Miriam Llano, marketing coordinator, Cosentino Middle East, discusses the trends, technologies, and competition in the region’s surface industry

What is the brand philosophy of Cosentino?
The Cosentino Group is a global, family-owned company that produces and distributes high-value innovative surfaces for architecture and design. Since the very beginning, the brand has focussed on the principals of environmental respect, innovative research and development, risk prevention and control in all industrial processes carried out by the company, from material manufacturing to product distribution. The group distributes its products and brands in more than 110 countries, from its headquarters in Almeria (Spain). Currently, Cosentino is present in 40 countries and more than 90% of Cosentino Group’s financial turnover comes from international markets.

Miriam Llano

Tell us something about your showroom at Dubai Design District (d3).
Cosentino has had a presence in the Middle East for the last five years, catering to projects across the GCC, Jordan, and Lebanon. We opened the doors to Cosentino City Dubai at d3 in November last year. The Middle East is a growing market for us and it made sense to strengthen our operations by having a dedicated showroom right in the heart of the region’s design hotspot, closer to where all the action is happening now. Our 300sqm showroom in d3 is the 10th global Cosentino City in the world. Our Dubai City showroom is designed to incorporate the display of large format slabs. We have an interactive room where visitors can engage with the physical samples and virtually access the entire sample catalogue using touchscreen technology. We take the interactive experience even further with a software program that allows visitors to design and explore the best options for façades, kitchens, floorings, and bathrooms.

What are the surfaces best suited for the Middle East and other GCC countries?
For the Middle East market, we have two pioneering and technologically advanced brands Silestone and Dekton, which allow the creation of unique designs for home and public spaces. Silestone is a quartz surface for interior applications, gaining popularity worldwide for its usage in kitchen and bathroom worktops. Dekton is an extremely versatile ultra-compact surface that can be used for both interior and exterior applications. Given the diversity of the projects in the region, both are well suited and find applications in everything from facades to kitchen and bathroom worktops, flooring and swimming pools. Both Dekton and Silestone are extremely low maintenance and available in a wide range of over 130 colours.

Who are you targeting in this region?
Our clientele includes architects, interior designers, specifiers, contractors, fabricators, kitchen and bathroom suppliers, and end consumers.

What are the exciting projects you’re currently working in the region?
We are currently engaged in some prestigious residential and commercial projects including the W Hotel, Marina Gate, and Belgravia by Ellington.

How is the competition in your industry and how do you deal with it?
The surfaces industry is a very competitive and challenging sector with players offering products across price and quality ranges. And I feel that it is important to have this competition because it not only gives customers the choice but it also gives us the opportunity to educate customers on the importance of quality. We deal with competition through differentiation. We invest heavily in R&D to create technological innovations that enhance material strength, quality, aesthetics, and applications. We are quick to react and respond with new finishes every six months. While we are operating in a price sensitive market, our focus is on playing an advisory role to our clients and illustrating through example the benefits of investing in quality and long-lasting solutions.