Over the years, the Currimjee Group has grown in size and scale, with a portfolio that today includes a wide range of products, services, properties and solutions. Underpinning our growth are a set of deeply-held values, a clear vision, strong governance principles, a united team, and uncompromising quality and service. This is how the Group’s many businesses have earned their place among the leaders in their respective industries—a legacy we strive to build on as we fulfil our vision of a sustainable and resilient world for present and future generations.
Our story is intricately linked to the history of our nation. As Mauritius progressed and paved the way for business growth, the Currimjee Group evolved into one of the most dynamic Groups in the country and a respected contributor to the development of our island.
How it began...
Currimjee Jeewanjee set foot on the shores of Port Louis from Gujarat, India with a dream and a clear vision of how to achieve it. He understood early on that his business would not only fill a human and economic need, but could also be a force for good. Through trading activities, he laid the foundations of what would become known as Currimjee Group—a name that holds a valuable place at the heart of every Mauritian household today.
Building on this heritage, the Currimjee family’s generations of leaders diversified the Group’s activities into manufacturing, marketing and distribution in the 1950s and 1960s, followed by tourism and high technology in the late 1990s. Our forefathers’ entrepreneurial spirit continues to inspire us to improve the lives of our fellow Mauritians.
Currimjee Jeewanjee reaches the shores of the island in May 1884 on board the « Nénuphar » (meaning water lily) after a two-month long journey from Mumbai. The young man - he is 22 years old – originates from the town of Mandvi in Gujarat, India where his father runs a hardware shop.
The Indian community of Port-Louis provides a welcoming network and he finds a job in one of the shops of the capital. Less than a year later, his brother Noorbhay Jeewanjee joins him in Mauritius and soon Currimjee Jeewanjee has enough capital to start his own business in 1890.
Currimjee Jeewanjee’s business activity as an independent trader may have started in the vicinity of Louis Pasteur Street, or l’Hôpital Street as it was known then.
Dealing at first in livestock feed for the thousands of draught animals in the colony, Currimjee Jeewanjee gradually diversifies into the importation of rice, oil and pulses.
Offices of Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co at Louis Pasteur Street (end 1960s)
In 1900, the three Jeewanjee brothers, namely Currimjee, Noorbhay and Hoosenbhay, form Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co.
- Currimjee Jeewanjee
- Noorbhay Jeewanjee
- Hoosenbhay Jeewanjee
Currimjee Jeewanjee makes several trips to India, where he marries Fatambai Adamjee Bhaijee and where his first five children are born, including Jeewanjee in 1900.
Abdulla, his sixth and last child, is born in June 1905 in the Desforges Street House in Port-Louis bought three months earlier.
Opening of the Currimjee Jeewanjee office in Bombay (1907). In a short time span, the company had grown substantially and was now importing various articles from England, Australia and India as well as exporting sugar, mainly to India.
Office building of Currimjee Jeewanjee, Mumbai
Currimjee Jeewanjee decides in 1917 to leave for Bombay, due to health problems, with his family.
Business and family trips between Mauritius and India are frequent.
The management of the business is entrusted to Ahmed Ibrahim (Haji Saheb) and Mulla Tayebali Amarbhay in whom Currimjee Jeewanjee has full confidence.
Haji Ahmed Ibrahim (to the left) and Mulla Tayebali Amarbhay (to the right)
1920, the founder of the Currimjee business dies in Bombay.
1926, demise of Noorbhay Jeewanjee.
1931, the two brothers Jeewanjee Currimjee and Abdulla Currimjee are the sole shareholders of Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co, having bought out their uncle Noorbhay Currimjee’s shares.
Photo Legend (from left to right):
Jeewanjee Currimjee and Abdulla Currimjee travel extensively in East Africa, where there is a large Gujarati community, in the Middle East and in Europe. An office is opened in Bhavnagar, Gujarat in 1928 and another in Rangoon, Burma in 1931.
The two brothers come back to Mauritius in 1931 and begin diversifying the activities of the company.
They start a timber business with a timber yard, the Chantier Singapour, and a sawmill, the Atelier Typ in Cassis. The company also ventures into sugarcane plantation with the acquisition of a small estate in the district of Grand Port called Virginia Sugar Estate.
