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OVERVIEW (Marble Industry)

Marble is a crystalline, compact variety of metamorphosed limestone, consisting

primarily of calcile (CaCO3), dolomite (CaMg (CO3)6) or a combination of both
minerals. Dimensional stones such a marble has been highly popular since time
immemorial, being used on facades and interiors of houses and buildings.

The term marble is loosely applied to any limestone or dolomite that takes a good polish
and is otherwise suitable as a building stone or ornamental stone. Marbles range in color
from snow-white to gray and black, many varieties being some shade of red, yellow,
pink, green, or buff; the colors, which are caused by the presence of impurities, are
frequently arranged in bands or patches and add to the beauty of the stone when it is cut
and polished. Marble is used as a material in statuary and monuments, as a facing stone in
buildings and residences, and for pillars, colonnades, and paneling, wainscoting, and
floor tiles. Like all limestone’s, it is corroded by water and acid fumes and is thus
ultimately an uneconomical material for use in exposed places and in large cities. The
presence of certain impurities decreases its durability.

Marble was extensively used by the ancient Greeks; the Parthenon and other famous
buildings were constructed of white Pentelic marble from Mt. Pentelicus in Attica, and
the finest statues, e.g., the Venus de' Medici, from the remarkably lustrous Parian marble
from Paros in the Cyclades. These same quarries were later used by the Romans. Among
the famous marbles of Italy are the Carrara and Siena marbles of Tuscany, which were
used by the Romans and the Italian sculptors of the Renaissance. Marbles are quarried in
all parts of the world. The finest marbles in the United States come from Vermont, which
produces large quantities. Other states important as marble producers are Massachusetts,
Maryland, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, California, Colorado, and Arizona.


The production of marble passes through several stages. The main stages are
demonstrated in Figure1. The first stage of production is (1) exploration and
identification of a quarry location, followed by (2) extraction of marble from the quarries,
then (3) lifting and transportation, (4) inventory management, (5) cutting the stone into
slabs and tiles, (6) polishing, and finally, (7) distribution to end users.

FIGURE1. Production & Regulation of marble



The Marble Industry has unique competitive characteristics that

differentiate it from any other industry in terms of technology use and
operational characteristics, in addition to its differentiated market
characteristics. This industry deals with a natural stone that is
appreciated worldwide and has such a high level of product
differentiation inside the same country as well as from one country to
the other. In this industry, what differentiates the raw material from
the final product is the cutting and polishing that is exercised on the
raw material which refines it into a final product. India enjoys
abundance and high quality of the raw material, yet the production
process in India has still a way to go to reach the advanced levels
enjoyed by the top producing countries. Nevertheless, the marble
industry in India is growing from one day to the other and it is very
valuable studying and analyzing the market characteristics of this
industry in India.

In this market, we have varying types of competition: quantity

(capacity) competition exists where the suppliers that can provide big
quantities and can operate their own quarries have a clear edge over
others. However, there is also a tough price competition. Small
suppliers sometimes dump the market by lowering their prices
severely, just for the sake of selling their product and generating cash.
Therefore, bigger marble producers on scale do not always enjoy a 20
price advantage even though their average operating cost may be
lower. Also, market competition is highly differentiated by quality
(vertical differentiation). This depends on target demand and whether
the end user is local or production is done for export purposes. In
addition, horizontal differentiation also exists (according to type and
color of marble produced). Usually, horizontally differentiated
competition is for suppliers who target the elite market.
There is hardly any seasonality of demand. Marble is required all year
long, although it follows very much the business cycle of the
construction sector. If the construction sector witnesses a boom, the
marble industry is always expected to follow and vice versa. Moreover,
demand is usually higher in summer, as construction work is more
intense in summer than in winter, for several reasons among which are
that days are longer and the weather is more predictable.


Worldwide, marble has a trade of $45 billion. Despite having one of the biggest marble
reserves in Asia, Pakistan has a share of one percent in the world market. Pakistan earns
about $20 to 30 million from marble, onyx and granite and their products export to the
United States, China, Europe, Middle East Italy, UK and Germany. The government has
set marble and granite export target to $500 million by 2013, after establishment of
model quarries and Marble Cities initiated by Pakistan Stone Development Company
Marble is an export oriented item. During 2007-08, the country earned around $35
million from the marble and its products export, while in 2006-07, it was $22 million.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (Smeda), is taking keen
interest in the development of this industry. In addition, Smeda has planned to set up a
modern technical training institution to provide assistance in establishment of marble
industry and trained its workers. This would not only ensure availability of skilled local
labour for the industry in required numbers, but also help it to compete with the marble
products in international market.

