Data Protection – Part 2

Data Protection – Part 2

Role and responsibility of Data Controllers.

A Data Controller is a person (individual or organisation) who, either alone or jointly with any other person, makes a decision with regard to the purposes for which and in the manner in which any personal data collected from individuals are, or are to be, processed.

As a first step, Data Collectors must be registered with the Data Protection Office (DPO). All applications should be addressed to:

The Data Protection Commissioner
4th Floor, Emmanuel Anquetil Building
Corner Sir Virgil Naz & Sir William Newton Streets
Port Louis

  1. Description of the personal data processed by the data controller;
  2. Classification of information to which the personal data relates;
  3. Statement as to whether there is sensitive information collected;
  4. Purpose for which information is being processed;
  5. Recipients to whom data controller will disclose personal data.

Secondly, the Act sets out strict conditions under which a Data Collector can gather personal data. One such condition is that the Data Controller has to inform the individual concerned of

  • the fact that the data is being collected
  • the purpose or purposes for which the data is being collected
  • the intended recipients of the data
  • the name and address of the data controller
  • whether or not the supply of the data by that data subject is voluntary or
  • mandatory
  • the consequences for that data subject if all or any part of the requested
  • data is not provided
  • whether or not the data collected shall be processed and whether or not the
  • consent of the data subject shall be required for such processing
  • his right of access to, the possibility of correction of and destruction of, the personal data to be provided

The above process seems quite tedious and lengthy and unfortunately, many Data Controllers do not go through this important process.

Furthermore, the Act lists 8 Data Protection Principles that Data Controllers have to abide with.

Data controllers must take suitable security and organizational measures to prevent unofficial access, alteration, disclosure, loss, and destruction of personal data. Appropriate measures must be taken to ensure a level of security that cannot be breached. Personal data must not be transferred to another country except with the written consent of the Commissioner.

In cases of violation of privacy, complaints can be made to the Data Protection Commissioner. However, under the Mauritian DPA, there is no binding prerequisite that any breach in privacy or loss of information should be reported to the DPO. Organizations and individuals are encouraged to report such cases to the Commissioner, but it is highly recommended that this be also reported to the police.

In general, any individual violating the Mauritian DPA commits an offence and upon conviction, is liable to a fine not above Rs 200,000 and a term of imprisonment not over 5 years.

For more information, please visit the following website:

Data Protection – Part 1

Data Protection – Part 1

Personal data can be gathered legally under strict conditions, for a legitimate purpose.

Privacy Rights are often misunderstood in Mauritius… This relates to personal data collected by persons or organisations, and its utilisation. The Data Protection Act which was enacted in 2004 provides a framework in which these persons or organisations should operate. If we look at the purpose of the Act, it is “To provide for the protection of the privacy rights of individuals in view of the developments in the techniques used to capture, transmit, manipulate, record or store data relating to individuals”.

What does this mean? For example, whenever you open a bank account, you hand over vital personal information such as name, address, National Identity Card to that bank… and you wonder what the bank does with that information? Does the information become accessible to everyone? Can the Bank circulate it to other banks? Evidently, you would not like your personal info to circulate freely without your prior approval. It is your Privacy Right! And this is what the Act tries to help you to protect.

How does the Act set out to help you protect the info? Firstly, those persons or organisations have to observe certain strict rules when they ‘collect, process, update, transfer and store personal data of individuals’. Furthermore, these persons or organisations have to be registered under the Act as ‘data controllers’ and no personal data can be processed, unless the data controllers have obtained the express consent of the individuals (known as ‘data subject’).

Secondly, the Act provides for the setting up of a Data Protection Office whose mission is to “safeguard the processing of your personal data in the present age of Information and Communication”.

Established in 2009 when the DPA 2004 came into effect, The Data Protection Office (DPO) is under the aegis of the Ministry of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation. This Office seeks to “ensure compliance with this Act, and any regulations made under the Act”.

