Established in 2010, Stone Plus exports granite, marble, quartz and semi-precious gemstones from India. It is the only trading company in the country to have 12 full-time quality inspectors enabling export quality standards. With a state-of-the-art distribution facility, it is supported by 40 unique product mixes, ranging from granite, marble and quartz to onyx, gemstone and mosaic. Prasan Shah, Founder and CEO, Stone Plus, shares more on the company’s distribution plan in India in conversation with SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN.
What is your focus for the Indian market?
Stone Plus has traditionally been a natural stone company and our business focus for over eight-and-a-half years has been on exports. While our initial focus in India will be on the natural stone business, we will gradually look at marketing more products in a meaningful way. This gives the consumer choice and value down the line. Also, with new products coming into the market, it is extremely important for us to keep adding something new for the consumer. Most distributors in the market are looking at the same thing—marble, granite, etc—and as we have been associated with this business for so many years, it is natural for us to explore what is untapped in these two stones (marble and granite).
How is the Indian market in terms of generating sales for your offerings?
Having just started in India, our experience is a mix of both. We have started delivering our material to a large-scale project in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh; there are builders who have single homes or a four-floored commercial complex; and there are individual homeowners as well. We are catering to a mix of different projects. People who visit our warehouse want to replicate our showroom bathroom as is; this is because they are seeing something they have never seen before
Do you have a manufacturing setup in India or will you outsource?
We are not manufacturing because products come from all over the world. So we bring the stone, exhibit it here and add value after the selection is made. Our fabrication unit, which has an automatic polishing and edge-cutting machine, ensures the finish of the cutting is precise and the polishing quality is way superior. Everything is done prefabricated at our warehouse and it is an easy application, eliminating any mess on site.
How affordable are your offerings in terms of pricing?
We have material from Rs 30 to Rs 5,000 per sq ft. The customer is given a choice; we are not thrusting any material on anyone. At Stone Plus, the objective is the interest of clients—we educate them about the products and leave it to them to make an informed decision. At any given price segment, the consumer has to see value in buying from us.
Tell us more about your warehouse.
The warehouse is located 20 km away from the main city in Hyderabad. This is the first of many we are planning in several years. But we want to take it one step at a time as we want to ensure the execution is perfect and the consumers’ experience is not diluted at any stage.
Being a new entrant here, what is your India vision?
Our India vision is quality and choice. The India potential is so large that our expectation in the next five years is to outpace the export growth we have had all these years.