first companies in Mauritius to recognise that to manage and mitigate the effects of global challenges, sustainability had to be prioritised. And they demonstrated this commitment by:
Including it on their corporate business agendas
Making it a clear strategic goal
Forming a Board committee to specifically address ‘Sustainability & Inclusiveness’ matters
“Now, for tomorrow”… making sustainability, sustainable
A certain 20th-century influential statesman (and a superhero)* once said: “Where there is great power, there is great responsibility.”
* Sir Winston Churchill and Spider-Man, respectively
Tourism is a defining thread in Mauritius’ economic fabric, but the economic success of tourism cannot be at the expense of local communities and environments. Responsibility for implementing sustainable practices lies with the major players in the sector, for the benefit of all.
Rogers Hospitality accepts full responsibility for its impact on the sector, and the “Now For Tomorrow” initiative is a clear commitment to prioritising and developing ecotourism, i.e. responsible travelling, in Mauritius. Launched in 2021 by the hotel and leisure arm of the Rogers Group, this inclusive development programme demands that hospitality acts differently. This is the pioneering spirit that sees the five pillars of sustainability – energy transition, a circular economy, biodiversity protection, vibrant communities, and inclusive development – now firmly at the heart of operations across Rogers Hospitality’s brands. And it is this spirit that has inspired the country’s first and only carbon-neutral hotel stays, within their Heritage Resorts. That’s because responsible travellers now expect this, but also because offsetting carbon emissions is key in the island’s endeavours to protect its fragile biodiversity, and in achieving sustainability.
Ingenious projects are paving the path to sustainability, including:
- the construction of a photovoltaic farm and the reforestation of unused land, and
- the group’s commitments to source 100% of the fresh produce, seafood, meat and poultry served across its facilities and establishments, from Mauritian farmers and producers (or regional partners in the Indian Ocean).
Bel Ombre - where words transform into action
- where people and nature thrive,
- where solutions for minimising environmental impacts are sought from nature, and
- where regenerative agriculture is based on interconnected ecosystems.