Reflecting back, I am confident that we were already prepared and took the right steps, always guided by our Sustainable Purpose, the decisiveness of our Diversified Board of Directors and Value Creation models that provided us with clear direction and catalysed a record breaking year: best ever Earnings and PAT since our inception, our enterprise IT subsidiary confirming its leading position, while our Strategic actions relentlessly shaping our Tech Startups to fight Poverty, Pollution and Diseases.
When I took the reins of the company three years back, amidst an unfortunate event whereby the founder had to leave urgently due to his then personal circumstances, we faced significant key men risk at various levels of the organisation.
The change of leadership overnight had a snowball effect, mobilizing the new management energy into re-stabilizing the business on multiple fronts: internally activating succession planning, actively engaging into mentoring programmes for our young leaders and renewing the sense of belonging and purpose, and externally securing existing clients and consolidating existing Relationship Capital.
As often said “Misfortunes Never Come Alone”, we suffered multiple blows through our operating environment as well, our business in Zambia crumbled from MUR 125Mn to MUR 26Mn during FY2019 when the country faced economic downturns and subsequently in FY2020 when Mauritius was first hit with lockdown and pandemic impacts.
Turning challenges into opportunities
Despite the headwinds in FY2019 & FY2020, we reported decent profits, but most importantly, before we actually got hit by the pandemic, we were already in the middle of a crisis, which got the collective adrenaline flowing at Anglo African, and focusing our minds to protect our people and our working environment, accelerate innovation on sustainability initiatives, and aggressively engage with our clients, supporting them financially while servicing them with minimal disruptions.
We achieved this through a rigorous financial control, and exceptional relationship capital in action across the whole supply chain. We even recruited more engineers, while competitors were retrenching, and as a result we came out stronger in this reporting 2021 financial year, with a more robust united team, and performance across all capitals, an exceptional year!
We realised a record profit after tax of MUR 23Mn, representing 7.3% as a percentage of Revenue from continuing operations, for the first time ever, while we have continued to invest MUR 9.3Mn in our Intellectual & Digital Capital, and our Technological Capital, representing over 12% of the fiscal year expenses. Click here to discover our UN SDGs mapping and here on how we uniquely created shared value for the society.
These have been possible as we were blessed by maintaining exceptional talents across the organisation and have always been supported by a diverse Board of Directors, most humbly being one of the best in Africa!
The future still remains even more exciting at Anglo African. We are on track for a new financial record by FY2022, while we continue to monitor closely our Traditional businesses and Emerging ones, our other capitals, and our KPIs.
Our enterprise IT business, InfoSystems, remains a "volume" business, growing at over 80% as turnover, and our MEPT Engineering Consultancy, DigiConsult, remains a “margin” business, growing over 20% as EBIT.
The cash generated from these “traditional” yet important operations are used to create and operate our various Startups, an experience gained over the last 5 years, having personally led initiatives such as the Mauritius Research & Innovation Council Startup Incubator and Accelerator programme, as well as the prestigious at the time Barclays ELEV8 Startup programme through our Ventures subsidiary.
We are proud to announce in the coming weeks, the launching of the first licenced digital financial inclusion platform that would positively discriminate towards women using a Big Data credit scoring engine.
InfoSystems, continues its geographic diversification into Comoros and Madagascar, while DigiConsult, penetrates further into existing and new clients in Seychelles and Morocco, and NanoB&K in Western Africa, as well as targeting to expand its presence through digital payments, and digital micro- lending in Zambia and Tunisia.
Investments in Emerging Tech remain a top priority for the Group. Accordingly during the fiscal year, a new Strategic position has been created for a Chief Research & Innovation Officer [CRIO] to oversee the R&D of key technologies that are being embedded into our Own IP Platforms, technologies such as Blockchain, Decentralised Finance [DeFi], Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence, etc. that are shaping our new realities in the wake of global disruptions.
Our teams remain busy working on our Future, always remaining guided by our Vision and our value creation models, using the only arm at our disposal “Technology” to fight the ills of this World, through our new RiskTech, MedTech & PropTech Startups that will become operational during the FY2022. Find out more about our Future, on how we uniquely position as innovators within our Industry.
My sincere thanks go out to our employees in the region, the management team and the Board for their immense dedication and mutual contribution, to our various partners, to our clients for their trust in us and their ongoing support, to the founder for his vision and to our Shareholder, The Anglo African Foundation, that plans to use our declared dividends in supporting the single mums in their cancer treatment and reimbursing their micro-loans during times of financial difficulties.
Chief Executive Officer
29th September 2021