Article Date: 01.10.2017
Mr. Ali Sayakci Elected President of
The World Natural Stone Association (WONASA) has elected a new Executive Team for the years 2017-2019 with Mr. Ali Sayakci of Sayakci Stone, Turkey as its President. The other members of Executive Team are Mr. Heikki Palin, Palin Granite, Finland - Vice President
Mr. Sunil Arora, Aro Granite, India, Vice President and
Mr. David Silveira, Granos, Brazil, Vice President.
The new Executive Team had invited selected persons from International Press to have an interaction on 28th September, 2017 at the booth of Aro Granite in Marmomacc 2017 Exhibition held in Verona, Italy. Mr. Anil Taneja, Director, was also present.
President, Mr. Ali Sayakci welcomed the press members to the meeting. The main concern expressed by him in the meeting was imitation of stone designs, patterns, colours in plywood; ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles etc. Sale of such items is affecting global consumption of natural stone. Further engineered stone has recently emerged as a potential competitor to natural stone slabs for flooring, wall cladding and kitchen tops. Use of engineered stones/quartz surfaces is also increasing. Other members were also concerned with the challenges to the natural stone industry from these new glazing materials and opined that efforts should be made by producers of natural stone to publicise relative advantages of using natural stone as against engineered stone, ceramic tiles, porcelain tiles and imitated plywood.
Representatives of International Press from Germany, Turkey, Poland and India also shared their views on this burning topic. Mr. K. Vikram Rastogi, Editor, Stone Panorama, from India attended the meeting and contributed his thoughts. Mr. Rastogi, who has been working as Consultant, Trainer, Editor and Educationist since 1983 in stone sector, proposed the following:
Promotional campaign both visual and written should be launched immediately;
Advertisements to be released in international magazines from Turkey, Poland, USA, Spain, India, Germany and Italy (at least in one magazine from each country). These advertisements should be released in all the issues of the respective magazines being published in calendar year 2018. Mr. Rastogi suggested that the publishers of all these magazines may be requested to charge only 40% of their regular tariff as it is a promotional activity for WONASA.
A Consultant be appointed to work out relative advantages of natural stones as against its competitors and short articles be prepared for being released in international magazines. These articles would be thoroughly researched and would provide necessary technical inputs to the buyers, traders, consultants, architects, builders, contractors etc.
Mr. Rastogi offered his services for undertaking this research work of preparation of reports, design of advertisements and consented to release advertisements in his quarterly publications, “Stone Panorama" and "Architecture and Interiors International Panorama" at 40% of their regular tariff in all the issues of 2018.
Other options were also discussed by members of WONASA and International Press, but the above solution was the cheapest and could be implemented in shortest possible time. A decision shall be taken by Executive Team later-on.
It was also made known that this year WONASA had organized seminars in natural stone in Izmir and Moscow. For the next year it has plan to organise a get together with architects in Madrid in early 2018 to promote new possibilities of natural stone - new finishes, answer their questions/problems related to stone use and installation, etc. besides holding at least 3 - 4 seminars in different countries in collaboration with local fair organisers or other entities. WONASA will continue organising seminars related to natural stone wherever it is possible in future.
WONASA has just finalised a Guide for Natural Stone Maintenance (digital version) for the professional users and it can now be read on some members websites. The Guide is also being translated in several languages. A second Guide, for the private individual, is now under preparation and should be ready sometime next year. More activities are also being planned and these will be informed to the press once they are finalised.
The meeting ended with a vote of thanks to the President and other members of the WONASA and international press. Thanks were also conveyed to Mr. Sunil Arora for hosting the meeting in his booth.