Salim PEER is the first Mauritian Director of the local branch of Castille, a consultancy firm headquartered in Malta for specialised recruitment and Executive search. He mentions a series of job openings for the young population in finance and tech.
Can you tell us more about the strategy of Castille Mauritius after 3 years of its presence locally?
Castille is a recruitment agency specialising in Tech, finance and executive positions. Its headquarters in Malta have been in operation for 10 years and we are proud to say that Castille is the market leader in its segment. Our launch in Mauritius 3 years ago was a decision taken after the success of Castille Malta and we knew that an international expansion would give us great results.
Why the choice of Mauritius for your expansion?
There are some similarities with Malta. Mauritius is also an island, with a very dynamic emerging market and high value added in sectors of finance and ICT, with numerous administrative and fiscal advantages. We also notice a real willpower from the authorities to promote the destination as an IT/Finance Hub.
In these past 3 years, we have built a solid reputation in Mauritius with commercial banks, audit firms, financial institutions, management companies and firms specialised in ICT, BPO and high-tech. We are expanding internally to be able to provide placements in the Indian Ocean region and Africa. We currently have a number of interesting Finance & Tech positions in these regions.
What is the latest trend in the IT and finance sectors today?
The IT sector in Mauritius is recruiting many young people but there is still a shortage of qualified workforce in the local market, especially Java Developers, Systems Engineers, Network & Cloud. We encourage those young candidates who have just finished their secondary education to further their studies in Tech as this is a promising sector with interesting career openings and attractive salaries. For example, a fresh IT graduate without experience can easily find a position with a benchmarked salary between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000.
In the finance and accounting sectors, there are also many openings especially for Trust Accountants, Client Portfolio Executives and Fund Administrators. The Mauritian jurisdiction is very appealing, with thousands of management companies. We also work with major banks, audit firms and ICT/BPO operators and we notice an emerging market with more and more opportunities for people.
What are the main skills sought after in these sectors?
The IT sector requires very technical skills. However a recruiter will also look at the professional attitude and behaviour, especially in the finance world, where integrity is very important. Thus we are seeking for candidates who are trustworthy, honest, with expertise and experience. We also promote fast learners, who will be able to quickly integrate the company’s culture. Recruiters look as well for energetic candidates, hard-working with a real motivation to work and team spirit.
What advice would you give to young persons who have just completed their secondary studies?
Formerly, an accountant was seen as an admin person always sitting behind his desk balancing his accounts. Today things have changed and a world of opportunities are being offered to fully qualified accountants. They can also have other secretarial qualifications like ICSA, work for legal and audit firms or for management companies.
It is the same in the Tech World. Previously, the image of an IT Guy was not too appealing but the situation has evolved. For example, a candidate can have training in both management and IT or engineering. He will have the opportunity to become a good Operations Manager or a Business Analyst.
Career guidance programs in colleges should be mostly centred towards the professional world. Young people should be in a position to understand what are the opportunities presented to them and the salaries combined to those positions.
How should one encourage local talent to stay in Mauritius and therefore avoid the Brain Drain?
We are currently collaborating with the Board of Investment on the Mauritian Diaspora Scheme. This program aims at bringing back talent to Mauritius. We would like to encourage High Executives to come back home and show them that we need their expertise locally.