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» 01 May 2010

Ask 50-year-old Paul Marks what he likes best about living on Mauritius and he will quickly respond it’s the beauty of the island, and the fabulous people and having the sea so close to his back door.

His answer is not surprising when you find out that Paul is an avid kite surfer. That is,
when he gets time away from his job managing retail properties for the Currimjee Group. Of course, for someone who only requires four hours of sleep per night in order to ‘recharge his batteries’; this leaves plenty of time for popular island pastimes. Marks hates to think he’s missing out on anything by wasting time in bed!

The Road to Mauritius Originally from England, Marks grew up with a Scottish mother and Maltese father employed by the Royal Navy on the island of Malta. During his early years, the sea continually beckoned and his passion was satisfied by boat trips every Sunday, accompanied by numerous family friends. Marks remembers these weekly excursions as a fun time, characterised by a high concern for filling steel dust bins with ice to take onboard the boat.

It wasn’t until he got older that he realised the importance of this task; the dust bins kept the adults’ beer cold! Madrid, Spain was Paul’s home for four years and during his time there, the country made quite an impression on him. The Spanish tend to play as hard as they work, living for the moment, or as Paul says, “Carpe diem, but with more red wine”.

Paul married relatively young, when both he and his wife were 24 years old. Now in a friendly divorce it took them to Dubai, where he opened his own retail consultancy business. A previous job at Currimjee Jeewanjee and Co. Ltd ended up leading to a great new opportunity to oversee and manage the company’s Mauritius
retail developments. Today he still owns property in Dubai, along with a house in Southern Spain – his ‘true spiritual home’ – but the island of Mauritius is where he happily hangs his hat.

The Most Important Things in Life Paul fondly recalls the social events he shared with his parents and siblings
during his growing years. And today the family is still close – emotionally, if not geographically. They live near Liverpool except for a brother in Australia, a long ways from Mauritius. Still, they manage to get together regularly.

The importance of family was instilled in Paul during his years in Spain, where a greater value is placed on familial relationships than a fancy car or big house. He treasures time spent with his two daughters, 16 and 18. His eldest daughter attends university in Leeds while his younger daughter lives with her mother in Dubai. Marks reflects that raising his progeny to be polite and considerate young ladies is one of his proudest achievements in life.

And Manchester City Football Club ranks pretty high on his priority list, too..someone on the island has to support them! Now and in the Future Paul is kept busy with the daily challenges presented by his job with the Currimjee Group. Currently he is working to position, market, and find tenants to occupy the Phoenix Les Halles Centre. He is passionate about his job and eager to continually to understand the Mauritius market while serving the needs of the company’s customers.

His day begins quite early and often involves a full roster of meetings, strategy sessions, and consumer research. An early mentor of Paul’s once told him “Believe nothing that you’re told, half of what you read, and everything that you see with your own eyes” and this philosophy has served him well in the business arena.

Any spare time is spent kite surfing, working out at the gym, and enjoying a glass of red wine at the end of a long day – obviously a lingering influence from his time in Spain. His hobbies include interior design and cooking and he is avid about keeping things neat, tidy, and organised.

Asked about his definition of happiness, Paul responded that he seeks to enjoy life but lives by the adage from an Irish poet, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else”. He believes there needs to a alance between work, family and play. What better place than Mauritius to enjoy all?

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