The Jubilee of Change
BIRGER. celebrates its 70th anniversary on Friday 17th February 2023, which is not very common for an organisation which demonstrates its resiliency based on its strong values and ability to anticipate technological changes.
Seventy years is almost three generations and I would like, first of all, to thank all our employees, who have been able to raise to the challenges since 1953, and to also thank our clients who have entrusted us with their loyalty over these years.
For the first five decades we have had diversified activities in building materials, insurance brokerage, IT and office supplies. During the 6th decade, we carried out a strategic planning with the view to turnaround our business. After this strategic metamorphosis during the 6th decade, BIRGER. has reinvented itself, to focus and develop its activities as a specialised IT Service provider around three core services: Technology, Security and Resiliency.
The next digital age will change everything
We will be celebrating our anniversary in 2023, at our newly refurbished business center at Forest Side. This will mark the start of a new era for BIRGER. future proofing its business for future generations.
Amongst all emerging technologies which are relevant to BIRGER., there are three key areas which will greatly impact business and society over the next decade in our region. These technologies are: immersive technologies; Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation; and optimised technology service delivery. Some of these technologies are at an early stage and uncertainty still exists as to how they will evolve.
Within the immersive technologies category are Blockchain or distributed ledger technologies along with digital wallets, Robotics, Metaverse, Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and Super-apps.
The second category consists of AI and automation which will become transformational for all organisations in the next decade. It includes Analytics, Computer Vision, Automation and Machine Learning.
The third category, that of optimised technology services, will help organisations in their efforts to build their digital business.
The Future Work Place
The future work places at BIRGER. will be physical, online and virtual which will aim at providing a better working environment for all our employees where they can revitalise themselves and experience new technologies.
Celebrating our 70th birthday is not just about looking back at all our achievements, but above all about reinventing ourself to sustain our development and this requires new ways of working. It is about combining the benefits of physical office space, online functionalities and virtual work facilities in the metaverse.
The vast majority of our colleagues have told us through our survey in 2021 that having regular in-person interaction is important, hence shared office spaces will be key to promote forward thinking ideas and to embrace latest technologies. It is a startup culture that we must sustain. Our three business centers in Mauritius will be vital gateways between the physical and virtual work in the “metaverse”, because we will not spend all our time in this virtual world cut off from reality.
To deliver such experiences in our business centers, we will invest in bandwidth to facilitate the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications. This will be possible when 5G connectivity is fully rolled out, bringing fast download speeds and low latency.
BIRGER. at 80
If BIRGER. wants to maintain its leadership in the decade ahead, we need, first of all, to be RELEVANT in our technological offerings. We must constantly and critically review our offerings to meet our customers’ changing needs. This also means anticipating their future demands.
BIRGER. regularly reviews the offerings of its 10 Business Units (BU) for Africa to become our playground. To maintain our focus and avoid being pulled in too many directions with diverse objectives, each BU has a technology road map to address evolving trends such as AI, 5G, Data proliferation, Cyber Security and Resiliency issues.
The second priority is COMPETENCE. We need to have the best people working for BIRGER. within the best working environment. With our planned refurbishment of our Head Office in Port Louis in 2023, our new business centre in Antananarivo, our Technology Operation Centre in Phoenix and our renovated business centre at Forest Side, we are preparing for the next decade. Our Employees’ Survey in 2021 confirmed that our employees were engaged.
Finally, we cannot talk about BIRGER. without mentioning its SUSTAINABILITY. Companies that minimise their impact on the planet and maximise the value they create for society can deliver more sustainable returns to their stakeholders. The resourcefulness of our employees provides the opportunity to work towards a more sustainable world and it is up to us to take advantage of it.
Author: Jacques Harel, CEO