Spanish surfaces company Cosentino Group is setting up an experiential showroom in Singapore in a bid to grow its Asian business, writes Iliyas Ong.
30 July, 2014
Top image: Dekton
Singapore will soon be home to Cosentino Group’s Asia Pacific regional business centre as the Spanish surfaces multinational firm looks to expand its footprint in the region. An experiential showroom – dubbed the Cosentino City Center Singapore – along Duxton Road will serve as the hub of the company’s Asian operations.
Slated to officially launch in September, the Cosentino City Center Singapore is not a point-of-sales showroom, clarifies Carmen Herrada, Cosentino’s Asia Director. Instead, the 2,000sqft space will be a specification and presentation point for design professionals to understand more about the brand’s products. These include innovative surfaces such as Silestone, Dekton and Eco by Cosentino.
“We’ll invite architects and designers down and show them samples relevant to their projects. We will then work with their developers and contractors. And because we are based here, we can give better post-sales customer service,” explains Herrada, adding that the centre will also service the surrounding region including China, Japan and the Middle East.
The venue will comprise networking spaces, exhibition areas, a show kitchen, and a sample room complete with RFID-equipped technology to present to clients material specifications and project references. Throughout the centre, samples of Cosentino’s surfaces will be displayed much like artwork in a gallery.
According to Herrada, Cosentino also hopes the centre will allow the company to learn more about the trends and tastes specific to Asia. “Once we know more about the culture, we can customise our products. The good thing about these products is that they’re engineered materials. So, if the market demands a colour we don’t have, we can customise it,” she says.
Additionally, Cosentino is looking at strengthening relationships with the industry by hosting events in the centre. Cooking events, wine tastings with Spanish sommeliers, specialised talks and networking sessions are examples of the ideas Herrada has lined up.
Currently, Asia is Cosentino’s fourth-largest market, amounting 3 to 3.5% of the company’s total business turnover. But it is anticipating this figure to rise to 5 to 10% in five years, says Ginés Navarro Rubio, VP Sales, Export & Key Accounts for Cosentino. North America, Europe and Latin America are Cosentino’s biggest markets at this time.
“The potential is huge and we know we can grow more,” he notes. “Our penetration in this market is still very low, so there’s a lot of potential. Currently we are growing 30% year-on-year in the region, and we believe this can increase to 50 to 100% if we do things the right way and invest in the right things.”
The Cosentino City Center Singapore will join Associate Showrooms in Malaysia and Indonesia, the latter of which will launch in 2015. As to why the company chose Singapore as its regional hub, Herrada explains that the city-state is already home to “many international studios”. “Even projects in China and elsewhere are specified here. Design is more international here, that’s why we selected the city,” she sums up.
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