The Seychelles is a country composed of 116 sparsely populated islands with a total population of 90,000 and an economy in which the only real drivers are tourism, commerce and the domiciliation of offshore companies. The private sector reflects the small size of the domestic market and the tight control exercised over it by the State during the single party era from 1977 and 1992. The five leading businessmen whose careers we describe here have had to make the best of these constraints.

Joe Albert, who has interests in construction materials and tourism, is doubtless the most heavyweight native entrepreneur in the archipelago, while Glenny Savy, given his family links with former president France-Albert René, is closest to the Seychellois administration. Marco Francis, who built a successful business in the offshore sector before becoming head of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) in 2013, belongs to a new generation of entrepreneurs who have emerged along with multi-party politics and relaxation of the State's grip on the economy.

Two other figures have emerged from the small number of foreign entrepreneurs who have obtained Seychellois nationality. They are Indian national Vaithinathaswamy Ramadoss and Maldivian national Ahmed Mahir Didi. Ramadoss, who has been in the archipelago for a long time, was close to the governing party for more than decades and, thanks to his political connections, has been able develop lucrative businesses in such sectors as gambling, hotels and the press. Didi arrived in Mahé a little over a decade ago but, thanks to the backing of a large Maldivian group, has already invested tens of millions of dollars in hotels and tourism.