Entrepreneur Shiraz Virji founded Chemaf in 2001, having seen the opportunity at a time when the DRC was privatising the mining industry. Acquiring several mining concessions in the DRC paved the way for Chemaf’s first processing facilities which formed the start of Chemaf’s growth strategy. Shiraz has wide commercial and entrepreneurial experience, having started his career in Kenya in the wood carvings business, and subsequently moving to the UK in 1971 to launch and grow a wholesale cash and carry business in handicrafts and gift items. In 1981, Shiraz formed a pharmaceutical enterprise in India which began his association with the DRC, as a primary region to which the business exported generic medicines. He has lived in the DRC for many years.