Dev Krishna Shetty
Dev Krishna Shetty - Mr. Dev Krishna Shetty born to a Shetty family in Mumbai on 11 October 1977. His father in businessman who used to run a restaurant and a transportation business. Dev completed his schooling fromShree Ram Welfare High School enjoying cricket and chess. Shortly after unfortunate demise of his father, restaurant had to be closed down, At the age of 17, he had to step up to take his share of family responsibilities. The journey started by taking over the transportation business, to meet living and study expenses. During his graduation in commerce from Bhavan’s college, Dev also ventured into other business like event management and advertisement to support the family. After the family financial conditions improved, Dev decided to pursue the higher education and qualified as Chartered Accountant.
Dev started his professional career with a boutique chartered accountancy firm in India where he specialized in the audit and tax related matters. Auditing the various businesses gave great insight of running of businesses, premise on which key executive decisions were made and the complex and diverse nature of bunesses i.e. Essel, kuoni and Welspun to name some While auditing Essel Propack Ltd, Dev was approached by the CFO to join the corporate office. At the age of 24, Dev was selected to Head the Finance team in corporate office. Apart from finalizing accounts for the year-end and management account pack, Dev learned the commercial acumen, mergers and acquisition, project management, risk evaluation, business restructuring, dealing with multicultural people, team management, and negotiation for new clients
Post-acquisition of 2 UK-based tube making firm by Essel, Dev moved to South east of United Kingdom. With a mandate to turnaround the loss making firm, Dev along with the management team championed the turnaround of the companies in less than 12 month. Soon after the turnaround of the businesses, Dev was selected as a part of team to move the plastic tube manufacturing set-up from United Kingdom to Poland. The US$30 million project was completed within 18 Month of start including all the commercial negotiation, labour issues, appointment of relevant team, working capital with banks and trial production.
On completion of the Poland project, Dev moved his base to Londan in 2007. In December 2007 he joined the start-up private equity firm, Palling hurst Resources formed by team of base metal veterans and chaired by ex-BHP-Billiton CEO, Brian Gilbert on. In Palling hurst, Dev worked on various mergers and acquisition which included post-acquisition completion of Faberge, reverse take-over of colour gemstone focused Gemfields, acquisition of ASX listed Iron ore mine, Greenfield acquisition of manganese mine in South Africa, Acquisition of TSX listed company and other Greenfield platinum mines in South Africa.
In December 2009, Pallinghurstoffered Dev a position in Gemfields as Group CFO and Executive Director in the Board and valuation of US$20million. Dev and CEO, lan Harebottle were assigned the task of turnaround of the business. With prior experience of business turnaround, within 2 years Gemfields and its emerald mining asset, Kagem Mining Ltd. Was turned around by this team. Kagem now is the world’s largest emeralds mine producing around 20-30 million carats per annum. As a part of turnaround the cash-outflow was reduced from US$3m per month to US$1 month and then significantly ramped up the production to above 20million carats. During his tenure, Gemfields created first state of art grading and referencing system for emeralds was also keen to create a solid marketing platform for the emeralds. Given the cash constraint in 2010, instead of going for a conventional marketing route, number of innovative solutions were adopted. As a results of all these initiatives and hard work, in 2012, Kagem became the first colour gemstone mine to be given indicated reserve by SRK Consulting with a valuation of above US$300 million for just one operating mine and still to have 5 more deposit within Kagem’s license area. Kagem now accounts for 20% of world’s emerald supply and has been largest source of supply for the Jaipur market in India for cutting as well as polishing industry.
In 2012 Gemfields Board promoted Dev to Group C.O.O position and since then have been responsible for the total operations of Gemfields including merger and acquisition, finance, marketing sales.
In 2012 Gemfields received mining license to operate Ruby deposit with area above 330 sq km which acquired in 2011. Since it also acquired an additional 300 sq. km area. The mine been located in remote location in remote location and Greenfield project, Dev had to start right from the scratch building the camp facility, recruiting expatriates and local employees, building the wash-plant, buying new machineries, security system, grading of rubies and treatment of lower qualities rubies and corundum. The bulk sampling operations started in October 2012 and in spite of various challenges he was able to conduct the first ruby auction in June 2014. Since then the Ruby deposit have generated just under USD100 million of revenue. It has not only recovered all the investments including cost of acquisition and capital investment but also generated sizeable profits which by itself is record in mining industry. Dev has been instrumental in creating a world’s largest Ruby deposit and it is built to supply circa 30%-40% of the world Ruby supply.
In 2012 Gem field acquired 100% interest Faberge, the brand once known for its imperial eggs. The Faberge acquisition was made with a strategy to make Faberge go-to Jeweller for colour Jewellery. Faberge is an extended arm of Gem fields marketing business.
In 2014, Dev championed the entry of Gem fields in the Sri Lankan sapphire market and thereby completing all the premium colour gemstone i.e. emeralds, ruby and sapphire in his portfolio.
The sustainability including the CSR projects has been core of Gem fields value system. Gem fields have contributed towards construction of the schools, clinic and agricultural projects in Zambia and Mozambique. With the World Land Trust, charity run by Sir David Attenborough have raised fund for the Indian Elephant Corridors appeal which aims to save key corridor habitats for the Asian Elephant and reduce human-wildlife conflict. Gem fileds also ran a project with Nanni Kali team a foundation from K.C. Mahindra Education Trust to raise awareness and vitual funds to support young female students in India.
Gem fields which was once a bankrupt business in the year 2009, has now become a world’s largest supplier and marketing company for colour gemstone. Dev has been instrumental in creating the “DeBeers” of colour gemstone and Gem fields is now the no 1 stock in the FTSE AIM platform with market cap of US$520million (compared to US$25million in December 2009).