Worldwide natural stone extraction is estimated at 1150 million ton per year. Annual
production after deduction of waste and cutting losses amounted to about 820 million,
referred to a slab thickness of 2 cm. The total production value was estimated at $40
The global growth took place outside Europe. China now extracts around twice as much
natural stone as the previous market leader Italy. India also overtook Italy last year for the
first time. The most important world importer of finished goods is the USA. Stone
products worth $1.72 billion were imported in 2003, 18.3 percent more than a year ago.
The most important supplier was Italy, which increased its US exports by 7.2 percent to
$535 million within two years.

India's contribution to the world stone market was 10 percent and it produces 27 percent
of the world's stone. The annual growth was about 15 percent and it is now the third
largest natural stone producer in the world, after Italy and China, and plays an important
role in world trade of natural stones. China has become the important player of world
markets in marble and granite tiles especially in gray, pink and other light colors. Its fast
increasing presence has sharply accelerated the trend of lower prices. China exported
natural stones and its products for more than a billion dollar last year. The natural stone
exports increased by almost 20 percent from 924 million dollars to over 1.1 billion
dollars in 2003.

Italian natural stone exports have increased by 5.6 percent in quantity and 2.7 percent in
value terms in the first half of 2004. The total export quantity of marble, granite and other
processed solid stones reached 1.53 million ton in the first six months of 2004, compared
with 1.45 million ton in the first half of 2003. The export value rose from 792 million
euros to 813.1 million euros. The growth was attributed mainly to more exports of granite
and granite products.

During the last 5 years production of marble was as follows:

Technical advancement in the last seventy years had increased the world production and
consumption of dimensional stones to 49.5 million tons. Due to increase in world
consumption the granite and marble trade reached US$ 3.5 billion mark in 2008. Italy is
the major player in the global market and exported 38 percent of the dimensional stone's
export, while its imports were 18 percent of the international imports. Other major
exporters include Spain, Turkey and Portugal. Other major importers were USA, China,
Germany and Hong Kong.
India has been the main exporter of granite and sandstone for the five years. Its exports
have declined by 46 percent in five years but it managed to capture 15.2 percent of the
granite trade in 2008. Norway has a share of 12.4 percent and Italy captured 9.1% of the
market. Italy has been the largest importer of granite and sandstone for the last five years
and accounted for 39.4% of the total imports with a value of US$ 415 million in 2008.

During the 9 months of 2008-09 export of marble and granite from Pakistan increased by
18.07 percent. However, in 2008 granite accounted for US$ 85 thousand in foreign
exchange earnings, which was approximately 0.01 percent of global granite exports.
While the share was 0.03 percent in 2004, exports were US$ 208 thousand.

Marble and granite processing industry is typical in nature, its efficiency is dependent on
the quarry products. In most of the above countries processing is done on highly
sophisticated machinery for quality production. In Pakistan where few units are using
these machines while rest of the industry uses locally fabricated machinery by few
existing manufacturers in the country. These units develop machinery by reserve
engineering (copying of foreign machines), without even doing the basics of machinery
designing. Italian processing industry is far ahead of the world with locally manufactured
machinery of high standards. Many countries have entered into collaboration
arrangements with Italy and other leading stone machinery manufacturers in Germany,
USA and Netherlands.

Marble and Granite is the sixth largest mineral extracted among coal, rock salt, lime
stone, china clay, dolomite, fire clay, gypsum, silica sand etc. Since 1990, mining &
quarrying has consistently contributed 0.5 percent to the Gross Domestic Product.

In Pakistan marble is processed in more than 1,600 units in the country including 685
small and medium size units. These units have been defined in three categories according
to their sizes, small, medium and comparatively large, but not up to the international

Unfortunately the processing strength for granite in the country remains unsatisfactory.
There are only nine units, of which four are operational. All of these units have an
average investment of over Rs.20 million with gang saws, block cutters and polishing
heads. Due to hardness of granite, production capacity of granite processing units is low
as compared to marble. Average production of these units is 6,000 to 8,000 sq/ft per
month per unit.

