Mauritius always comes up in the top spots for best governed countries in Afric, but we don’t often hear about entrepreneurs from the island in the Indian Ocean. Let’s meet Linley Tanner who is setting up Nurodeli, a mobile listing of services in Mauritius.
What are the main advantages of using Nurodeli instead of another search engine like Google?
“Nurodeli is a local search engine where the information is verified and inserted manually. We expect to become more and more automated but our aim is not to become a new Google. This is impossible, as Google has taken such a big place in our day-to-day life. We aim to contribute to good positioning of those on our local search engine, thus increasing their chance to be visible on Google as we do have over 4000 pages indexed by them with over 200 restaurants for example.”
Why is there a need for Nurodeli in Mauritius?
“We do have two or three online directories in Mauritius but they are based on old business models. We wanted to offer a new vision with a modern approach by offering a good mobile website. Our aim is to provide a solution to businesses as well as freelance professionals. Think of individual service providers like notaries, lawyers and doctors. Who has never got in a situation wondering what the number for the family doctor is?”
Mauritius always comes up in the top spots for best governed countries in Africa. Can you explain this? And how do you benefit from this as an entrepreneur?
“Much effort is being done by the several governments who designed laws which have been in place to maintain and encourage the democratization of the economy. Since we don’t have natural resources we need to focus on other sectors of activities. To do this we need to encourage stability and good governance for public and private sector. This have been fruitful as Mauritius has passed the crisis ‘correctly’ but we are expecting the coming one to be more serious and we are preparing ourselves to face collateral damage.
There have been multiple actions to encourage people to start their own companies. We do have some services from the Development Bank, particularly for those aiming at manufacturing. Special effort has been put forward by our Board of Investment as well as ‘Enterprise Mauritius’ to seek for investment opportunities and new markets.
So this is how it goes but for the ICT and service sector much needs to be done. I’m the perfect example of what we are not ready for in Mauritius; launching a new service in the cloud with no physical product. We have difficulties to explain that this is worth an investment…”
Please tell us about the business model behind Nurodeli?
“Nurodeli – meaning ‘we look for it’ in our native Kreol language – is based on the YellowPages business model. An online local search engine linked to a product search engine (to be launched shortly) and a ‘best offer’ distribution system. We aim at proposing multiple solutions for propagating information, from the basics to the more commercial information.
We are a startup and we do work in partnership and we want to establish more cooperation’s with service providers specialized in their field. Thus we are looking for a partner to operate the call-center for example… Our mobile website is being designed ‘in-house’, but is developed in Europe and India to get the best solution on the market. We believe in networking or clustering if you want. We have organized our database collection team around a cluster of ladies working from home contributing to our social responsibility.”
Please tell us about yourself? What have you been doing in the past 5 years?
“I’m married and father of two kids. I have started in the advertising industry as apprentice. I worked for 12 years moving from down under all the way up to art-director. Internet started to interest me, so I moved for three year as project manager in a tour-operator with a online presence.
I learned everything there again from scratch and launched the Nurodeli project in 2010. We have been working hard on it since then. I do have a company specialized in consultancy called ‘I Think’. We are specialized in e-marketing and solutions for digital marketing. We believe that one should have a real project before moving to the online experience. We are here to investigate and to conceptualize ideas.”
What amount of funding are you looking for and what do you want to use it for?
“We need actually 4.5 million Mauritian rupees (118.000 Euro) which will cover the launching of the product, finishing the mobile development and help us with the marketing in the region. At the same time we will launch the V2 and all the by-products we have thought about.”
Can you explain about your ideas of franchising Nurodeli in other countries in Africa?
“We have looked at several online listing websites in Africa and we believe that we can franchise our system; offering a new approach of online directories with a new business model which will bring in new ways to drive traffic and let potential customers find the different services offered online.”
How can people reach you?