Overview of the Digital industry in Mauritius 2023

The digital industry in Mauritius is multifaceted. The evolution of Information Communications Technology infrastructure, and evolving cybersecurity protocols are the substrate on which this industry grows. Marketing and advertising perspectives enable us to assess how digital phenomenon impacts human interactions and consumption habits. On the national level, the Mauritian state has published a national strategic plan to make Mauritius even more digitalized until 2030. This indicates that the republic’s economy is being veered towards a multi-billion-dollar global industry: indeed, the global digital transformation market size was estimated at USD 731.13 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach USD 880.28 billion in 2023. A strong belief at Digitalgo is that we are primed for local digital solutions. Building foundational digital structures from a local perspective will be an essential part of our evolution into the continuing digital transformation.

The Inception of a Digital Mauritius

Mauritius has come a long way since the early 2000’s in terms of digital technologies. Ever since the creation of the Cybercity in Ébène, the country has aspired to be a technologically-driven society. It is debatably the Cybercity project that enabled an economically viable digital industry in Mauritius. Although digital technologies may essentially be viewed as a democratized method of communication, it is important to consider the socioeconomic shift that Ébène Cybercity has caused in the Mauritian workforce. The Cybercity was branded as a “unique outsourcing and offshoring location” when it was launched. Consequently, an array of international companies wishing to operate directly or peripherally in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector implanted important parts of their operations in Ebène.

A Strategic Digital plan for 2030

Ébène Cybercity currently employs 30,000 people, including Mauritians and expatriates. On an international strategy level, it is worth noting that the state of Mauritius has a strategic plan named Digital Mauritius 2030. Some of the strategic actions mentioned in Digital Mauritius 2030 include “setting up a Mauritius Artificial Intelligence Council to drive the take up of AI and emerging technologies as vehicles for innovation,” and “setting up end-to-end digital services with paperless transactions and electronic payments.”

Within this context, the notion of data protection has also undergone significant strides in Mauritius. Since the promulgation of the Data Protection Act 2017 (DPA) on 15 January 2018, people in Mauritius have better control over their personal data. The DPA 2017 aims to align our local data protection framework in line with international standards, namely the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This means that homegrown digital solutions such as Digitalgo are becoming a must. Data protection can only be reinforced by closed digital ecosystems that focus on localized markets.

Data about Industry 4.0 and the Digital Sector in Mauritius

A data-centric approach is a fundamental best practice in modern advertising, and in statistical analysis of population behaviors. So, we will use publicly available data to analyze the evolution of our digital economy. It is clear that we are still finding our bearings when it comes to Industry 4.0 in Mauritius.

New digital technologies are willingly adopted by consumers. We have mobile payment methods such as MCB’s Juice App and My.T Money, which is a solid indication that the Internet of Things (IOT) is slowly and surely integrating with the Mauritian consumer’s way of life. To explore the state of digital in Mauritius it is important to understand how the population interfaces with digital technologies, solutions and platforms. The latest data from the ICTA Internet Observatory indicates that there are 1,844,500 nation-wide internet subscriptions. The latest survey by Meltwater and We Are Social indicates that there were 878,700 Internet users in Mauritius in 2023.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising seems to be the preferred method in Mauritius. Indeed, Facebook’s ad reach in Mauritius amounted to 84.8% of the local internet user base in January of 2023. The ad reach for Facebook messenger is 63.7% for the same period. Instagram’s ad reach at the beginning of 2023 was 37.2%. As for LinkedIn, its ad reach stood at 44.4% of the local internet user-base in January of 2023. These numbers were reported by Meta’s Advertising Resources and Kepios Analysis in a recent Digital 2023 Overview Report.

Devices define the use

We can view the current digital atmosphere as one that is being ruled by 3 types of devices:

  1. Smartphones
  2. Desktops
  3. Tablets

Smartphones are people’s preferred devices when navigating the Internet: with a share of 63.07% of web traffic. Desktops and laptops occupy 34.84% of web traffic, and tablets a mere 2.02%.

Does Digital Media rule?

Traditional media is still very much embedded in the service offering of digital media and advertising agencies in Mauritius. When we consider the 360 approach that agencies such as Circus Advertising, P&P Link, Gung Ho, Beyond Communications, and Mediatiz are espousing, it is apparent that the clientèle that is in need of advertising services find value in mixing outbound and inbound strategies. The most popular advertising agencies that exclusively offer digital marketing services are Quantum Media and Lean Search. Otherwise, in the classified ads category, we can find the websites and services offered by the Netlab group.

Digital Marketing Mauritius Group

Mauritian digital professionals also have a vibrant Social Media community, namely the Digital Marketing Mauritius group on Facebook. This community is composed of professionals such as Alexa Avice, Sanjana Jhumun, Emmanuelle Therese-Pama, Dylen Citta, and Jason Bholanauth, real people who offer mentorship in Digital marketing. Jason Bholanauth is a name that will certainly ring a bell with marketers, as he often publishes valuable insight as to the state of Digital marketing on Inbound Mauritius

The Digital Industry is a Socioeconomic Pillar

Digital has become a socioeconomic pillar in the island nation of Mauritius. Be it on the country’s national strategy, among professionals in the private sector, or even for the general consumer, digital technologies and platforms have attached to the majority of citizens’ way of life. Properly harnessed, digital can become an immense generator of economic activity in Mauritius. We are hopeful that we will be part of this journey towards a new and better digitalized Mauritius.