Natural stone importer Stonex India has introduced stone reinforcement system SRS, a first-of-its-kind process that the company says will take marble processing and polishing to global levels. The company is also signing up more business partners for distribution of its Stonelam Laminam 3mm ceramic slabs.
According to chairman and managing director Gaurav Agrawal, the SRS is a method for applying 3D material for stone reinforcement, a process that’s been developed by Stonex. “We have applied for patent for this process. Only the highest quality marble blocks undergo the SRS process at our manufacturing unit at Kishangarh in Rajasthan.” The 10-acre Kishangarh facility commenced operations in May 2016, and has been set up with an investment of `80 crore, he informed.
“We have a showroom in Ahmedabad and a 2,000-sft experience centre in Delhi,” informed Agrawal, adding that the company is planning to come up with five more outlets across India for retailing stone slabs finished with SRS. “While these will be company-owned and managed outlets, we will consider offering franchises if investors show interest. Our primary focus is on the big cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai and Chandigarh, where the pain points of price, aesthetics and durability can be addressed by us through a physical presence. In this way we will be able to back our products with adequate warranty. Eventually we aim to have an online store as well. Our operations are supported by five stockyards, and we will be adding more depending on where we are able to expand.”
Stonex India, said Agrawal, clocked revenues of Rs 250 crore during 2017-18 and expects to touch Rs 350 crore in the current year, with 80% coming from retail. “We are targeting revenues of Rs 500 crore by 2020.”
The company is also interested in tying up with few more trade partners for distributing its Stonelam Laminam 3mm ceramic slabs, which it is marketing under license from Laminam SpA of Italy. Laminam is a thin slab that acts as a skin for surfaces, structures, exteriors, interiors, kitchen and underwater applications. “At present we have business partners in Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Delhi, and in the next few months we will ink a few more partnership agreements,” informed Agrawal, who sees business growth potential in south India.
Talking about Stonelam, Agrawal said the product offers high resistance to mechanical stress, chemical, wear & scratches, and to deep abrasions and bending. It is resistant to frost, fire, mould and mild dew, and UV rays. “Stonelam is the first graffiti proof ceramic surface, it is easy to clean and even the strongest paints can be easily removed. Due to these properties it can be used in flooring, bathrooms, staircase wells, false ceilings, wall paneling, wet cladding in homes as well as dry cladding for large multi-storey buildings, facades, boundary walls, etc. It can also be used for countertops, dining tables, office furniture, etc. Recently 90,000sft of Stonelam has been supplied to a hotel in Pune and one lakh sft for a West Bengal government project,” he shared. Stonelam Surfaces Pvt Ltd, the company that markets Stonelam Laminam, has sold these slabs of worth Rs 12 crore last year, and Agrawal says that it will likely achieve a turnover of Rs 30 crore in the current fiscal.