One of the tasks of the DPO is to maintain a Register of data controllers. The aim is to have a society where data protection is acknowledged and duly observed by everyone. The right to privacy and data protection is necessary in any modern democracy. As a governing body, the DPO sets out procedures for data controllers and data processors for the collection and utilization of personal information in a rational, reliable, equitable and legitimate way.

And make no mistake, data controllers are not just banks, insurance companies, etc. Some of you will be surprised to know that as an employer, you are collecting personal data from your employees (e.g bank details, NIC number, spouse name, etc) and you should ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act 2004…

At Sakeenah Group, we have a team of expert professionals from different industries who will provide you with the best business advice and accompany you in the setting up of your business.

Trade Mark Registration – Application Process (Part 2)

Trade Mark Registration – Application Process (Part 2)

Anyone who wishes to apply for a trademark registration must file an application and pay the prescribed fees at the Mauritius Industrial Property Office which is situated on the 7th Floor, Moorgate House, Sir William Newton Street, Port Louis. All queries regarding patents, industrial designs and trademarks are to be addressed to the Controller. In your application to register a trademark, a list of all goods and services that you want to represent must be included. The goods or services must then be classified in the correct class / classes they fall in. The classes are listed under the Nice classification. Classes 1 to 34 are goods while Classes 35 - 45 represent services.

For more information on the Nice classification, please visit the following website:

It is recommended to conduct a search at the Mauritius Industrial Property Office to make sure that the mark meant to be used is not already registered by another party. You will need to pay Rs.210 to carry out this search. Furthermore, for any two classes chosen, you will pay Rs.3150 and Rs.1575 for each additional class. Please note that the fees mentioned above are as at date and are subject to change.

The link below will give access to the guidelines for the registration of a mark:

Trademark registration is valid for 10 years and is renewable every 10 years upon payments of prescribed fees. Under the Mauritian Trademark Law, any mark that contains the representation of the flag, the arms, seal of Mauritius, the word Mauritius or Standard shall not be registered. Once a trademark has been registered, the applicant can use the ® (Registered Symbol) next to the trademark.

Finally, the legal framework stipulates that the registration of a trademark in Mauritius will give you rights only on the Mauritian territory.

For further information and understanding, please refer to the ‘Practical Guide for Businesses & Entrepreneurs’ produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At Sakeenah Group, we have a team of expert professionals from different industries who will provide you with the best business advice and accompany you in the setting up of your business.

Trade Mark Registration – What a Mauritian Entrepreneur Should Know (Part 1)

Trade Mark Registration – What a Mauritian Entrepreneur Should Know (Part 1)

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) worldwide frequently use and generate a great deal of intellectual property. As an entrepreneur, one should always consider the different options that can be used to protect, manage and enforce intellectual property so that the best possible commercial advantage is gained. Nearly all SMEs have a trade name, a logo or trademarks.

Trademarks can be represented through words, names, symbols and logos. Any other aspects that clearly identify your company can be considered as a trademark provided it is used for the products. Similarly, an organisation dealing with services such as financial, banking, travel or advertising will make use of services’ mark to distinguish its services in the stream of commerce.

A trade mark is the identification or a brand that an entrepreneur uses to distinguish his business’ goods or services from those of other traders. The importance of using trademarks is that it helps companies to establish a reputation for their products without worrying that a competitor with an inferior product will damage their reputation or profit by misleading the customer. It is important to use trademarks so as to build an image around the products or services an entrepreneur wishes to offer and in effect building up a solid reputation. In so doing, an entrepreneur protects his mark against imitation. Having a trade mark is essential for effective communication and marketing purposes. It is a tool to capture customer attention and making an entrepreneur’s products or services to ‘stand out’ in a crowded marketplace. A brand might be the critical factor influencing a customer’s purchase decision.

Registration of a trade mark enables an entrepreneur to have the exclusive right on a product or service and thus legally preventing others from marketing the same product under the same brand or similar attributes. As a rights holder, anyone having registered a trade mark can take civil or criminal actions against any offender.

