London, Monday 18th March 2013: Deepak Kuntawala, the Founder of international trading and finance company DVK, was named Global Entrepreneur of the Year at the TiE UK Awards 2013. Chief Guest and keynote speaker, the Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats, presented the DVK CEO with the prize at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Monday, March 18th.
The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE) UK Awards select the finest in entrepreneurial talent from across the UK. The ceremony also honours the best of Britain’s Asian business and enterprise practitioners; those with the innovation, vision and tenacity to achieve success.
In attendance were TiE UK Charter Members, high net worth individuals, political and public figures, including James Caan, music sensation and founder of New York Coffee Club Peter Andre, Jacqueline Gold, CEO of Ann Summers and Knickerbox, online gaming billionaire Vikrant Bhargava, Lord and Lady Dholakia and Lord Loomba, amongst several other distinguished names.
Deepak Kuntawala was recognised for growing DVK from a start-up to an international brand with innovation and hard work. A gifted entrepreneur, Deepak has achieved several feats on the international scene. Recently, DVK opened an office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with His Royal Highness, the Prince of Saudi, appointed Chairman of DVK Saudi.
Deepak is also preparing to set up a Shari’ah Fund for women, designed to attract investment to the Middle East region. DVK’s successful performance in the last quarter has also led to the establishment of a DVK office in Bahrain.
DVK’s other projects in the Middle East includes key infrastructure schemes. He also has ventures with China, and private equity transactions in Russia and Africa.
The company is building an aviation wing that will create a cargo business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as in other Gulf States, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Africa. DVK Aviation plans to develop new markets in the Gulf region while increasing its acquisition of aircraft and private jet businesses.
The brand has a portfolio of businesses across private equity, wealth management, structured trade and commodity finance, capital markets, infrastructure, real estate, mining, aviation and fund management sectors. It is active in the following countries and territories; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, the UAE, Switzerland, Nairobi, Ghana, Malawi and the cities of Moscow, Johannesburg and Madrid.
At DVK, the ethos is very much about giving back to society and nurturing entrepreneurial talent. As a result of Deepak’s TiE award win, he has instigated an apprentice scheme at DVK to help aspiring entrepreneurs to learn the skills needed to succeed in the world of business.
In line with the estimated £3.4bn that apprentices are said to contribute to the UK economy, Deepak said: ‘We want to share our success by initiating and establishing an Apprentice Scheme – this year. We already had a student from the London School of Fashion. In the next quarter, we will take two people. DVK believes that apprentice schemes are a powerful medium for any economy to flourish.’
He quoted Nick Clegg MP, who had previously spoken about the value of apprenticeships, saying: ‘Apprenticeships are at the heart of our drive to provide employers with people who have the skills needed for their businesses to prosper and compete, often in a global market.
‘Apprentices are vital to Great British business – from mechanical engineering and business administration to dental nursing and physiotherapy. We are making it as simple and rewarding as possible to take on apprentices.’
Deepak was thrilled to receive the Global Entrepreneur of the Year Award and thanked his supporters and team. He said ‘It is a pleasure to be in a room with some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. I am still a foot soldier and develop my acumen by watching entrepreneurs like yourselves.
‘TiE UK is pivotal in nurturing entrepreneurs in the UK. These awards have always been a showcase for the UK’s many business talents who have contributed, and will continue to contribute, to the UK’s economy. I wish the organisation continued success.
“My Grandfather and Father instilled in us that as you sow, so shall you reap, and that hard work will one day bear fruit. Indeed, the late Steve Jobs said: ‘I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.'”
Deepak was born in Zambia and lived in South Africa, Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa. After immigrating to the UK with his family in the 1970s, he studied Business at the London Business School. He studied Private Equity, Mergers and Acquisitions at the Said Business School and attended the Growth Programme at Cranfield. Angus Thirlwell, the founder of Hotel Chocolat, is also a Cranfield alumnus.
Deepak’s financial career includes working with the following organisations; Legal and General, Lombard Business Finance, Credit Suisse, First Boston and UBS. Later, he joined the family giftware trading business, Kaysons Trading Company. Kaysons Trading was a wholesale and distribution organisation dealing in products manufactured in China, India, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. Kaysons’ clients were UK based companies, which included chemists, card and photographic stores, garden centres and giftware retail outlets. Deepak got his first taste for international trading working with the family firm during school holidays. He accompanied relatives on buying trips and negotiated with importers. Deepak was ambitious and was soon ready to create his own business. He set up an office within the storeroom of a warehouse and launched DVK.
DVK International plans continuous innovative international expansion.