1911 : The first years
Founded in 1911 by Raoul Raffray, René Raffray, Dr Alphonse Raffray and Albert de Maroussem, The Medine Sugar Estates consisted of a domain covering 12,240 km2 and including the estates of Belle Vue, Medine, La Mecque and Eaux Bonnes. Medine operated a milling factory receiving sugarcanes from the whole area from Richelieu to Tamarin and created its distillery in 1926. Its Town Office was located at Rue de l’Eglise, in Port Louis.
1969 : The WEAL era
Convinced that the centralisation of the sugar industry was key to its efficiency, Medine’s former General Manager Fernand Leclézio had ambitioned to link the lands of the east and west coast via the centre of the island. In 1969, under his leadership as Manager of FUEL (Flacq United Estates Limited), and of Sir Emile Sériès’ as General Manager of The Medine Sugar Estates Co Ltd, these two companies merged into West East Limited (WEAL). Based at WEAL House on the Place d’Armes in Port Louis as from 1971, the new company was owned by FUEL (60%) and Medine (40%).
At the end of the 1990s, the sugar industry leaders foresaw the end of the Sugar Protocol (with the EU) and the crisis that this would entail for the sector. In WEAL, as in other companies, shareholders prepared for the post sugar era but were inkling towards different strategies: some wished to expand to the African continent, while others were looking for alternatives to sugarcane. The dismantling of WEAL was first suggested by Pierre Doger de Spéville and René Leclézio and took a year to become a reality in 2001. This demerger allowed Medine to fully embrace its distinct identity (as the major land-owner of the west coast) as acquire the latitude required to initiate and develop its post-sugar strategy. Medine moved its town office to Harbour Front Building, on John Kennedy Street in Port Louis.
2005 : The Medine Master Plan
In 2004, the Board of Directors of Medine commissioned a study to rethink its operations and strategy. A team of town-planners, architects and sociologists worked together under the leadership of Maurice Giraud to produce a comprehensive document covering the sustainable development of 3,000 hectares of prime land on the western coast of Mauritius. The Medine Master Plan 2005-2025 was made public in 2006.
This full-fledged project encompasses the challenging and innovative ambition to create the perfect balance among residential, industrial, commercial and recreational developments. It is regularly updated to take into consideration the challenges and opportunities faced during the implementation process.
The Medine Master Plan holds key milestones:
- 2005: Conceptual Master Plan – Maurice Giraud Architect (Mauritius)
- 2008: Zoning Master Plan – Planning Partners International (South Africa)
- 2011: Detailed Master Plan – Surbana International Consultants (Singapore)
- 2012 onwards: Implementation of the Master Plan in two major regions, namely the Flic-en-Flac and Wolmar.
- 2015: Conception of the Medine Smart City for the region of Flic-en-Flac
2009 : Rebranding and strategic reorientation
In 2009, the Board decided to rename The Medine Sugar Estates Co Ltd into Medine Limited and the company was restructured into three clusters: Property, Agriculture and Leisure. Over the next fifteen years or so, Medine wishes to position itself as a pioneer in sustainable and harmonious development, mainly through the setting up of a Smart City in the Cascavelle/ Flic-en-Flac region. This new urban neighbourhood, under the custody of the Property cluster, already possesses a Shopping complex, Student housing and a hi-tech Business park and is set to showcase even more attractive qualities: green spaces, pedestrian/cycling zones, an Art centre and a Sports facility alongside a top notch university campus. A bus station will also support this Medine project, further providing services to the entire region.
The Education cluster came to life in 2014 and it was decided in 2015 that the umbrella brand ‘Medine Leisure’ would phase out. Tamarina (Mauritius) and Casela World of Adventures are now two full-fledged companies operating in the tourist/leisure industry.
In 2015, the head office of Medine was moved from Port Louis to the Business park at Cascavelle, hence putting a stop to 104 years of presence in the city. The next move is soon; right into the heart of Medine Smart City!
2011 : Medine’s 100 anniversary
Medine marked the occasion with a year-long initiative that culminated with the launch of the book “Medine 1911-2011 : Visions d’un siècle” during a high-end cocktail. All events targeted the people who have kept the company rolling for a century and a special tribute was paid to Raoul Raffray, René Raffray, Dr. Alphonse Rafray and Albert de Maroussem who stands as the forefathers of the company.
- A 100 Km relay fun run where East met West, undertaken by the employees and joining all Business Units and clusters of the group. All employees welcomed the relay runners for a Fun Day.
- Launch of a commemorative stamp, featuring a great picture of the factory area.
- Medine Centennial Golf Tournament held over two days at Tamarina Golf.
- All employees’ children were invited for a recreational day held at the Club House of Pierrefonds. The children were asked how they would see the evolution of Medine in 50 years’ time and their drawings/ essays were locked in a time capsule, due to be opened in 2061.
- Drawing/ Painting/ Photography competition targeting all employees. The best submissions featured on the 2012 desk calendar.
- Launch of the book “Medine 1911-2011: Visions d’un siècle”.
- “100 Good Deeds”: The Medine Volunteers were encouraged to participate in 100 different actions that made a real impact in the communities in which the Business Units and clusters of the group are implemented.
2017 : Uniciti, Medine group’s smart city
The official launch on 7 September 2017 of Uniciti, highlights a new era for the Medine Group. Stemming from the Medine 2005-2025 Master Plan, the Smart City development of an area of 823-acre on the West coast of Mauritius, marked a major milestone in the history of the Medine Group as it deployed a project structured around Education and bringing together under one roof all aspects of city life, namely residential, business, leisure and education. Based on the Live-Work-Enjoy & Learn philosophy, Uniciti is poised to be an integrated and connected city that will promote sustainable development through a collaborative experience with local and international experts.
2018 : Uniciti Education Hub
From the nursery to Executive Education and with Higher Education as its main pillar, Uniciti Education hub provides among the finest of education through tangible partnerships with leading international institutions.
Through the setting up of Uniciti Education hub aimed at becoming an international and integrated campus, the Medine Group is hence committed towards creating a smart city with Education at its heart. Formerly known as the Medine Education village, the Uniciti Education hub now stands as a unique and broad concept which encapsulates student accommodation, sports centre, student restaurant, campus events and activities and so much more.... Uniciti Education hub is also involved in research and innovation through partner institutions.
Higher Education institutions:
- Ecole Centrale de Nantes
- Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas
- Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Nantes (ENSA)
- ESSEC Business School
- ESCP Europe
- SUPINFO International University
- Middlesex University Mauritius
Nursery to Secondary schools:
- L’ile aux enfants
- West Coast International Primary School
- West Coast International Secondary School