We’ve continued to grow throughout the recession. This year it’s been more of a challenge in some of the European countries, but the fact that we’re in 30 countries and diversified globally has helped smooth out the trouble spots.
South America is a heavy emphasis for us now. We’ve invested a lot in people and in developing a strong customer base in that market, so from that standpoint it will be very important to us in the next 6-7 years. In the U.S. and Canada we continue to grow through new products and gains in market share, and also by adding product lines that are outside of the traditional tile and stone floor coverings, areas like concrete restoration, artificial turf and the like. All our eggs are not in one basket.
We’re optimistic this year. Housing looks to be coming back, everything we’re reading seems to be very positive. But for us, while we plan for economic growth, it doesn’t drive our business. New products, new innovations, drive our business.
We focus on differentiating ourselves with solutions to problems. Our UltraCare Stone Tile& Grout Care Solutions, for example, do just that. In this particular segment, supporting your product is just as important as selling it. It sounds simple, but it’s a very technical area, so if you don’t first invest in deep product knowledge, hiring and training the right people properly, it won’t work. I’ve seen a lot failures as people try to get into this category. So we invested in the chemistry, in production facilities, packaging and so on, and in strong technical and educational support.
We’re not just looking at selling the product, we look at providing solutions.
What to Know
We’re not just about installation products; we have a diversified portfolio that provides a complete package of solutions. We have competitors in four different segments, not just tile and stone, and so must have an offering of solutions for a variety of needs. Quality, innovation and the total solution package is what distinguishes us and sets us apart.
|MAPEI Director of Strategic Marketing Real Bourdage.||
MAPEI Owner and CEODr. Giorgio Squinzi