Most of the units even those with good quality machinery setups are unable to produce
high quality products because of substandard raw materials and low skill level of the
workers. International buyers allow variation of 0.5mm for tiles and 1.0mm for slabs.
Prevailing industry average variations are too high and do not match to the international

Seeing vast opportunities in these sector Italian businessmen have started looking
towards Pakistan for the exploitation of its marble and granite reserves to keep their
marble industry alive as after about 25 years the Italian reserves of this mineral wealth
would exhaust.
Italy is pioneer in introducing mining technology by extensive research and development;
mining is carried out on modern lines in most of the countries except for a few
developing countries, including Pakistan. Standard quarry wastage in the world is taken
at 50 percent of the gross produce; however, in Pakistan this quarry loss is estimated 61
percent to 73 percent.

Italy had 2,500 years history of marble industry, and had been a leading nation in the
dimensional stone business for centuries it has a long base of model mines with the
highest global average for quarry production and state-of-the art processing industry.
Italy is the leading manufactures of stone products, materials and technology, while
Pakistan is one of the few countries endowed by nature with large reserves of marble,
onyx and granite. Therefore, its industry can be benefited from Italy’s experience.

In Pakistan only a few unit are equipped with proper equipments and produce quality
marble and marble products. Generally Pakistani finished goods are of poor quality.
Processing wastage of 45 percent to 55 percent has been estimated.

The primitive mining techniques existing in Pakistan do not allow extraction of standard
blocks; a major factor for the decline in Pakistan's marble industry are slowdown in the
construction industry, lack of quality production and an inconsistent and irregular supply
of raw material. The extraction in Pakistan comprised boring of holes in the bedrock,
which were filled with explosives to blast the block, which results not only in a high
wastage (up to 73 percent), but also in smaller stone size, which substantially reduces the
price, which is directly proportional to size. The extraction of marble in Pakistan was yet
to be developed and value-addition to all marble products can be done with the help of
modern machinery from Italy. It is considered that Pakistan is the right place for foreign
investment, in mining as well as the training of manpower involved in the marble sector
and Italian businessmen can avail this opportunity.


India possesses a wide spectrum of stones ~ granite, marble, sandstone, limestone, slate,
and quartzite. It is amongst the largest producer of raw stone material.

Production areas

Marble deposits are widespread in India: concentration in states of Rajasthan, Gujarat,

Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh. Next Gujarat also produces some very
fine marble followed by Madhya Pradesh.

Rajasthan is the main depository of marble; accounts for over 90% of total marble
production in India [1100 m tons]. Newer varieties of marble are being developed in
Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Sikkim, and Uttar Pradesh & Bengal.

Production Technology

Industry has evolved into the production and manufacturing of blocks, flooring slabs,
structural slabs, calibrated - ready to fix tiles, monuments, tomb stones, sculptures,
artifacts, cobbles, cubes, pebbles and landscape garden stones.
Advent of sophisticated mining machinery & new mining fields has led to increase in
marble production. Although India produces machinery, there is an excellent opportunity
for exporting machineries for working stone: cutting, sawing, grinding and polishing.

Indo-Italian Trade

Italy imports blocks and after cutting and processing exports these all over the world
including India. Italy imports large amounts of granite from India around € 62 million as
compared to imports of Marble which amount to only € 5 million (inclusive of

The whole world economy is facing the recessionary trend since past few years. This has
affected most of the industries, but the commodities of necessity. As marble is not an
essential commodity, marble and related industries have faced a decrease in demand due
to decreased purchasing power of consumers.

Import statistics indicating opportunities for Italian companies:

• [Finished, trimmed, tiles/monumental blocks]
Machinery for cutting, sawing, grinding and polishing

Import of Rough Marble Dimensional Blocks, marble slabs and tiles (other than cut and
polished marble slabs and tiles) is allowed only by special licenses issued by the Director
General of Foreign Trade in India. Till now, annual licenses are issued to those eligible to
import marble blocks into India.

For the year 2008-2009, licenses totaling upto 140,000 tons of rough marble blocks, slabs
and tiles (HS Classifications 25151100, 25151210, 25151220, and 25151290) will be
issued to existing marble sawing and processing units in India who have imported rough
marble blocks and slabs in preceding years when licensing was applicable.

Units who were hitherto eligible to apply for licenses are those units that were importing
marble blocks in period preceding the year from which restrictions came in force.

Out of total licenses of 140,000 tons, eligibility for each eligible license holder is
normally worked out on basis of turnover for the year 2007-08 i.e. the turnover of the
eligible firms for the year 2006-07, or the turnover of these firms for the year 2004-05
with a cap of 10%, whichever is less.