Sawmill - Atelier Typ, Cassis
In the Louis Pasteur Street shops, customers can find an assortment of articles for sale: tea, fertilisers, grains and pulses, oils, spices, textiles, personal hygiene products, Liverpool salt…
Having to go to Réunion Island on urgent business, Abdulla Currimjee calls upon the pioneer pilot Jean Hily to take him to the island. Despite the family’s warnings about the risks of such a flight - very real at the time -, he boards the plane Jean Hily had flown over from Réunion at the Mon Choisy airfield. He returns back as soon as matters are settled, hence becoming the first passenger on a commercial flight between Mauritius and Réunion.
The 1930s see the birth of the first members of the 3rd generation of Currimjees. Carrim, the eldest child of Abdulla and Husseina (born Karimjee), is born in Bombay in 1931.
The eldest child of Jeewanjee and Shirin (born Essajee Adamjee), Hussain, is born in 1935 in Bombay as well. Eight other children, including two girls, are born over the next decade.
While in transit in Madagascar in 1936, Abdulla Currimjee decides to invest in a cement factory in the vicinity of Majunga. The Amboanio cement factory is the only cement factory in existence at the time in Madagascar and during the Second World War (1939-1945), it is the country’s sole supplier of cement.
In 1937, Fazalbhay and Karimbhay Essajee Adamjee, who have kinship ties with the Currimjees, come to Mauritius to work in the company.
Photo Legend (from left to right):
Fazalbhay and Karimbhay Essajee Adamjee
The Second World War has an impact on the company. The family is scattered: Abdulla Currimjee is retained in Madagascar while on a trip there when the war breaks out in September 1939. Jeewanjee Currimjee and his family set sail for India in 1941.
Picture taken during the Second World War in the 40’s, the arrow on the wall shows the way to a shelter
In their absence, the business in Mauritius is managed by the Adamjee brothers together with Ahmed Ibrahim. After the war, Jeewanjee Currimjee stays on in India whilst Abdulla Currimjee makes frequent trips to Mauritius from Madagascar where he needs to manage the affairs of the cement factory.
The Group is present in the sale of building materials and through what will later become Batimex, offers branded goods for interior finishes such as Marley vinyl tiles, Sommer carpets and later Villeroy & Boch products.
With Pepsi-Cola, the company ventures into the manufacturing sector.
The two brothers return to Mauritius and soon start the production of Pepsi-Cola. This represents a turning point in the history of the company
During the following decades, Quality Beverages (QBL), which produces Pepsi-Cola, will put new beverage brands on the market.
In 2019, Quality Beverages merges with Margarine Industries
Photo Legend: Abdulla Currimjee (1) and Hussain Currimjee (2)
In the mid-1950s and at the beginning of the 1960s, the young Currimjees of the third generation come back to Mauritius after their studies. Carrim and Hussain Currimjee are the first ones to join the Group: Carrim at Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co and Hussain at Quality Beverages Ltd. Then Fakhru, Mustan, Currim and Bashir respectively joins in to contribute to the advancement of the company created by their grandfather.
Acquisition in the 1950s of the Currimjee Arcades in Curepipe.
Throughout its history, the Group has consolidated its real estate assets by acquiring several properties at various locations in the capital and other urban areas.
Photo Legend: Currimjee Arcades, 1957
1959, demise of Jeewanjee Currimjee.
In the mid-1960s, the unemployment rate stands at around 20% and the country relies on imports for almost all of its foodstuff and other consumer items needs. The Government decides to support companies that are ready to invest in import-substitution industries. Despite a difficult political and economic context, Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd reaffirms its confidence in the future of Mauritius and launches Soap and Allied Industries Ltd (SAIL), Margarine Industries Ltd (MIL) and Detergents Ltd.
It is during this time that Mauritians discover National soap, Mil margarine and Blue Magic cleaning powder at the corner shops, in the newspapers and in the newly set up television services.
At the beginning of the 1970s, the Government decides to promote an export-oriented manufacturing sector known as the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) where textiles and garments predominate.
The Group invests in this new sector by starting Bonair Knitwear. For many years, Bonair would be one of the flagships of Mauritian knitwear on the European market. A quarter of a century later however, several factors would force the company to cease operations.
Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd invests in tourism.
By launching the Continental Hotel in the Currimjee Arcades in 1972, the Group opens a meeting place for tourists, business customers as well as for the Mauritian clientele.
The Continental is the first of a future range of activities in the travel and tourism sector, which would expand some years later.
Photo: Continental Hotel restaurant
Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd opens Cheribinny in the Currimjee Arcades, a shop dedicated to quality textiles. In 1992, Cheribinny will become a consumer credit agency.
Photo: (from left to right) - Abdulla Currimjee, Fakhru Currimjee, Currim Currimjee and Carrim Currimjee, 1960s.
At that time, the company represented branded products such as Levis and Wrangler jeans and Seiko watches. It was also involved in direct selling of quality products to households (AMC cookware, the Tupperware range, Avon beauty products) and of encyclopedia as well as other educational books.
Meanwhile, in the 1970s, the Currimjee Group was sadly marked with the death of Hussain Currimjee in 1976 and Abdulla Currimjee in 1977.
The Group ventures into the travel industry
The Group takes a bold and historical step. As the economic boom brings increased purchasing power to the population, the Group invests in the insurance, energy and logistics sectors with Island General Assurance (1983), Island Life Assurance (1985) and Elf Antargaz (1987) - which distributes household gas as part of a partnership with the French company Elf, now merged with Total - and Nakufreight (1989), a freight forwarding agent.
Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd rethinks its business strategy and puts in place a new governance policy. It pulls back from some activities and sets up four sub-groups: Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd, Bonair, Pepsi and Soap. Currimjee Ltd (CL) is formed in 1988 in order to ensure good management of the companies and to act as the Group Company Secretary.
Creation of EMTEL: the first mobile telephone operator in the southern hemisphere
During the mid-1980s, computers start to make their way in the business world.
The services sector gains ground in the Mauritian economy and the absence of telecommunication lines in several areas of the island hampers economic development.
This is where the innovative spirit of the Currimjee Group will fully reveal itself. Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd profoundly transforms the Mauritian telecommunications landscape by launching mobile telephony in 1989, in partnership with the American-Swedish company Millicom-Comvik, thus making Mauritius the first country in the southern hemisphere to provide this service.
In a true pioneering spirit, and despite the ambient skepticism about the success of such an initiative, Emtel offers the first mobile telephones for cars and meets with the known success today.
Backed by the know-how acquired in Mauritius, Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd decides to penetrate the Indian market by teaming up, through its subsidiary Emtel, with Bharti Airtel, a company with which it has a strong relationship.
Photo Legend: Picture taken in 1995
Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd, in collaboration with the Indian group Bharti and Raza Bilgrami, launches Telecom Seychelles Limited, a mobile telephony operator in the Seychelles. It is the second international investment for the Group which will be sold some fifteen years later.
Entry into the media industry with the launch of pay-TV in a joint venture with the French group Canal+ and the MBC through MC Vision.
This constitutes a real revolution in the Mauritian audiovisual landscape and quite rapidly, Canal+ becomes a reference TV channel and MC Vision attracts a large number of households.
Signature of contract (from left to right): Anil C. Currimjee, Dominique Fagot and Arnaud de Villeneuve, respectively MD of MC Vision, President and Deputy General Manager of Canal+ Overseas.
Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd makes a come-back to the hospitality industry by buying the Méridien Barbarons in the Seychelles which also marks the first step in the regional expansion of the Group. The hotel is renamed Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort and Spa after extensive renovations in 2015.
The Informatics department which was offering its services to the corporate and public sectors is set up as a separate entity, Currimjee Informatics.
Born out of a joint venture between the Currimjee Group and the international Group Canal+ Overseas, Multi Contact specializes in the outsourcing of customer relations.
The activities of Multi contact are sold to Euro CRM in 2019.
The Foundation was created in 2009 with the aim to manage and supervise the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects of the Group. It focuses on long term actions in the fields of education, health, environment and poverty alleviation. The Foundation allows a more structured and professional approach to the deployment of the Group’s commitment to social concerns, to which it is profoundly attached since long.
