Vincent Florens, conservation biologist.
Over the decades, Mauritius has been cleared of 98% of its primeval forest. Excessive deforestation, the overexploitation of resources and invasive species have caused the extinction of many endemic species that contributed to maintaining the balance of our biodiversity. Are we such poor performers? Can we still hope to return our natural habitats to their former glory? Conservation biologist and Professor of Ecology at the University of Mauritius, Vincent Florens speaks his mind.
At just 19, Nawaz flew to France to study Transportation Engineering and Logistics Management at the Lille University of Science and Technology. It was a very ambitious choice because, even though this sector was booming in Europe in the 80s, it was little known on Mauritian soil. When he returned seven years later, the situation was still the same. However, the young graduate soon found himself propelled to the position of hotel manager and later became a founding member of the Medisave Clinic in Quatre Bornes.
These initial professional experiences allowed him to refine his critical thinking abilities and develop a relationship with customers from all over the world. The lessons he gathered over his five years in the medical sector, such as humility and empathy, became a part of his philosophy. “I had some great moments, including births, but also deaths. It allowed me to understand that life hangs by a thread and that every action must contribute to improving the lives of others,” he theorises. For this reason, Nawaz is passionate about sowing seeds of happiness, going beyond Mauritian borders to carry out this mission.
In 2007, patience and determination guided this philanthropist to Velogic. He went from studying the development of the transport and logistics sector at 19, to finally joining a company which specialises in it. Shortly after proving himself in Madagascar as Deputy Country Manager, he climbed the ladder and joined the New Delhi branch in 2009, two years after its rocky beginnings. It took Velogic India eight years to build a solid reputation on the local and international scene, going from five to 75 employees and from two to six offices across the country. In 2017, they earned themselves Rogers’ Inspiring Beyond Award, which was shortly followed by rewarding Nawaz’s entrepreneurial qualities with a promotion to Managing Director in March 2018.