We identify great companies and disruption opportunities. We steward the capital we invest by using hands-on guidance to unlock value and fuel growth. Our expertise focuses on using technology led by best-in-class teams who have constant access to growth capital.
Bluestone Capital was founded in 2017 by two individuals who are no strangers to Sri Lanka’s corporate sector. The lessons learnt and challenges overcome during their combined span of nearly half a decade at Sri Lanka’s largest diversified conglomerate are now being channeled via Bluestone to offer venture capital and private equity management services across a multitude of industries. Each of their expertise is both unique and complementary – one being deeply involved in the areas of corporate leadership, change management and fund raising, and the other with extensive experience in international finance and asset management.
Founder & CEO
Among Sri Lanka’s most renowned business leaders, Ajit’s career has been instrumental in providing strategic direction and business insights, which enabled John Keells Holdings PLC to grow from an LKR 1 billion market cap (1992) to LKR 190 billion (2016). In his 34 years at the company, his focus has been on real estate, leisure, financial services, and retail businesses – distinguishing himself by leading the respective sector business to market leadership positions.
He functioned as a founding Director and, subsequently, Chairman of Nations Trust Bank where he provided strategic direction and leadership in building the bank. In addition, he provided leadership to other financial organizations when he served as Chairman and Director of Union Assurance as well as establishing John Keells Stock Brokers (Pvt) Ltd. He was also responsible for transformative projects in John Keells’ leisure sector; he transformed Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts from a dispersed local brand into prominent leisure chains in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. He acquired hotels and resorts, unified the offering and rebranded the chains.
Ajit was also instrumental in mentoring and guiding one of Sri Lanka’s largest branded retail businesses ‘Odel’. As its seed investor and Chairman, Ajit guided the management, took them public and sold the company in 2014.
His leadership has also been sought by regulatory authorities. He served as the Chairman of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) from 2000 – 2003 and was also an advisor to various governments in Sri Lanka, functioning independently without any political affiliations. He was a member of the Prime Minister’s Taskforce for Financial Sector Reform and Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, served on the Board of Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment and was Head of the country’s Task Force for Foreign Direct Investment and Exports.
Shantanu has worked in asset management and equity research for 20 years in Hong Kong and London before he moved to Sri Lanka. He has worked as portfolio manager for UBS Asset Management, Ellerston Asset Management and Brevan Howard Asset Management.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, UK, where he was a Chevening Scholar, and an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD where he was a Misys Scholar. Shantanu started his career at the Tata Administrative Service, where he worked with several CEOs of various Tata Group companies on strategic projects.
Shantanu started working in UBS Hong Kong in 1995 in the equity research department and was responsible for three sectors where he covered the automobile, metal, and shipping sectors in the region.
Shantanu’s switch to asset management happened in London, where he moved to UBS Asset Management, O’Connor, and was subsequently posted to Hong Kong where, as Portfolio Manager, he covered Japan, China, Hong Kong, India and the sub-continent. In 2011, Shantanu moved to Sri Lanka with his family and joined the Expolanka Group, specifically to restructure their holdings and find an exit for the largest shareholders; a two-year restructure culminated in a strategic sale of the company to Sagawa, Japan.
Ajit has known Shantanu for over a decade from the time Shantanu was investing in Asia and the sub-continent. In 2017, Ajit invited Shantanu to be the co-founder of Bluestone.
Ronnie served as an Executive Director on the Board of John Keells Holdings PLC and was its Group Finance Director until end-2017. He was also Director in several listed and non-listed companies involved in a wide range of industries, including leisure, F&B, manufacturing, retail, financial services, real estate, IT, transportation & logistics, and plantations. Ronnie has over 45 years of finance and general management experience of which a large part was spent in senior management roles in Sri Lanka, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
Immediately prior to joining John Keells, Ronnie was the Managing Director of Anglo American Corporation (Central Africa) Ltd, Lusaka, Zambia, the Zambia-based subsidiary of Anglo American Plc, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. In this position, he served on the Boards of many companies which were involved in a variety of activities ranging from manufacturing, brewing, milling, hoteliering to real estate development and financial services.
Ronnie holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Cape Town, South Africa, with specialization in Marketing and Human Resource Management and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, (FCMA), UK, a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA), Scotland, a Fellow Member of the Society of Certified Management Accountants (FSCMA), Sri Lanka, and a Fellow of the Zambia Institute of Certified Accountants, (FZICA), Zambia.
Ronnie has successfully concluded a course on “Transformative Coaching; A Revolutionary Approach to Enable Change” at Classroom Learning conducted by the Coach Masters Academy, Singapore. He has been a direct mentor/coach to many in the past several years and has been a natural coach/mentor in the many roles he has played.
He has been and still is a presenter of Papers on various topics at Workshops, Seminars and other fora and recently published “Tough Journey Great Destination” – a behavioural guide for Professionals and Leaders. He was also recognised by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Sri Lanka, as its Business Icon of 2014.
Ronnie was an active member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) during the period 2004 to 2017 and was the Chairman of its Taxation Sub Committee for several years. He was a Member of the Main Committee of the CCC and served on its Economic, Fiscal and Policy Planning Sub Committee. He is also a Past President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors.