5 questions with Gaurav Agarwal, Co-founder of Stonex India on current marble trends, sustainability and a new experience centre of the brand

APR 17, 2023 | By Team ELLE DECOR India
Gaurav Agarwal, Co-founder of Stonex India; Photographs courtesy Stonex
Stonex India office; Photographs courtesy Stonex
Administrative and Industrial complex for Stonex; Photographs courtesy Stonex

What started as a marble business in 2001 became a luxury lifestyle company and the driving force behind it— Gaurav Agarwal, Co-founder of Stonex, India. With high-quality marble products and a philosophy of constant innovation; Stonex has used technology to its greatest advantage. It is the only marble processing facility in the country to utilise the state-of-the-art SRS (Stone Reinforcement System) technology. In a conversation with ELLE DECOR India, the Co-founder opens up on his perspective about the industry, his brand’s identity and a new experience centre in Delhi.

Gaurav Agarwal, Co-founder of Stonex India; Photographs courtesy Stonex

What is the brand’s visual identity/style that sets it apart? 

Our brand identity that is defined by three key factors— minimalism, rarity, and timelessness. Minimalism is a design philosophy that advocates for simplicity and functionality. Stonex’s brand identity reflects this philosophy, as products are characterised by clean lines sheer simplicity. The use of minimalism in Stonex’s brand identity helps to communicate a sense of clarity and efficiency, which is particularly important in the manufacturing industry where precision and attention to detail are critical.

Another key factor that defines Stonex’s brand identity is a rarity. We offer exquisite stones sourced from around the world. Rarity creates a sense of exclusivity, particularly to discerning customers who value luxury and quality. Our stones are refined to be enduring, and the use of high-quality materials and technology ensures that they will last for many years to come. The timelessness creates a sense of permanence and stability, in the sphere of design that is constantly changing and evolving.

Administrative and Industrial Complex of Stonex; Photographs courtesy Stonex

How has your perspective on design evolved or changed over the years? Especially how luxury is perceived in the current scenario.

Luxury design has come a long way since its inception, especially when it comes to homes. What was once considered luxurious decades ago may not hold the same appeal for today’s customers. As time has passed, the concept of luxury design has evolved, and customers now have a more refined taste when it comes to their homes. Customers today are no longer content with just a superficial display of luxury. They are meaning seekers and want to understand the authenticity of their purchases. They are interested in understanding the story behind the products they buy, and whether they align with their personal values. This is why authenticity has become a cornerstone of luxury design in recent years.

Luxury design has evolved to become more than just a display of wealth; it’s about creating spaces that reflect a customer’s unique identity and values. Another significant change in luxury design has been the emphasis on creativity. Customers now have access to a wide range of design inspiration and are more willing to experiment with their home décor. They are no longer content with cookie-cutter designs and instead seek to personalise their homes. This has resulted in a surge of unique and creative design ideas that have redefined the concept of luxury design.

Moreover, design appreciation has also evolved to the finer taste. Customers today are more discerning when it comes to design and are willing to invest in pieces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also have exceptional craftsmanship. They appreciate design elements that may not be immediately obvious to others but reflect the designer’s attention to detail. Luxury design has become more nuanced and sophisticated, catering to customers with a discerning eye for quality.

Black box gallery; Photographs courtesy Stonex

What are the current marble trends for every lifestyle? What sorts of marble are available, and how may they be used for decoration?

Marble has been a symbol of luxury and elegance for centuries. From the magnificent Taj Mahal in India to the iconic Parthenon in Greece, marble has been used to create some of the most breathtaking structures in history. But with the advent of new technology and design trends, the use of marble has evolved into new forms and styles. One trend that has emerged in recent years is the popularity of white marble. White marble has always been synonymous with luxury and sophistication. It has been used in architecture and design for centuries, from the ancient Greeks to the Renaissance masters. Its timeless beauty and elegance have made it a popular choice for everything from sculptures and monuments to kitchen countertops and bathroom tiles.

Today, white marble is experiencing a resurgence in popularity, with designers and architects incorporating it into their projects in new and innovative ways. This trend is not just limited to traditional homes and buildings, but also in modern and minimalist designs.  White marble’s natural beauty is unparalleled. With its unique veining and patterns, no two slabs of marble are exactly alike. This makes it a truly unique and one-of-a-kind material, which adds value to any project it’s used in.

Administrative and Industrial complex of Stonex; Photographs courtesy Stonex

What will the new experience centre in Delhi entail? What was the inspiration behind it?

We are all set to create a new benchmark with the launch of its new experience centre in Delhi. The experience centre is designed to challenge the imagination of visitors with its innovative design and use of raw materials, and it promises to transport visitors to a different world. Stonex has always been committed to sourcing materials that are unique, rare and beautiful, and the experience centre is no exception. The designers have created a space that celebrates the beauty of stone, and showcases the many possibilities that it offers in terms of design.

From the moment visitors enter the experience centre, they will be transported to a different world. Each aspect of the design has strong sensory cues, creating a multi-sensory experience that engages visitors on many levels. The use of texture, color, and lighting creates an atmosphere that is both immersive and enchanting. The experience centre is a testament to Stonex’s commitment to innovation and creativity.

It redefines the possibilities of stone, showcasing its versatility and beauty in new and exciting ways. Visitors to the experience centre will leave with a newfound appreciation for the possibilities of stone in design and architecture, and the impact it can have on the spaces we inhabit. Our new experience centre in Delhi will be an exciting new addition to the stone industry, and a must-visit for anyone interested in design and architecture.

Administrative and Industrial Complex for Stonex; Photographs courtesy Stonex

With respect to sustainability, what are your views about natural resources that are nearing depletion? Are there any alternatives or ways to use them responsibly?

One of the most remarkable characteristics of marble is its abundance worldwide. Marble is found in various countries around the world, including Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, India, and Brazil, among others. At Stonex, we understand the importance of natural resources, and we take great care to ensure that we use them responsibly.

Our commitment to sustainability is reflected in our operations, where we prioritise renewable energy, water conservation, and eco-friendly practices. More than 50% of our energy needs are met through renewable sources such as solar and wind power. This not only reduces our carbon footprint but also helps us save on energy costs in the long run. We also recycle more than 95% of the water we use in our factory, minimising our impact on local water sources and reducing the amount of wastewater we release into the environment. In addition, our factory is designed to maximise the use of natural light, reducing our dependence on artificial lighting and lowering our energy consumption. We also promote tree plantation drives and other initiatives that help us give back to the environment and reduce our overall impact on natural resources.

At Stonex, we believe that our commitment to sustainability is not just about doing the right thing; it is also a business imperative. By utilizing natural resources responsibly and minimizing waste and pollution, we can create a more sustainable and resilient business that can thrive for years to come.

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