The idea for Nineteen48 began with one of our co-founders, Gary Seneviratne, looking for a way to support charitable work in the country of his ancestry, Sri Lanka. Already a successful businessman in his own right, Gary wanted to continue a long family tradition of donating to good causes.
Gary started his award-winning digital marketing agency, Adido, whilst still at university and has grown it into a successful business employing more than 30 people. Gary has also been president of the Dorset Junior Chamber and a committee member of the Institute of Directors.
Rather than simply donate to a charity, Gary wanted to support Sri Lanka in a more sustainable way and give people the opportunity to build a business that could change their lives permanently. With that in mind, Gary decided to raise money by combining his long-standing love of one of Sri Lanka’s most prestigious exports with his commercial talents and bring Sri Lankan gemstones to the UK market.
However, Gary was determined that the business (named Nineteen48 after Sri Lanka’s year of independence) would stand out from other gem importers by trading in the most transparent and ethical ways possible. It is core to the business that the gemstones should be traceable back to their source, so that clients can have complete confidence in their origins.
The goal was always to deliver high-quality, ethically-sourced gemstones at a fair price. To achieve this objective, Nineteen48 set up its own mining operation in Sri Lanka, providing employment to the local community, as well as establishing a Bournemouth office, employing staff in the UK.
Building the team
To help with this ambitious project, Gary recruited another successful entrepreneur, Stuart Pool, who shared his vision and brought a wealth of business development and management experience into the company. Stuart has a long track record of founding and growing successful commercial operations.
Gary and Stuart benefited from the support and advice of Al Voice, a member of Dormen, the Dorset Business Mentoring organisation. Al’s guidance was invaluable during the business planning stage and in setting the company on the right track.
The Net Result
Nineteen48 completes the financial “circle” by donating a percentage of its profits back to charities related to Sri Lanka. We are currently supporting two charities with our donations (click here for more details), with a focus on educational assistance. This means that, as well as helping to develop the economy in the short term, we are investing in the education of Sri Lanka’s future business leaders.
Get In Touch
If you would like to learn more about Nineteen48 or discuss how we can work together then please contact us today.
We look forward to hearing from you.
“MORE THAN JUST A GEMSTONE”