The Retail Jeweller|March - April 2020
Soma Bhatta (SB): Please tell us about Fura’s journey so far.
Dev Shetty (DS): Fura’s journey began in January 2017. From the outset, we wanted to focus on colour gemstones. Our focus was on finding operating assets that could bring in revenue within two or three years. Our first acquisition was in Colombian emeralds at Coscuez in January 2018.
Two years on, we have achieved three major milestones. We have a presence in emeralds in Colombia, the world’s largest supplier of emeralds by dollar value. We consolidated licences to build a 435 sq km land block in Mozambique, the world’s largest supplier of rubies. We acquired an operating asset in sapphires in Australia. We are the only company to have all the major categories of colour gemstone in our portfolio.
The acquisition that we announced on 11 February 2020 [of major interest in a number of ruby mining licences and concessions in Mozambique, on favourable terms was the outcome of a consolidation that began in July 2018. Fura is the first international company to have 100 per cent of the land bank in a major producing area.
It is possible that we may have a few more acquisitions in rubies and sapphires in 2020, but our focus is on production. Looking at the current scenario and the uncertainty caused by the novel Coronavirus, we will defer our supply to the market. Instead of the first half of 2020, now we will be supplying the market with emeralds from Colombia and rubies from Mozambique in the second half of 2020. If we get our strategy right, in the second half we may be able to supply Australian sapphires as well. I think we will surprise lots of people, in a good way. With sapphires, we will do what Rio Tinto did for brown diamonds a few years ago.
SB: What do you see as Fura’s main markets?
DS: Speaking of B2B [business-to-business] deals in our first product, rough Colombian emeralds, the USA, India, Hong Kong and Israel put together will take 95 per cent of our product. We expect a third of our B2B business in emeralds to be with India. When it comes to B2C [business-to-consumer] sales, 50 per cent of our emerald products will land in the US, 25–30 per cent will go to China, and the rest to Europe and India.
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March - April 2020