Nanrindra Ravelojaona (SKEMA 2006), a serial entrepreneur transforming Madagascar

22 July 2022 Interview

Nanrindra Ravelojaona graduated from SKEMA Business School’s Master in Management (PGE) programme, work-and-study route, in 2006. Now aged 40, this serial entrepreneur runs five Madagascar-based businesses alongside his career with the Crédit Agricole Group. In 2021, he was named as one of Madagascar’s top 3 entrepreneurs. This extraordinary alumnus speaks about his journey is this interview.


Confucius said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." Nanrindra Ravelojaona, 40, is a workaholic who never stops. He is always on the lookout for his next challenge. He began his career in banking, somewhat by chance, in wealth management department of the CIC bank. "Having finished my preparatory course, I had to find a work-and-study contract to finance my studies at SKEMA. I was recruited by CIC to do asset management, and I enjoyed it very much. After that, I worked for Société Générale and then for Crédit Agricole's private banking division in Lyon," he explains.


At Crédit Agricole, Nanrindra managed assets for Lyon-based entrepreneurs and small business leaders. "I worked closely with them and they taught me a great deal. It was enormously beneficial and set me thinking," says Nanrindra.

A three-year sabbatical

Nanrindra's family originates from Madagascar and in 2018 he decided to take a three-year sabbatical to go there with his wife and children. "I wanted my children to experience something different and I wanted to spend time with them. The first year, we explored the whole island, from north to south and from east to west," he says. Very quickly, he realised that this island-continent was packed with opportunities for new projects.


Naturally dynamic and entrepreneurial, Nanrindra could immediately see all the potential the island offered. "You have to build from the ground up over there, it's the world's fifth poorest country. I decided to create a few projects, just to try. When you set up a business, you have to be prepared to go with the flow," he says.


An entrepreneur working in property renovation…

Soon after arriving in Madagascar, Nanrindra set up a business renting out trucks to transport construction materials. "There was an enormous demand for this kind of service, because it was very hard to get these vehicles," he recalls.

Spurred on by the success of this first initiative, he then launched "Maître Carré", a property renovation company in Madagascar. "My wife and I had some experience in this area. I thought if I set up a renovation company for the Madagascan diaspora, it could be useful to people in France because they would be able to have their properties on the island renovated without worrying about problems arising," he explains.


…and financial inclusion


After this success, in March 2022 he co-founded Koti Kota, the Madagascan equivalent of the crowd-funding platform Leetchi. "In Madagascar, most people don't have a bank card or a bank account. That means they can't use systems like Leetchi to create money pots. I could see there was an opportunity to do something about that. So I founded Koti Kota, a platform where people can pay via their telephones, using the Mobile Money system. To create a pot for birthdays, weddings, baptisms, etc., all they need is their identity card and a telephone."


An award-winning entrepreneur!


Top 3 Social Entrepreneurs in Madagascar 2021 (POESAM, Orange)

Top 10 Young Entrepreneurs in Madagascar 2020 (TJE BNI)

Top 50 Social Entrepreneurs on the African continent 2021 (POESAM, Orange)