Apart from being a natural stone processor and a quartz engineered stone manufacturer, TAB Surfaces also prides itself as a successful quarrier — operating at least half a dozen natural stone sites for mainly its own consumption in slabs, tiles and cut-to-size pieces. One of the primary colors, which has now become one of the hottest selling stones in the U.S. from India, especially during the last five years, is Viscon White/Viscount White granite. A stone characterized by a white background with marble-like gray/black veining running through it. The material was traditionally a very popular stone in Europe, particularly for outdoor applications, and also for ceremonial and graveyard stones. Despite being white in background, the stone is very dense and is resistant to weathering, rusting and wear and tear that normal white granites are prone to staining. TAB started promoting this color for the 2cm and 3cm slab countertop market in the U.S. more than a decade ago and the trend quickly caught on. Now it is among one of the very few granite products from India that is in high demand. Viscon White is an extremely versatile stone in various finishes, both for indoor, as well as outdoor, use.
TAB owns and operates two separate quarry leases in the town of Punganur, near Madanapalli in Andhra Pradesh. The two quarries are among the very few sites of this material which successfully produce blocks in different sizes of this popular color on a regular basis. Like TAB’s stone-processing plants, even the quarries are well mechanized and use the most advanced methods of quarrying responsibly. While one team of workers is engaged in production, another team is constantly clearing up the other sides — making them ready for production and preventing minimum stoppage, as it is very common in a quarrying operation to stop for development of a new quarrying face. Each quarry has a solid sheet deposit of 5 acres, and the quarries still have only been scratched on the surface. Usually, the blocks are cut according to the largest sizes sellable in different categories, where the largest blocks are taken to the factory for cutting into slabs of various thickness. Medium and smaller blocks are cut into slabs of higher thickness for the monument industry in the European market, as well as for cut-to-size projects around the world. The large blocks cut by gangsaws, which are usually 300cm to 330cm in length and 180cm to 200cm in height, are reserved especially for the 2cm and 3cm countertop market.
Environmental sustainability and social responsibility
All of TAB’s facilities are run with the highest social, legal and moral ethos. TAB has been certified under Integrated Management Systems (I.M.S) for ISO 9001/14001/45001, which are the highest qualification standards for quality of product, services, environmental responsibility, occupational safety and health of the employees. TAB provides its employees the best of protective gear and working conditions to ensure everyone is safe and healthy, and at the same time, that the environment is never compromised. Each quarry is planted with local species of trees all along the boundaries of the quarries as a commitment towards growing as many trees as possible. As a practice, any quarry/area which is exhausted is re-filled using soil and planted with trees to balance the impact of quarrying and ensuring the quarries are not left barren. TAB also does not hire any underage personnel, and believes in following the highest ethical standards.
“Recycle, Reuse, Reduce” has always been an anthem at TAB, and the same is followed at the quarry level as well. With the help of local authorities and the other quarries operating in the area, the majority of the stone waste which is produced during the course of quarrying is regularly broken down and supplied to a local stone crushing unit set up within the periphery of the quarries, which in turn uses the stone waste to convert it into smaller-sized granite grit — locally known as “stone jelly” – which becomes a major input in the construction industry. This eliminates the dumping of waste on vast pieces of land, rendering it useless instead of converting it into useful, sellable and usable product.
“Throughout history, stone has been used to build monuments,” said brothers Amit and Sumit Gupta, founders of TAB. “It is the only and best form of storing and saving the expression apart from what has been said and documented. We are not just natural stone processors, we are natural stone dreamers. We run all of our business professionally and continue to grow and learn. At TAB, adopting the latest technologies, while still being environmentally responsible and sustainable, has been and always will be our main goal.”