Embracing this vision, AfrAsia Bank continues to be a financial conduit bridging the Africa-Asia corridor to the World by leveraging the Mauritian International Financial Centre. To portray our vision, AfrAsia’s logo comprises of a red and grey spinnaker that represents Africa and Asia whilst portraying the speed and agility of a boutique Bank continually navigating to new horizons.More than just bankers, we are partners.
At the heart of everything we do are our clients’ interests. We believe in nurturing a privileged relationship with you; one that is powered by our agility, creativity and innovativeness in striving for customer service excellence.
We are committed to deliver on our “Bank Different” promise by combining our entrepreneurial mindset with our people’s unique strengths. Together, we work as one team with a common vision for success.
Our digital transformation journey is underpinned by a set of forward-looking initiatives that combine market knowledge with cutting-edge technology; this is how we tailor innovative banking solutions to help you achieve your financial goals.
We have a three-pronged sustainability strategy focussed on People, Planet and Profit. Sustainability is embedded in all spheres of our business practices with the aim to meaningfully optimise our impact in the communities we operate.
From the get-go, we believed in one vision...that of connecting people, places and possibilities irrespective of their geographical standing. How? By being THE economic corridor between Africa and Asia. This vision, our pioneers wanted it to be in our name and that’s how ‘AfrAsia’ came to be! We knew it was not going to be an easy feat. But for us, the business was not going to be built by wearing suits and attending fancy dinners. It was going to take our sweat and blood and it did! For the past 14 years, we’ve stayed true to our founding vision and bridged local, regional and international markets through our unique business model. Why unique? Simply because, whilst others focused on their offerings, from the very beginning, we focused on building a privileged relationship with our clients; one which each one of our then-40 team players fulfilled with genuineness, passion and an innovative mindset – values, which now, our 400+ AfrAsians have imbibed in their DNA. And, as a founder member, I could not be prouder of same!
It was a tough call…do I shorten my maternity leave for a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to create a brand from scratch or do I enjoy another 4 weeks with my 2-months old daughter? Hearing the vision of the founder CEO, James Benoit, and his reassurance that this opportunity will not hinder my motherhood duties, convinced me to take the plunge – a decision that I’ve never regretted. I still remember those priceless months prior to the Bank’s launch; we were all working in one boardroom side by side. We knew that a success story was about to unfold. Decisions were taken within minutes and distractions were turned into opportunities. But, what really powered our success was our belief to do more for our clients, to be a forerunner on the market – despite being the new kid on the block – and, above and beyond, to communicate in a distinctly different way to not only catch attention, but to also mark minds for years to come. We had an unflinching belief in our people and their ability to make our clients happy and most importantly, we believed in NEVER giving up. We had one vision… that to bank different and even after 14 years, this has not changed!
3rd October 2007 - Seated behind my desk and working on how to go about with my day, I got a call…a potential client wanted to buy USD 1500 in notes against MUR. That was the very first day of AfrAsia’s operations and there was not a single USD note in our tills. But, I knew that I just had to seize this opportunity! Without any hesitation, I replied in the affirmative, convincing myself that I just HAD TO figure out how to find the notes. I pondered on it for a few seconds, grabbed my phone and dialled the Money Changer across the street. I requested the equivalent MUR from our Tellers, crossed the street, exchanged the MUR for USD 1500 from the Money Changer and handed those over to our Tellers. All done and dusted within 15 minutes. Next, I phoned our potential customer and advised her to pick up her USD notes. MUR 150 - that was our very first FOREX income from our very first treasury transaction. To some, it might seem trivial and insignificant but to me, it was an achievement: that of having lived up to our founding values of having a can-do-attitude at all times and being passionate in whatever we do – values that I’ve sworn by for the past 14 years that I’ve been an AfrAsian.
As soon as I signed my contract on my very first day, Rouben Chocalingum, our then Head of Domestic Sales, taught me my very first AfrAsian lesson: our name, “AfrAsia”, portrays our aim to bring together Africa and Asia - a foundation we absolutely had to have so as to work towards the same goal as one team. Day by day, we started getting the groove of it and paved our way to build our Bank. Then, one day, our founder CEO, James Benoit, called us in his office. On the table laid some glasses of champagne and I wondered what suddenly called for a celebration? “We finally have our banking license in hand!”, cheerily announced James. Everyone started to toast to the news enthusiastically but that was when, I realised that the Bank I joined was not yet a Bank prior to that day. Back then, I took a leap of faith and today, I have so many cherished memories: Jamesh’s and Samuel’s ways of saying things that led to innumerable confusions but also engendered loads of “fou rires” and our then all-time favourite prank on the newcomers: “Our attic is haunted”. Awesome memories that brings a smile on my face even today.
What do you do when someone tells you to jump on the bandwagon…but there’s no bandwagon to start with? That’s when you’re called to trust your instinct and anchor your decision on the potential of a great vision - even if it were merely on paper back then – the ambition of some founder members to achieve this vision and the learning and growth that choosing this path brings along. It’s a belief that you would not just be a number, but your contribution in paving the road to success will be significant…it all made sense to me 14 years ago and still does today.