The licenses are issued on actual user basis and the maximum entitlement is 14,000 tons
for any single license holder.
There are certain points to bear in mind regarding these licenses:-

1. These licenses are not applicable to 100% Export Oriented Units or Units in
Special Economic Zones that are eligible to import rough marble blocks and slabs
for processing export orders directly or as deemed exports.
2. A passbook is maintained for the imports and the importer has to file monthly
returns with the licensing authorities to keep record of the amount of imports and
balance available.
3. Import of Dolomite is banned against these licenses. Therefore what is known as
Thassos White Marble cannot be imported in rough blocks or slabs form other
than by 100% export oriented units. For domestic consumption in India, Thassos
White marble has to be imported in cut and polished form only.

In case an eligible importer fails to use his full entitlement he sells his license in the open
market. Currently the rate for these licenses is approximately Rs.10, 000 - Rs.11, 000 per
ton depending on the demand / availability.

The floor price of imported marble (the minimum import price) should be not less than
US$325 per ton c&f for blocks and US$500 per ton c&f for slabs.

Marble manufacturers associations have made a representation to the licensing authorities

to review the licensing regime.

Marble industry of Rajasthan is an important industry generating Rs. Rs. 5,55,178

thousand approximately. However, it is mainly confined to Rajasthan with about 95%
of national production segregated in the state. As a result much importance has not been
attached to the industry and very few futuristic studies have been made. Even in the much
acclaimed ‘Vision 2020’ by Honourable Shri A.P.J. Abdul Kalam there is no forecast
about this industry.

Seeing to the importance of this industry in the state, the studies are mainly based on two
factors, (i) On the basis of regression equation based on the past performances of marble
industry. (ii) Correlation with other related industries, the futuristic trends of which have
already been determined. In addition to these important factors parameters like
population growth, per capita income, globalization and open economy, Government
policies, discovery marble deposits in other states, environmental aspects, and natural
hazards etc have also been given due cognizance.


Rajasthan has been bestowed with huge reserves of marble. So far there is no problem as
such of shortage of supply of marble in the state. Estimated reserves of the state are 1100
million tons, which are more than 91% of the total marble reserves of the country. The
present hard times faced by the industry in the state are in fact a result of imbalance of
demand and supply of marble in the market. Lured by the high profit margins of the
trade, several entrepreneurs have entered in the industry. With the advent of modern
technology in the past few decades, the production of marble has increased like any thing.
The cost of production has come down and the speed and quality of production have
improved a lot. Moreover, the reduction in wastage has also resulted in increased
production. All this resulted in supply of huge surplus to the demand in the market.


It is a well known fact that marble now has become a thing of necessity, rather than a
luxury. Marble has now become the cheapest and the best option for the flooring of the
building constructions besides the other uses. Demand of marble has grown steadily in
the past few decades, although the supply of marble in market is much more than the

Table 10 gives the year wise production data of marble since 1950. Figure shows the
chart on the basis of these figures. A trend line has been drawn on the basis of these
figures and its equation has been derived to work out the future figures. In this chart the
figure of 1950 and 1955 are not taken into consideration as at that time, the mining and
processing activities were very crude and the demand of marble was very limited so the
figure derived with those data might give misleading results. As is evident from the chart,

the industry is having an exponential growth rate. The impressive trend line shown in the
graph is in fact a modest representation of the growth rate of the industry. If we draw a
trend line on the basis of production figures of last 10 years, the trend line would be much

Table 10: Year-wise Number of Leases, Production & Revenue of Marble in

Rajasthan (1950 To 2000).
S.No Year No. of leases Production in Revenue in
Marble + green Q.L. ’000 Tone ’000 rupees
1. 1960 ___ ___ 17.620 117.880
2. 1965 ___ ___ 6.611 N/A.
3. 1970 16 ___ 30.300 N/A.
4. 1975 50 ___ 56.400 N/A.
5. 1980 66 ___ 63.420 679.600
6. 1985 216 ___ 139.000 127.300
7. 1990 ___ ___ 261.900 4955.100
8. 1995 ___ ___ 716.700 31696.800
9. 2000 3473 ___ 1514.600 117795.20
10. 2005 3775 798 3023.960 316700.000
11. 2010 3243 840 4278.630 555177.551

Apart from this change in the living styles and the preferences of common men are also
instrumental in increasing the demand of marble in the past three decades.

