Executive Chairman of Smartstone, Kon Kalpou, speaks about the company’s new products and his immediate objectives.
June 1st, 2011
Investment in the brand is one of your key responsibilities. What are your immediate plans to capture a large share of the growing market for engineered stone?
I’ve learned a lot from my previous experience in this industry and want to do things a little differently this time round. We own the brand so we can control everything from the product, to the marketing.
We are focusing on changing the way consumers and the design industry think about quartz surfaces. They have become somewhat of a commodity product, not particularly special. We are going to change that; make the brand aspirational.
The way we market the brand will definitely be unique.
The Smartstone collection features two engineered stone products: quartz and marble. What makes Smartstone a superior product to those marketed by your competitors?
Smartstone will offer quartz and marble based surfaces. I have personally chosen every colour from leading manufacturers globally to offer what we believe is the best range on the market.
Our colour range will consist of 4 collections which reflect 4 distinct colour palettes. The Santorini Collection reflects the whites, Toledo collection reflects the creams and beiges, Paris collection consists of the greens and browns and Milan collection the grey and blacks.
We believe the Smartstone colour palette is the purest, most beautiful colour collection available. The quality of the surfaces is second to none, having received superior results (CSIRO) when tested for hardness. Within each Smartstone collection will be a quartz surface which replicates the natural beauty of marbles including Carrara and Botticino.
These new surfaces are unique and exclusive to Smartstone. The response to them has been fantastic.
Combined with the aesthetic benefits of the range, Smartstone quartz will also be competitively priced.
Your stated long term objective is to make Smartstone the number one quartz stone in Australia within 3 years. Are you totally confident that you can achieve that aim?
The quartz surface market in Australia is only around 30 per cent. There’s tremendous room for growth and that’s where Smartstone comes in.
We want to make the brand aspirational, innovative and deliver on the promise of quality and service … all the while making it attainable and value for money.
This is an excerpt of an interview first published in Issue 19 of Discovering Stone.
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