Closely following the evolution in the ITC sector, Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd launched in 2010, Screenage, which offers innovative technological solutions dedicated to the hospitalilty sector. This includes multimedia services such as interactive television, mobile application, Wi-Fi coverage and high-speed Internet access portal adapted to the hospitality industry.
In 2015, the range of technological solutions evolved to also include computer cabling (copper, fiber), efficient ans secure networks as well as intelligent video surveillance.
Screenage has also diversified to offer its services to small and medium-sized businesses.
Acquisition of land for the development of an integrated real estate and tourism project, including a hotel.
The Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa reopens in February after 7 months of renovation. This 124-room hotel now operates under a management contract with the Thai Minor Hotel Group.
Emtel launches the « Airbox », based on the Fibre Through The Air (FTTA) technology which does not require underground cables to bring high-speed connection to customers through three offers ranging from 10 to 30 Mbps. The wireless technology used is based on radio waves that provide telephony and internet with loads and speeds comparable to that of fibre technology.
In the meantime, Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd, which since July 2014 held 100% of Emtel shares, entered into a partnership with Bharti Enterprises which acquires in May 2015 a little over 25% of Emtel shares.
The Currimjee Group sold the ‘Avani Seychelles’ to fully concentrate itself on the development of new projects in Mauritius.
Opening of Le Nenuphar, the Currimjee Group’s co-working space, first floor Currimjee Arcades.
Anantara Iko Mauritius Resort & Villas developed by Currimjee Tourism & Hospitality cluster, was inaugurated in September 2019.
Located on the beautiful south-east coast of the island, the 5-star hotel offers 164 rooms and 8 villas.
Designed and built by Currimjee Real Estate, Quay 11 was inaugurated in July 2019, and offers a large selection of gourmet and commercial brands in a contemporary and welcoming atmosphere in the heart of Port Louis.
Trampoline, the new social impact accelerator was launched by the Currimjee Group in September 2021. It aims to support social entrepreneurship and innovation.
Trampoline helps entrepreneurs with the vocation to develop sustainable and innovative solutions to meet social and environmental challenges.
La Place property owned by the Late Bai Rehmatbai Waqf and located between the Place d'Armes and Sir William Newton Street is managed by Currimjee Real Estate.
La Place offers an alternative, an oasis, a quiet, privileged and unique place in the heart of our capital.
With the creation of new structures and governance rules, the Group has today set up a strong organization to aptly support new undertakings. In parallel to this transition, the Group has opened up widely to external competencies and has surrounded itself with Mauritian and international experts.
Since the retirement from management of Carrim, Fakhru, Mustan and Currim Currimjee between 1999 and 2013, members of the fourth generation have been taking over key posts in the Group.
Bashir Currimjee retires as Managing Director (MD) of Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd in 2013 and is succeeded by Anil Currimjee. Ashraf Currimjee manages the Home & Personal Care cluster whilst Azim Currimjee heads the Food & Beverages cluster, with Raffi Currimjee at his side.
After more than twenty years at the head of the Group, Bashir Currimjee is still the Chairman of Currimjee Jeewanjee & Co Ltd and Currimjee Industries Ltd and has resigned as Chairman of Currimjee Limited. Anil Currimjee has been appointed Chairman of the Group in 2020.
The Group was founded on Currimjee Jeewanjee’s strong sense of purpose, work ethic and integrity. Much has evolved since our humble beginnings, but one thing has not changed: we remain true to these core values to this very day. They guide us to learn and improve, to form relationships that stand the test of time and to always do what’s best for our employees, clients and the communities we serve.
Together, building a better tomorrow through a value-driven culture.
Through our continuous commitment to people, progress and strong values, we will continue to lead the way. We are a proud Mauritian organisation with a rich heritage of entrepreneurship and foresight, ever learning from our past to build something better for today and for generations to come.
By making an effort to understand the needs of our customers and communities, we are able to visualize a better future and make it real through diligent planning.
As one Group, we are known for always doing what we say. Through honesty, fairness and respect, we aim to build long-term relationships with all our stakeholders.
We maintain that success is not only reflected in the bottom line but also in the positive impact we have on communities and the environment.
We have the passion required to bring our vision to life, to inspire success and build a better tomorrow for our customers, company and country.
We are open and inclusive, always willing to learn from others and always demonstrating respect for different cultures, beliefs and ideas.