It was a bright day at Cyber City. My colleague Stephen and I went to the Orange Tower for a meeting with Mr Kunal Madub, our acquaintance in the Business Development department (We’ll call it BDD for the sake of simplicity) of Mauritius Telecom. We were told to meet on the second floor, after which Mr Madub escorted us to a large meeting room with an equally large, oval table in the centre, laden with projectors and cables. We sat at the end of the table, Mr Madub across from me, Stephen between us. Mauritius Telecom, the public telecommunications operator of Mauritius, was established in 1992, following a merger between the former Overseas Telecommunications Services Ltd and Mauritius Telecommunication Services Ltd. It is the primary provider of voice, mobile, Internet and data communication services in Mauritius.
Mauritius Telecom, the public telecommunications operator of Mauritius, was established in 1992, following a merger between the former Overseas Telecommunications Services Ltd and Mauritius Telecommunication Services Ltd. It is the primary provider of voice, mobile, Internet and data communication services in Mauritius.
Telecom's Business Development department is a relatively recent branch to see the light of day. It was created for the purpose of prospecting new business ventures and kick-starting the projects that may arise from their research. Acquiring international assets is also part of the department's job.
“The department functions almost like a start-up,” says Mr Madub. There are around nine employees in this branch, so it's not surprising to learn that the BDD has a rather flat management structure where they mostly do meetings to keep track of any project they may be processing. Most of the research that goes into their work happens at home as no information is bad information. Anything they learn at any time can help with new enterprises.
Three of such enterprises are apps Mobi Move have developed for Telecom. They are Orange Care, eCitizen and Drive Safe.
When we are commissioned to create an app, it’s often the case where our client isn’t aware of all the options that are available to them. A client may lack knowledge on the technical aspect of app-making, and so it’s left to Mobi Move to supply that information. As a digital agency, part of our job is to offer focus and direction.
Consider the case of Drive Safe and eCitizen. When we were approached, Telecom had a general idea of what it wanted, but the details were lacking, particularly on the technical side. The brainstorming process between Mobi Move and the BDD helped shape those two projects into what they are. But the work may not end there, as apps are not strangers to version updates that carry with them a slew of new features and improvements.
Orange Care has been in development for a while, seeing as it is constantly being updated. The BDD has put in requests to add new features, which is why the app is entering its third version soon, growing better all the time. For projects spanning years, it sometimes happens that new programmers are brought in to work on the foundation laid by others. To ensure that the app can transition smoothly from one hand to another and preserve its vision, we keep our development process well documented and organised so that any new programmer can come onto the project fresh and be able to get up to speed on how to work and modify it.
From pre-development to post-release, we treat every app with care. This requires open communication with Mauritius Telecom, so they are heavily involved from the get-go, if they so chose.
We very much enjoy the relationship we have with Mauritius Telecom as it proves even a start-up can work with a big company.