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We Are Creating a Global Luxury Brand

Gaurav Aggarwal(Co-Founder & Managing Director, Stonex India) - April 30, 2023 - - 0 |
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Global Luxury Brand

StoneX India  has made its mark as a leading Italian marble manufacturer , listed as one of the top 10 brands of natural stones in the world. It has on offer a range of 400 varieties of marble and natural stonessourced largely from Europe and processed at its state-of-art  green factory at Kishangarh. Having established itself as an iconic brand of premium-grade marble  over the last two decades of its inception, this most admired brand is now on its next phase of journey to emerge as a luxury marble brand.

In this interview with Torbit Realty  ,  Gaurav Agrawal , Founder and Managing Director, Stonex India  talks about the brand journey, evolution and growth of the marble industry, new innovative trends, growing awareness among consumers, developers and architects, StoneX entry into the luxury lifestyle segment and its business growth plans.   Excerpts Vinod Behl

How do you look at the evolution of the Indian natural stone market over the last many years and the evolution and growth of StoneX? 

If you look at the last two decades in India, the development of new houses or new constructions has not been city agnostic. Previously, it was restricted to metropolitan cities , but now tier 2 and tier 3 cities are the growth drivers. As consumerism is spreading across the country and construction activity has gained momentum, demand   for marble has skyrocketed.

The natural stone industry has grown by three times. As a brand StoneX has grown three fold or more in the last two decades.  The phenomenal expansion /growth of the marble industry will continue to rise for another 20-30 years due to growing consumerism and the construction boom.

How has the natural stone market evolved from the perspective of design and innovative usage ?

From the design perspective , boundaries are currently incredibly thin due to globalisation and convenience of affordability of travel. Besides that global exposure over the last 10 years, there has been an increase in OTT content, allowing people to see what is going on in the world. All of this has contributed to people getting more discerning and appreciative of design. They are also shying away from artificial materials. We continue to get market feedback about customers’ choices and preferences.

As a material also, Marble has evolved over the last two decades from just having a shining and polished surface to one with a variety of finishes , besides unique designs . The usage of marble has also undergone transformation. Today, it is breaking all barriers due to technological advancement , diversifying  its usage as furniture and lifestyle products. There is a diversification in terms of art and design as well.

What is your thought and vision behind shifting your focus towards becoming a luxury interior brand ?

Marble is still being very underleveraged as a product and as a material. It is seen only for the conventional use in floors and walls. Even 75 years after independence we are not able to produce even one global luxury brand.  We are looking at this gap as a big opportunity and responsibility. Marble as a material  has the potential of a luxury product. Today, the market is ripe for building a luxury brand and we as an Indian company see a huge potential to create a luxury brand. Especially as before entering into luxury lifestyle segments , functional and aesthetic art, we got positive feedback from our customers, architects and influencers.

How do you see your brand journey ahead?

Brand StoneX is moving in the right direction, Till now the marble sector is considered as a commodity. But over the next 2-4 years , we have a mission and vision to become a complete lifestyle brand and not just limit  ourselves as a marble company.And that will predominantly happen by putting lot of focus on the kind of new verticals (including two strong verticals of aesthetic art  and  functional art ) that we are building up . We will be giving a lot of emphasis on customer experience and  we are already working closely with a Singapore company to enhance the customer experience of our brand. .And in order to ensure a uniform customer experience we will not adopt a franchise or dealership  model and instead go for company  outlets  .

Going forward, what will be the business growth plans and targets for StoneX India ?

From Rs 50 crore of business done by us in FY 23 , we will be having a quantum jump , looking at a target of Rs 1000 crore by 2026. . We are confident of achieving this ambitious target. . Our current and new businesses will add up to this. We have an edge over our competition. As India is experiencing a boom in  luxury consumerism with discerning customers  not being  price-sensitive   and the marble  market  still  being largely unorganised, we see a  high potential and a lot of scope for our growth .

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