This is a story of one of Oman’s leading stone products companies - its journey so far, accomplishments and its vision for future growth.
Since 2001, Natural Stone LLC has been supplying high quality marble, granite and other stones to meet the complex needs of a nation that is transforming its landscape through cutting edge projects. And with its products showcased in such prestigious landmarks as the Sultan Qaboos Mosque and the Guest Palace at Bait Al Barka, this young company has emerged as one of Oman’s most reputed stone products companies. In fact, the Marble Institute of America (MIA) chose the firm for its Award of Special Recognition for the work done at the Sultan Qaboos Mosque. But besides the challenging task of partnering its country’s growth, Natural Stone has been making successful forays into meeting the requirements of foreign markets. Adnan Nalwala, Director, Natural Stone LLC talks to CW about the company plans to achieve these daunting targets and its plans for the future.
Your company is among the largest and most reputable stone supply and installation contractors in the Sultanate of Oman. Tell us about the range offered by you.We deal with all kinds of natural stones such as marble, granite, travertine, limestone, sandstone and slate to name a few.
A company like yours needs reach and well networked chain to provide so many different, quality products. How do you manage to achieve this?We have established suppliers worldwide in countries like India, China, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Iran, Egypt, Brazil, etc from where we directly import stone products.
Our representative personally visits the quarry for sourcing and selection of products to ensure that only the best quality products are dispatched. We also have agency/dealership rights of some of the finest quarries in Oman which produce stone and marble for domestic projects, as well as exports.
Are all your products manufactured in-house or do you also outsource their supply? Please enlighten us about your manufacturing facilities.All our products are manufactured in-house, and we have two factories at Ghala covering 20,000 sq m, besides storage facilities spread over 15,000 sq m. These are used for warehousing, manufacturing, dry lays, etc. Our state-of- the- art factories use advanced machinery and over a 100 trained and experienced technicians to expedite the cutting process and enable the production of intricate designs. We also have a very impressive showroom, where customers can see our products and derive ideas for their projects.
Our group companies have a presence in Salalah, Rawdha, Bahrain and Qatar and lend their services as and when required.
You must be proud of a few landmark projects which have used your products. Tell us about them.We have provided marble flooring for the podium in the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, the travertine and granite decorative designs and steps in its ablutions area; and some very special marble mosaic for soffit. The travertine stone cladding of the entire tower façade of the Clock Tower at Sultan Qaboos University; the marble flooring, wall cladding, and decorative marble columns and blue macumba at the Guest House at Bait Al Barakah; the decorative flooring, wall cladding and shaped stones, arches and intricately carved brackets in various areas of the Guest House Complex at Qasr Al Alam Muscat; as well as the external stone cladding, elaborate arches and solid carved brackets at the Royal Opera House, also showcase our products.
Besides these you can see our stones at, Villa 1 at Bait Al Barkah, Salalah; Villa 2 at Bait Al Mamurah, Bait Bahjat Al Andaar, Sohar; the Markaz Al Bahja shopping complex at Seeb with a 25,000 sq m waterjet design; and the Majlis Oman at Al Bustan, Muscat.
How is Natural Stone associated with ARC Construction? We have been supplying to ARC for many years and we wish that they scale greater heights in the future.
How is working with ARC Construction mutually beneficial?ARC has always been very supportive of Natural Stone and we are very comfortable with the decision taken during the execution of the Muscat Hills project.
What makes Natural Stone a premier, value-focused name in stone supply and installation?In my opinion, several factors can be accredited for our success. Our workforce of over 500 people is a critical component, including our experienced engineers, technicians and operators who are capable of executing projects of any magnitude; as well as the design team, which excels at producing aesthetic and cost saving designs. Add to these our modern manufacturing facilities that enable us to process stones with minimal wastage.
But I would count our focus on delivering value to the customer and their satisfaction as the main mantra behind the success of Natural Stone.
How is having direct access to quarries an advantage?Having direct access to quarries is definitely a big plus. It makes us more competitive by allowing us to produce a complete range of stones, select from the best, make faster deliveries and charge the most economical rates.
What machinery do you use to meet the most detailed requirements? We have equipment such as table cutters, polishers, angle grinders, loadalls as well as bridge cutting, carving, waterjet cutting, 6 Axis CNC, and lathe machines, for fashioning marble into desired designs and shapes.
Does technology help in creating complex designs within a limited time?It does. All complex designs are fed into computer-based machines which produce the highest quality of workmanship. This improves efficiency, increases output, reduces wastage, maintains consistent quality and of course reduces dependency on labour, giving us economy of scale. Machines also have the advantage of working longer day and night shifts.
What is the company’s vision for the future?We are amongst the best marble and stone suppliers in the sultanate of Oman. We further plan to consolidate our positionin the market by providing high-quality, reliable and affordable products to our customers.