Graduated in Teaching and President of the Cosentino Group since 1979. He was President of the Association of Marble Business Owners and President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Shipping of Almería. Nowadays he is member of the Advisory Board of Telefónica in Andalucía, member of the Board of the Association for the Direction Progress (APD) and member of the Editorial Board of “Andalucía Económica”. He has obtained several awards and recognitions, being the last one the Gold Medal of the province of Almería granted by the Hon. Council of Almería.
Which do you consider the key factors behind the international success of Cosentino?
Having seen more than three decades ago that the future of our company needs to have a major presence in international markets; expanding abroad supported by a very consistent brand such as Silestone, and the tireless bet on innovation, understood in a broad sense. Innovation of product, yes, but also of processes and especially of the distribution model, provision of services, after-sales, customer loyalty, etc.
Cosentino works with a list of six brands, what determines the strategy to be applied for each one?
It is a brand architecture chosen from several possible where the products brand has become more important and relevant than the corporate brand; something that we are trying to rebalance in the last years. In fact, it is a model that shows the innovative determination of the Cosentino company, launching differentiated products, something that advise against positioning them in the market jointly or under the safety net brand of the company. That is the criterion that takes us to bet on various brands, which obviously makes the execution more complicate and expensive.
Which marketing and promotion strategy follows the company in the international markets? In which public do you have to influence and how?
Our direct client all around the world is the monumental mason. We are in contact with this professional since decades and we have never turn our back or tried to lay him aside. We have built a business model that enables the monumental mason, which bets on and is loyal to Cosentino, to grow. We create employment and business opportunities for thousands of monumental masons all around the world. They are assisted in all aspects from our logistics platform closer to their facilities, we called them Cosentino Centers and they are 90 facilities all over the world, that keep growing every year with 8 or 10 new openings.
In addition to monumental masons, we have an extraordinary relation with tens of thousands of kitchen and bathroom furniture stores. Every year we contribute to the installation of ten to fifteen thousand new kitchen countertops in the sales points that interest us the most, because of the price level of the furnitures they sale, and that allows us to use one of our countertops, Silestone, Eco, Sensa or Dekton.
What role does the brand play in the internalization process of Cosentino?
A key and strategic role. Cosentino has very clear that the brand is an extraordinary added value, probably the most intangible asset that it manages and that generates a relationship of durable confidence with millions of people around the world. Silestone is the leading brand and the most well-known around the world, inside the sector of the so-called quartz surfaces. Nowadays we are present in almost 90 countries from the five continents, and our brand is always a step ahead.
Your expansion strategy is based on the establishment of commercial subsidiaries with own assets. Which are the advantages of this strategy against others?
To have a very deep investment in the market in which we are establishing. We create a consistent operational base in a Cosentino Center, with an average surface between 3,000 and 5.000 m2, equipped with delivery trucks to provide a fast delivery service to our monumental mason client. We promote our products and brands between kitchen stores, architects and designers. We invest heavily in national marketing of the place where we are establishing in order to be the favorite option of the monumental mason client.
What determines the presence in a market through the exportation and distributors to the commercial and productive implementation? Do you follow always the same model, from exportation to implementation?
In most cases we have followed that model, to have a previous knowledge of a market through the national distributor. That expertise is priceless because it avoids you, in several cases, to get involved in difficult situations, non-payments, etc. When you have a good distributor, with whom you have a true and open relation, it is probable that you can consider growing together, making a qualitative leap to a different relation that could be a joint venture, etc.
Which markets have currently greater weight on the global business of Cosentino and which are the future markets?
The United States of America have a very important influence in the consolidated turnover of our group, near to 60%. We keep growing in this market, opening this year 8 news Cosentino Center and strengthening the presence in Canada with one opening in Calgary.
We are also keeping betting on our growth in Australia, where we are already in Sidney and we will open now in Melbourne and Brisbane. Turkey is also going to have one new subsidiary and we will open there in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities.
Brazil is a very important market for us because we have there a big factory, Latina de Vitória, in which we process the granite that we sell to the rest of the world. We have become one of the main exports of Brazilian granite and we also have seven Cosentino Centers, the last one was opened some weeks ago in the city of Sao Paolo. Finally, in Asia, we are betting on Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and we also have a very important distributor in China.
This year with certainty, more than 90% of the business will be generated outside Spain, where we are also noticing a change in the growth trend.
Which would be your recommendation for a company at the starting point of internalization in order to succeed on that process?
To have very clear that it is a long-lasting investment, a marathon more than a middle distance race and that is why it is necessary to conserve the strength; you have to be clear about where you want to go, by what means, people and you have to manage a lot of updated information of the relevant market. You have to find out what other competitors did before you, which level of service and prices they are offering and based on all that, to consider the value proposal of your company.
I am convinced that Spain has a very big overview so a higher number of companies could bet on internalization in Europe, Latin America, Maghreb or in any other market, but doing it with a good planning and time not to be deeply disappointed. This is not easy but also not impossible to achieve.