‘Cosentino’, one of the major marble’s companies around the world. Interview with Francisco Martínez Cosentino by María Dolores Sánchez.


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Francisco Martínez Cosentino, dueño y presidente de la compañía. | ELMUNDO.es

Since the beginning of the course, I felt an enormous curiosity for the region my group and I have written some articles: Asia. My surprise arrived when I knew I would have to do an interview to someone who had something to do with such zone. I was so exiting at the same time I was scared (I had never done an interview before). In fact, to have achieved to interview to Mr. Francisco Martínez Cosentino (the director of one of the major multinational companies on the world) almost was a miracle (a student of the first course of her grade hasn’t many contacts).

However, when I mentioned excitedly this project to my parents, they told me that maybe they could help me by contacting with Mr. Francisco, because they work in the same sector that him and both proceed from the same zone (Almería). From this moment, I started my incessant fight to get the interview. It was really difficult because this last two weeks he has been in the United States. The time change and his busy schedule did impossible to have a conversation by phone.

He finally could dedicate to me some minutes. We started speaking about his company. Thus, I was informed that in 1979 he tarted his activity with a little company inherited of his father, and with the help of his brother Eduardo. He called it ‘Cosentino’, and it had seventeen employees and a turnover of thirty million ‘pesetas’ (the ancient coin in Spain) at first. On the other hand, his other brother José was the latest in adhering.

Little by little, the company has become one of the most relevant multinational companies in the industrial sector. Nowadays, it has 2300 direct workers (and much more indirect workers of more little businesses as Mr. Francisco said), branches around the world, and sales of more than four hundred million euros per year. In textual words, to become what they are ‘have cost more than one tear’, he said.

When I asked him what kind of products his company market, he said that they have their own marble quarries, silestone (an artificial stone that they have developed since 1990, and that is the start product to kitchens and bathrooms).Besides, their most recent creation has been the dekton, a material that can be used for all type of surfaces.

After a general view of his multinational company, I scrutinized about what reasons led him to the international level, to which he replied ‘the love I have always felt for entrepreneurship and innovation’. After a little pause, he added ‘to travel has always been something I like, so I thought it could be an excellent opportunity to make it a reality’.

At this point of the conversation I decided to ask respect the topic of the branches of the company in Asia (which was the key point of my interview). Mr. Francisco responded that several years ago he sold in Asia by first time, and he realized that everything was going well and that the market was on the rise. In this way, two years ago he started all needed procedures for instal branches there.

‘My company inaugurated facilities in Singapore on 30th of September, and just a month ago -9th of May- in Malaysia. ‘These two branches promise to be a strategic point to our market in Asia’, he clarified with emotion and triumphant voice.

He also commented me about the sales in Asia. According to the statistics, they have gained twelve million euros, and they expect eighteen million euros for this year. Thus, much people call the Asian market the ‘fourth engine’ of Cosentino. Nevertheless, he ensure that it is impossible to equate the benefits that Europe or the United States give them.

Another aspect that I was interested along the phone conversation was the cultural and language differences, due to the increasing income in Asia t is supposed that it was a cause of a good management in the branches. Effectively, the answer of Mr. Francisco pointed out that they usually choose native employees for a better operation. ‘We consider an essential requirement to work with us to deal with people in an optimum way’, he said.

I also asked him if Asian employees perform better on the job. He responded with an example: ‘both in Spain as in Asia there do exist working hours that are the same for everyone. In addition, this is an industrial company, so we work mainly with machines, therefore it is impossible that differences in performance occur’.

Finally, I told him if he could describe his professional experience in Asia, to which he responded: ‘Definitely very positive. Expanding horizons is always something enriching’.

After this, with a cordial greeting and a cheerful voice, he said goodbye, leaving us a pleasant view of what a company of such magnitude is, altogether to a great person he is. Thus, I have to say that this interview has helped me to see the business world as a world of opportunities, and to know that with a strong entrepreneur character, it is possible to achieve whatever we want.

 

María Dolores Sánchez Sánchez.

 

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