The National Computer Board is an organisation which aims at fostering development and growth of IT in Mauritius and advises government on the formulation of national policies. NCB feels that there is a need for updating data on the IT supply sector in Mauritius in order to take appropriate strategic decisions in the future, taking into account the rapid changes which are taking place in this field.
A questionnaire was administered to the head of the companies through face to face interviews which were conducted between May 21 and June 11, 1997.
The main objectives of this study are :
(i) To determine the number of active players in the IT supply sector
(ii) To assess the total size of the market, in terms of revenue and to assess its growth potential
(iii) To assess the availability of local expertise and competence in the IT sector
(iv) To identify the factors which are likely to influence the growth in this sector
3. Main Findings
3.1 Number of Active Players :
The survey identified 110 companies in the IT supply sector, out of which 92 (84%) responded. The companies do not specialise in specific IT areas but rather perform a range of IT activities. The main activities carried out in priority order are :
3.2 Total size of market in terms of revenue
The IT supply sector had an estimated total turnover of Rs1.09 billion in 1996, with the listed breakdown :
3.3 Growth Potential in IT segments
The survey identified an average growth potential for each IT market segment, in priority order, as follows:
3.4 Availability of local expertise and competence in IT sector
Companies of the IT sector employ an average of 65% IT skilled staff. They perform duties in different areas and do not specialise in any particular field.
Job prospects for IT skilled staff are bright as according to employers, there is need for them. Most companies (71%) intend to recruit in the following order of priority:
From the companies' perspective, there is a lack of qualified IT skilled staff in Mauritius. There is specific scarcity of qualified programmers even though most companies (76%) currently employ programmers.
From the employees' perspective, IT professionals are poorly paid with an average monthly salary ranging between Rs 8000 and Rs 12000.
3.5 Factors which are likely to influence the growth in IT sector :
The points below have been put forward by respondents :
more government incentives (37% of respondents) and clearer IT policies (22%)
more training (41% of respondents) at school and at work to promote IT literacy
more qualified professionals (25% of respondents) at school and at work for steady growth in IT sector
more investment in the IT sector by all parties, i.e. government, semi-public and private sectors
- According to most respondents there are future prospects in terms of outsourcing (77%) and facilities management (70%) in the IT sector.
4. Other important findings outside scope of objectives
28 % of companies in the IT sector have an export activity and the average exports value amounts to 14% of their total turnover.