At Sakeenah Group, we have a team of expert professionals from different industries who will provide you with the best business advice and accompany you in the setting up of your business.

Consulting Firm for Start-ups in Mauritius to Promote Entrepreneurship

Consulting Firm for Start-ups in Mauritius to Promote Entrepreneurship

The role of entrepreneurs and the importance of SMEs in the development of African economies cannot be ignored as they make up for 90% of African private businesses. They contribute to around 50% of the GDP and employment. Low corporate tax in Mauritius has promoted entrepreneurship, by allowing for some funds to be devoted to innovation and research. Though entrepreneurship has followed a successful historical path, limited access to technology, financial support and mentorship has negatively impacted the productivity in this digitally-driven world.

In this context, consulting firms in Mauritius are expected to play a vital role in helping start-ups overcome challenges and increase efficiency. As the small business firms are called to operate in an ever-changing landscape, the consulting firms which are abreast of fluctuations – from market instability to technological improvements – can serve as an anchor for the entrepreneurs allowing them to stay focused on their core operations.

There are many instances where entrepreneurs have hit the brick wall at critical moments in their development, due to lack of planning and market knowledge amongst other causes. The transition from being a small one-person or family business to becoming a structured enterprise can be very dicey. The entrepreneur business consulting firms in Mauritius help these entrepreneurs by untangling the most complicated issues that they will be facing.

Furthermore, the responsibility of the management consultants involves quality assurance and identification of areas of improvement. They look at your business, numbers and challenges before dealing with the situation. The small business consulting firms also work closely with organisations to harness the power of innovation and meet the needs of the company to make a real impact. The experience brought by the business consultants to steer your company forward is one of the most important benefits of hiring them.

Sakeenah Group is one such firm that assists start-ups in identifying opportunities in the market, and also provide the relevant tools to capitalise on same.

Starting a business in Mauritius? - Things you should know.

Starting a business in Mauritius? - Things you should know.

Mauritius is a small island nation, off the coast of Africa, with a balanced economy, a democratic political setup and a strong social safety net; it offers manifold investment opportunities and an amiable business climate. With GDP and per-capita-income figures showing year-on-year increase and with more than 80 percent of Mauritians owning their own homes, Mauritius has set up an example of how small nations can compete with big resource-rich nations in terms of growth and prosperity. Surprisingly, Mauritius is not a country with exploitable resources. Its success lies in its brainpower and the versatility demonstrated in adapting to the changing world environment. Mauritius has evolved from its earlier existence as a sugar-based economy to a diversified culture that includes tourism, finance, textiles, fruits and advanced technology.

If you are thinking of how to start a business in Mauritius, you should know a few things. The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA), a parastatal body under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Business Enterprises and Cooperatives, which promote and develop entrepreneurship in Mauritius, has identified some steps that help budding entrepreneurs to gain an entry into Mauritius’s business landscape and to grow:

  • You need to conceive a business idea and you may want to check project profiles that are available at the SMEDA Documentation centre.
  • The business idea that you have conceived needs to be presented in an appropriate business plan and the SMEDA has guidelines in place with regards to the business plan structure.
  • Next, it’s up to you to determine whether you would like to operate as a sole trader, a company, a partnership firm or a co-operative society.
  • You need to choose an appropriate location for your business. Think whether you will take a property on rent or purchase it or start everything from your residence.
  • You need to register your business with the:
    Registrar of Businesses
    c/o Registrar of Company
    One Cathedral Square Building
    Jules Koenig Street, Port-Louis
    Tel: 211-4460 Fax: 208-7263
    EMail: rodc@intnet.mu
  • Place an application for business registration with the SMEDA. Enterprises with an annual turnover below Rs.10 million are entitled to receive a Small Enterprise Certificate whereas those with an annual turnover in the range of Rs.10 M – Rs. 50 M would be provided with a Medium Enterprise Certificate.
  • Place an application to receive a Building and Land Use Permit (BLP) with the local authority. Approach the Planning Department of Municipality (urban area) or District Council (rural area) to learn whether you would need a Building and Land Use Permit (formerly Development permit & Building permit) to start your business. Check the applicable guidelines, the zoning and policies that would regulate the activities in your site.
  • You need funds for your project. Right? Approach banks such as the Development Bank of Mauritius Ltd- DBM or venture capital companies such as Quasi-Equity and SME Partnership Fund Ltd.
  • Approach the local authority and enquire about trade fee.

