Surfaces Reporter in Conversation with the gems from Marble City: Saket & Amit Dalmia

Marble City is a Brand of P.G. Industry Ltd., a listed company at the Bombay Stock Exchange. The only imported Natural stone company in India which started way back in the 1980s.

Marble City is a Brand of P.G. Industry Ltd., a listed company at the Bombay Stock Exchange. The only imported Natural stone company in India which started way back in the 1980s. 

Marble City is committed towards coming up with innovations which are aimed at enhancing customer satisfaction; as well as helping Architects in their endeavour to offer most advanced and innovative solutions to their clients.

For brothers and business partners, Saket & Amit Dalmia, constant innovation to meet the ever-changing demands of the consumers as well as excellent delivery has been the objective and mission. They were one of the first brands to imbibe the ‘showroom culture’ of showcasing exquisite stones in exclusive galleries rather than the stock yard. Having directly worked with quarries from around the world for 20 years, having living abroad and experienced the tastes of varied cultures, shaped their eye for quality and design excellence. No wonder, Marble City is one of the very few Indian companies to be exclusively listed as India partner of Botticino Classico Quarry Association. Apart from having one of the largest and most advanced processing plants, Marble City also boasts the largest inventory in the whole of North India which is a crucial factor when it comes to the selection and procurement for large-scale projects.

Q. Tell us a bit about your journey, and Milestones? You mentioned about visiting the quarries with your father.

we move ahead into the new era, a new beginning for India with several important changes made by the government in the essential ways in which we do business such as GST, Demonetization, the advent of Artificial Intelligence, technology entering our homes, at Marble City we are constantly trying to imagine how would the future look like and how can we make ourselves prepared to serve it well. 

Whenever we look towards the future, we must always look towards the past, learn from what we have done well in the past, learn from who we were when we started and who we have become. The identity of Marble City has essentially remained the same. We are a solutions provider company giving a single point of contact to take care of all the wall and floor coverings of any physical structure, may it be a beautiful home, a 5 Star Hotel, a residential condominium or a commercial complex, more recently beautiful railway buildings or hospitals. We remain committed to providing solutions.

The company has often reinvented itself taking strength from our traditional business of Marble, for which we have received several accolades including one from the then Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the late 1990s as one of the 100 fastest export growing companies in India. In 2000 we witnessed that India is changing with a robust and ambitious real estate industry. Soon enough we entered the business of imported marble.

The first shopping mall concept being made in Gurgaon was a revolution in itself in the early 2000s. At one point, the Mall developer came to us looking for a solution as to what should be the flooring for a high traffic oriented yet aesthetically beautiful looking commercial area. Our winning point was to search for a stone which was in the budget of the developer, aesthetically pleasing, yet durable. This important strength has become the pillar of our company, soon after; this became our differentiating or rather value adding point to any project. 

Q. What makes Marble City stand apart?

One of the key driving factors apart from the location of an apartment or 5 Star Hotel which are beautifully designed are the floorings & wall coverings that make them look exclusive, unique and value added. Many times, we find the developers selecting the aesthetic beauty of that particular material, yet they remain unknown to the quality and durability. This combination of providing the right product, the right price with the right lifespan is the key commitment from us to any customer who comes to us.

Looking ahead, we have extended our lifespan from traditional imported marble to world-class new age products like Neolith from Spain, a sintered stone made 100% from natural material, larger in size than Marble, lighter and thinner than most materials in the world being 3mm or 6mm, having zero% porosity, having UV resistance, green product, 100% recyclable to name a few of its qualities really attracted us showcase and provide this product in India. Today, with the master distributorship, it has become one of the most sought-after products for large buildings to kitchen counters to beautiful bathrooms and in some cases, large commercial areas. Looking into the future, we envision increasing or expanding our product range to adapt and offer such revolutionary products to take advantage of all technological advances which are happening all across the world so that our customers believe that we have total solutions which are relevant in terms of price, design, and service.

Q. How do you both segregate your work in terms of responsibilities?

The business of natural Marble and allied products is a very personalized business which needs utmost care because of the nature of the product and the customer existing in the premium segment, more so, it is highlighted by the fact that we are dealing with a natural product fraught with variations at times even though quite beautiful. This requires an immense amount of personalized attention, may it be during the presentation of the product, selling or aftercare of the product.

