Mr. Hüsnü, could you tell us the journey of the Hurok company in the industry?
We have started our business life in the natural stone industry in 1981 by setting up a little studio in Kütahya. Back then, we used to process imported marbles and supply to the market. In line with the demands coming from the sector, we have reached to this point through well-disciplined works and the precise analysis of the industry. Today we are celebrating our 35th anniversary in the industry. As Hurok Marble, we are exporting to 43 countries with the US being in the first place along with over 100 types of plates produced in 10 marble quarries and our plant in Kütahya, spreading over a total of 100 thousand sqm with 20 thousand sqm of indoor space and 80 thousand sqm of open space. While exporting to the US, we realized that there is a huge interest and demand for the Turkish marble and marble is a significant reason for preference in the American lifestyle. Therefore, we started to provide service through launching a showroom in 2005 in Miami along with the name Atlantic Stone Source that holds approximately 6 thousand sqm of indoor space. Moreover, we are keeping up the production standarts by following advancing technologies closely. We are realizing the innovative expectations the industry, production structure and the quality of service through our consumer-wise production concept.
What are the difficulties you face in today’s marble production and its transportation to the user?
Just like in any other industry, our primary goal is to present qualified and affordable products to the customers in the natural stone industry. However, when compared to the other industries, the tax rates in the natural stone industry are considerably high and they cause trouble in the marble industry because of the additional payments. On the other hand, the problems of transportation and energy infrastructures of marble manufacturers need to be solved. Besides, the high costs of diesel and gas decrease the potential of competition. These difficulties experienced in the marble industry naturally create financial problems in terms of transportation to the user.
You have launched a new showroom in İstanbul. What are your expectations from this?
Until this year, we used to export 95% of the marble we produce and release 5% to the domestic market as Hurok Marble. However by the year 2016, upon the heavy demands coming from the domestic market, we started to provide service in Çekmeköy, İstanbul along with opening our new showroom and warehouse spreading over 5 thousand sqm of indoor and open space. Being one of the leading cities where the construction industry rapidly grows, İstanbul is a solid start for heading towards the domestic market. Our aim is representing the products in demand for the foreign market to the domestic market. To ensure this encounter, we are focusing on providing the best service to our customers in the buying process through investing in both human resources and physical conditions. For this reason, we are representing beige marble, travertine and onyx group products and Silver Fantasy, Silver, Silver Belinda, Silver Grey, Silver French Pattern products included in the Silver Collection to the natural stone users through implementing a wide marketing network, especially in the showroom located in Çekmeköy, İstanbul and the plant in Kütahya. Also, we are offering a very special product line for the industry, consisting of Snow White, Botticino, Naturella, Crema Nouva Select, Crema Nouva, Crema Fantasy, Beige French Pattern, Marble Slabs in the Beige Collection and Peach Blend, Scabas, Antique Blend, Travertine French Pattern, Travertine Slabs, Tumbled Sets, Pool Coping, Mouldings, Mosaics and Tumbled pertaining to the Travertine Collection.
How should architects or engineers make their choice of natural stones for a project embodying natural stones?
As a matter of fact, marble used to be in great demand in the past yet, it’s being rediscovered in our country. When we look at the Ottoman Empire, all the madrasahs, inns, bathhouses and mosques are mainly constructed with marble. This is certainly because there were not many alternatives. The advancing technologies brought new materials to be used in decoration. We used these for many years and still continue to use them. Still, the same advancing technologies and the impact they made, caused the need to get back to the natural. Because the natural is healthy, durable and much more aesthetical. In fact, the developing construction industry started to use the natural stone and marble more frequently for the demand to the natural keeps increasing day by day. In addition to all of these, it’s a fact that the natural stones and marble used in spatial designs represent a unique field in terms of the feeling intended to be given. Finally, i need to give this warning: not every natural stone is natural. You have to be careful about this. You need to go for the least processed and interfered products. Our architects and engineers are already aware of this but i think it’s important to relay this information properly for the consumers.