London Stone source a wide range of Natural Stone Paving & Tiles from many countries all around the world. We currently source from Brazil, China, Germany, India, Portugal and of course England. The majority of our Sandstone Paving is sourced from India. I am personally involved in sourcing the majority of our Indian Sandstone Paving and I thought it would be informative for regular blog readers to understand the intricacies of sourcing material from a different continent with a different culture. There are a lot of misconceptions in the public arena about sourcing from India and I thought this content would be a good opportunity to provide people with an insight into what its like to do business in India.
The Indians are very friendly and hospitable. Whenever we have visited our suppliers in India we have always been made to feel welcome and part of the family, nothing is ever too much trouble.
I have always marveled at the ingenuity of the Indians. They always find a way to get something done efficiently and cost effectively. I remember visiting a crate factory at the Kota stone market where all the natural stone crate were being produced. The facility produced a lot of waste material which rather than being thrown away was bagged up and sold to the locals as firewood, nothing was wasted. It was a brilliant example of recycling and unlike in this country they did not need to be cajoled into doing it.
There is a common misconception that the labour used to produced Indian Sandstone Paving is cheap. This is not the case, there is a huge worldwide demand for Indian Natural Stone, the demand is so great that there is actually a shortage of skilled stone masons. This means that experienced masons can demand a high price for their labour and are actually by Indian standards, very well paid.
India has huge deposits of Natural Stone. In addition to Sandstone is Slate, Limestone, Granite & Quartz. Apart from a few exceptions Indian Natural Stone is very well suited to a different weather conditions and with the wide range of colours available it is easy to see why Indian Stone is so popular around the world. The Indian suppliers have also been at the forefront of new technology and as well as having a diverse range of natural stones at their disposal they also have the machinery and facilities to produce the new style Sawn Paving in flamed, sandblasted, honed and brushed finishes.
India as a country and economy is developing fast. Great strides are being made with workers conditions and workers rights and the countries infrastructure is developing at lightening speed.
There are also a few downsides to sourcing in India which I will cover in tomorrows blog