Rome was not built in a day and your business will take some time as well to bloom into an empire. Make sure to recruit the best people, purchase the right equipment at the right prices, plan your procurement and promotional channels, and set up a highly-efficient back-end administrative process. With this, you move a step ahead to make your Mauritian dream become reality. Entrepreneurship in Mauritius can be highly thrilling and you may want to make the most out of what Mauritius has to offer. At Sakeenah Group, we offer business consulting services which help budding entrepreneurs, like you, to hoist the sails and cruise ahead.

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing

Do you own a small or a mid-sized business with limited budget and resources? Well, traditional print advertising can be expensive. Digital marketing is the solution and comes as a boon for these companies. They are very cost-effective and return-on-investment is much higher than the traditional forms of marketing.

Though the online world seems to be intimidating, digital marketing is the way to stay ahead. One of the major advantages of utilizing digital marketing, as a small business, is that you can bring a personal touch to your web pages that no large company can match. Digital marketing agencies in Mauritius will certainly help you achieve that.

As a small business, you might always be looking for ways to support your business growth – gaining more customers, recognition, and revenue. Digital marketing agencies for small businesses provide solutions and help ease off the pressure. Digital marketing not only promotes your brand but also assists you in selling your product or service to potential customers.

Furthermore, every start-up certainly faces challenges that affect their manufacturing efforts, sales efforts, or human resources – that may be critical to the profitability of the company. Digital marketing agencies for start-ups can turn these threats into numerous opportunities. They help companies to be better competitors in the contemporary predominant digital world.

Additionally, traditional marketing may not be helpful in demonstrating what is working and what is not working for your business. Also, it is a lengthier exercise. Digital marketing supports you in measuring specific goals that you want to achieve for your website or blog. You can witness traffic to your site, subscriber increase, and conversion rates just by the click of a button. By analysing this real time results, you can work towards improving the strategies to promote your brand name more efficiently.

Sakeenah Group is one such firm that assists start-ups and small businesses in crafting the right message, sending it out through the right channels, and tune the organisation for maximum results.

Success with Entrepreneurship Training in Mauritius

Success with Entrepreneurship Training in Mauritius

Starting a business is not a cake walk. It is essential for you to learn entrepreneurial skills and explore resources that are required for success. A successful entrepreneur must not only acquire strong technology skills or expertise in a key area, but must also possess key qualities such as creativity, the ability to face hardship, and also social skills needed to build great teams.

In order to acquire these skills, every entrepreneur must undergo training to fully develop and apply their strengths to their fullest potential. The fastest way to learn any business is to study someone who has been successful at it. Entrepreneurship coaching in Mauritius is meant for those who are dedicated to build a thriving and successful business. These entrepreneurship training programmes are mostly based on evaluation of what is working for the company and what’s not, determining the company’s goals, and creation of an action plan.

As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for everything from scratch including interpersonal relationship with vendors, marketing plan, and building the customer base. Needless to say, entrepreneurial coaching plays a major role in discovering the right path and to align yourself with the appropriate resources that will save you time, money and energy. Additionally, training the entrepreneurs to set up a new business in Mauritius will help in creating and implementing the ideal business models.

With every level of success, you will want to step on another level of success that requires well-planned thoughts, wise decisions and right actions. A coach will help you accelerate or think through. Also, the coach who holds several years of experience will look for potential problems and provide an outside perspective that will help you find solutions to the problems.

Now, translate your ideas and vision into businesses by leveraging your passion to achieve the success. If great athletes can hire coaches to improve their games, then, why shouldn’t you hire a trainer to improve your businesses?