Because of this, one of us is always connected or operationally involved fiercely to provide these services through our team. On top of this, extensive interior and architect interaction is critical to making the consultants and designers aware of the limitations, the expanse, and the beauty of the product at hand. This furthermore requires the involvement of the Director personally. Having said that, since most of our products are imported from all across the world and our joint ventures are spread across the globe, we ensure that we divide our strengths and our time largely on operations which are not conflicting and in fact complementary.

That means that while one focuses on procurement from select quarries and makes long-term relationships and exclusivities with quarries across the world and partnerships which are exclusive to us. The other primarily focuses on making sure that whatever we produce and sell, we always keep the customers' interest first.

Q. Marble City has the largest and the most advanced plant. Tell us about your plant

We have a policy of ensuring the best is offered and it was with this motive that a manufacturing process was initiated which has the least human intervention and based on eliminating the most dreaded problem of cracking of slabs after few years of installation.

Our processing involves one of the most modern plants for ‘resin filling’, which ensures that all micro veins and fissures are duly taken care of. A fibre technology which is second to none to ensure back of the slabs is also taken care of.  The handling of stone right from the block stage to finished goods is totally mechanized without any human handling.

Q. Apart from marble, what additions and diversification have you done so far?

In terms of diversification, we have made a joint venture for Neolith which is a Spanish brand & the only product which is sintered & made of 100% highest quality natural minerals therefore hardest & at the same time largest slabs with versatile application, Refin, is a Brand from Italy and is one of best solutions for flooring.

Further consolidating in Natural Stone category, we are creating a premium range for our ever-discerning clients and Architects which are in fact value for money.

Trophy, Certificate and a Thank you note by TATA Housing

Q. Where do you see the industry moving in the near future?

What we see is a massive consolidation and a huge change in the mindset of our customer. As we move ahead, we see the advent of several very small establishments entering into the business marble sensing an opportunity, merely because of the demand for the product.

As we can see that today business of imported marble needs an end to end solution that means right from a very high amount of stock holding to be able to offer a wide variety of products to the manufacturing facility to ensure quality, to a physical experience center to make our customers feel the product. We think going ahead, soon in the future, there is going to be a huge differentiation between an organized imported marble supplier and small unorganized players. 

Just what we saw 5 years ago in the ceramic tile industry that after 7-10 years of intense competition from small unorganized players, we saw consolidation and 4-5 brands which became all India and they continue to grow. We foresee the same in the marble industry. In terms of growth, I think the industry is seeing healthy growth of 30-50% in the foreseeable future year after year.

Q. Marble City is one of the very few Indian companies to be listed in Botticino Classico Quarry. Tell us about it.

To have exclusivities of quarries especially, a product like Boticcino is a very proud experience for the company. Its relevance becomes very noteworthy when we look at the history of this marble, having been used extensively in the Vatican more than 500 hundred years ago. Having very limited supply and always being oversold across the world; the Quarriers are few, the demand is high, they would like the material to be used by such partners who are able to offer the product to developments which highlight and carry on the tradition of the product at hand that is a high quality covering which may be used in premium homes and select spaces across the globe.

Q. What led to your foray into manufactured stones with Neolith? How has been the response?

Neolith is a product from Spain and has been a wonderful experience for us as their joint venture partner in India. Neolith is the only sintered slab made of quartz, feldspar and other contents of granite family, therefore, making it the only one to be absolutely non-porous. It is NSF certified so most hygienic, highest on MOH scale hence hardest material & and long lasting with absolutely no UV impact.

The overwhelming response from Architects and Interior Decorators along with our large Project partners is reflective of increasing volume and we are the largest Sintered slab brand in India in the premium category. To ensure better availability, we have operational warehouses in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and soon we will be in 10 more towns with proper inventory. 
 

This  Advertorial was first published in SURFACES REPORTER MAGAZINE, January 2018. The print copy can be Subscribed at  http://www.surfacesreporter.com/subscription

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