In 1975, Brazilian brothers Celio and Zelto de Andrade created the Andrade Group, which started off as an aluminum company. Fifteen years later in 1990, Andrade S/A Marmores e Granitos was founded. The Group started exporting granite as its first activity, and a few years later, became a world reference in the stone industry — offering the best quality in blocks, granite slabs and imported stones. Now, 25 years later, Andrade Group has become one of the leading exporters of imported marble and Brazilian granite.

Today, the Andrade Group is composed of six companies. The company’s headquarters, along with Andrade S/A, is strategically located in Serra, Espírito Santo, Brazil, only a few minutes away from the state’s capital, Vitória.

Currently, Andrade Group owns and operates 10 active quarries, which extract Gold Brazil/New Venetian, Imperial Coffee, Chocolate, Blue Fantasy, Verde Pavão (Green Butterfly), Piracema White, Candeias Green, White Wave, Santa Cecilia and Santa Cecilia Classic. “Andrade Group has been investing in its own quarries since 2004, when it started extracting Gold Brazil — one of the biggest sellers in America,” said Josy Loss de Andrade Marafiotti, marketing manager for Andrade Group. “They started exporting blocks in 2006 with Imperial Coffee to China, and it has been growing with every year, already reaching Italy, Indonesia, Poland, India and others. The last big acquisition was the Piracema White quarry, a consolidated material already being sold worldwide with its unique characteristics — color and movement.”

With all of its quarries and important partnerships with several suppliers around the country, the Andrade Group offers 57 different types of granite, 12 different types of marble and 18 different types of quartz in a variety of colors. “Very soon, the company will present a new and exclusive marble from Minas Gerais, and is [also] working on a large production of a perfect White Granite from Espírito Santo,” said Marafiotti.

Maintaining a successful business

Owners Celio and Zelto work intensively to keep the company organized and always follow the philosophy of good quality and service. “Celio values teamwork, praises communication and believes that quality shouldn’t only be in the product and service that we provide, but also in how we treat people,” explained Marafiotti. “Zelto understands that knowledge and technology can make a day-by-day difference and says, ‘Well qualified professionals allied to our structure bring good benefits to themselves as well as to the company.’”

Investment in up-to-date technology is a top priority of the Andrade Group, which uses the most modern machines and equipment for extraction and industrialization of ornamental stones. All of Andrade’s machinery has the latest Italian technology imported from Simec, including two wire saws that were recently installed at Andrade S/A and a new resin and polish line at North Andrade, according to Marafiotti. The company also has a waste treatment system that deters residues from the processing of stones and recycles and reuses water that is used in the production process.

Andrade also has a special type of software system, which was created in 2000 especially for the company. “This system controls everything in the company, from costs to accounting, quarries, cutting, polishing process, slab pictures, sales, documentation, etc.,” said Marafiotti. “We know exactly what time, who is involved and how much we spend in each step of the production process. That’s why it helps us to keep and improve the quality.”

Although the company has made significant technological and ecological investments over the years to improve production capacity and proficiency, Zelto and Marafiotti highlighted the critical importance of the company’s veteran workers. “An important characteristic is that most of our employees stay with us for 10 to 20 years — growing together,” said Marafiotti. “The sales manager, Derlane Romano, is a good example, as she completed 21 years working with the company with the same enthusiasm she has now as she had in the beginning, using her experience to train more people for the team.”

Within the last year, the Andrade Group has hired more than two dozen workers, contributing to its current workforce of more than 300 employees. “The dedicated sales representatives are ready to assist the customers in any inquiry and firmly believe that no client or order is too small or too big,” said Marafiotti.

What the future holds

With its new machinery and advancements, the company is expecting to produce 645,835 square feet (60,000 square meters) of polished slabs in 2015. Also, since Andrade has important commercial partnerships in Latin America, the U.S., Canada and Europe, as well as the Middle East and Africa, 2015 will be a year to focus on increasing slab sales both locally and worldwide, according to Marafiotti. “Andrade Group recognizes that the future depends on the ability to serve the needs of the customers, and its goal is to consistently meet its clients’ expectations in order to enjoy shared success in the years to come,” she said.

“To improve what is not good enough is easy, but to improve what is already good involves much harder work and business management,” added Zelto.