Sir Walter Rogers
Focus on the key moments and personalities that have shaped the history of the Rogers Group - and that of Mauritius - in a lasting way.
1 Although Rogers was founded in 1899, its history dates back to 1876, when Sir Walter Rogers bought a majority share in Alexander Duff & Co. (later F. Laroque & Co.), which he co-managed from Madagascar. Returning to Mauritius in 1897, he bought out the remaining shares in the company and founded Rogers & Co. in 1899, in a building opposite the Central Post Off ice in Port Louis. The company initially offered shipping services to merchants and traders, and later expanded into import-export. When Sir Walter died ten years later, his grandnephew, Eddy Rogers, Eddy’s wife, and Sir Walter’s partner in the company (Louis Goupille), inherited the company and continued to manage it.
2 The Maingard brothers: a new boom
Despite the difficulties of the period, the Group survived the two World Wars and welcomed new members: Amédée Maingard and his brother René (known as ‘Colo’) joined Rogers & Co., then managed by their father, at the end of the Second World War. Drawing on their experience and contacts abroad – both men served in the British Army – the Maingard brothers brought new ideas for diversification to the Group, particularly in logistics, aviation and tourism. After securing contracts to represent Air France as early as 1945, the group landed many other contracts with other airlines. Amédée Maingard was also behind the first hotel on the island – the Park Hotel, in Curepipe, opened in 1952 – and the creation of Air Mauritius in 1967. When Mauritius became independent in 1968, the Group already had a diversified portfolio of activities.
Sir René Maingard (Left).
3 Growth and re-engineering under the Taylors
In the 1970s, Rogers merged with the Taylor Smith and Roger de Spéville companies and welcomed new shareholders from the sugar industry – the Espitalier-Noël and Weal Groups. With further investment secured, Rogers gained momentum and gradually became a conglomerate. Under the leadership of Derek Taylor (CEO from 1984 to 1999), the Group experienced substantial growth in the tourism and transport sectors and continued to expand its portfolio. Rogers invested in new activities, such as financial services and was listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius in 1990. In the early 2000s, the Group underwent a significant restructuring under the leadership of Tim Taylor, who was instrumental in repositioning Rogers and adding value by separating the Group’s activities into different clusters. In 2007, Tim Taylor handed the company over to the current CEO of Rogers: Philippe Espitalier-Noël.