The studies indicate that the demand and supply of marble both have an increasing trend.
But at present the demand of marble is much below the supply. The reasons which affect
the demand and supply of marble in the country are explained here:

Increased Production

Due to advent of sophisticated mining machinery and development of new mining fields
marble production has increased manifolds. The biggest role in this has been played by
the invention of wire saw & chain saw for marble mining and diamond gang saw for
the processing. To bring down the cost per ton of production, most of the big mine
owners followed the principle of increasing the production. As a result markets were
flooded with marble and there were few takers. This is one of the most important reasons
behind the present imbalance between the demand and supply of marble in the market.
Moreover some new deposits of marble have been discovered. Earlier in Rajasthan there
were only two marble producing regions, i.e. Makarana and Ambaji, but now 20 districts
of the state are producing marble. As supply of marble kept on increasing the prices were
forced to come down.

Decrease in growth rate of construction activities.

There has been a global reduction in the growth rate of construction activities since last
few years. Marble industry has its sole dependence on the construction industry. The
production of marble has increased in the past few years (Figure) and the construction
activities too have increased. The core of the problem is that rate of growth of marble
production is having an increasing trend whereas the growth rate of construction
activities world over is having a declining trend. So the supply of marble is much more
than what is required.

Overall Global Recession Faced by the World Economy

The whole world economy is facing the recessionary trend since past few years. This has
affected most of the industries, but the commodities of necessity. As marble is not an
essential commodity, marble and related industries have faced a decrease in demand due
to decreased purchasing power of consumers. This phenomena is not limited to India but
is evident the world over. Experts are of the opinion that the world economy is right now
going through the troughs of the trade cycles.

International Disturbances

Major disturbances in the world and especially in the Indian subcontinent have attributed
to decrease in exports of marble from India. Following the growing tensions with the
neighbouring countries, India has to give due cognisance to its militia and defence. Steps
taken by the Government of India to prove its military strength have not been taken very
well by the developed nations of the west. This has imparted temporary effect on the
overall exports from the country.

The September 11, 2001 attacks on World Trade Centre, in New-York City have also
impelled the authority’s world over, to rethink about the constructions of high rise
buildings. Since then, there has been down fall in building construction activities in
western countries.

Other Marble Producing Nations

This is yet another reason for decreased exports from India. Other countries like China,
Italy, Greece, Spain etc. are not only producing good quality of marble, but they have
shelved their prices too, in the past few years.

There is much hype in the trade circles that with the ingress of ‘Global Agreement on
Trade and Tariff’ (GATT) and “World Trade Organisation’ (WTO) the entry of the
imported marble in the country will adversely affect the marble industry of the state. But
in fact the systems are going to help the marble industry of the state rather than harming

There are many reasons, which ensure that the imported marble can not compete with the
Indian varieties on the price front.

So largest sector of Indian buyers that is the middle class of the country will remain a
safe market for the Indian producer. In America largest numbers of anti dumping charges
after China are against Indian companies. So the western countries are more afraid of
prices of our products than we are of theirs.
These systems will increase the market of our market. Every one do agrees that marble
varieties of Rajasthan are world class and some of them are unique to Rajasthan only.

Dimension stones being of natural occurrence are available at very few places in the
world. At many countries even if marble deposits are available these are not being mined
either due to lack of infrastructure facilities, lack of capital in the underdeveloped nations
or due to environmental over awareness, giving no cognisance to such industries in the
developed nations.
So WTO and GATT are going to help the Dimension stones industry of India very much
if not to the other industries. More over, as a sequel to that Indian Dimension stones
processing industry will get more work as than they can process marble from some
countries and resale it to other countries. China is doing this practice since past many
years and has been highly benefited from it.

Along with easier import of foreign goods in the Indian market, these schemes also
ensure similarly easy export of Indian goods to foreign markets. So the tempo created in
the industry about the repercussions of these schemes is a short-sighted interpretation of
Liking of the customers:

It is a fact that the liking of the customers for stone cladding has increased dramatically in
the past three decades. Main reasons behind this are heavy production of Dimension
stones making availability of these much easier and affordable. Mechanization has been
instrumental in the development of this industry in the world over. Now the time and the
cost involved in the final production of marble has been considerably reduced. As a result
marble has entered in the middle class sector of the country. Now marble is the cheapest
and the most suitable option for flooring of the residential and official constructions.
Though in the states farther from Rajasthan it may not be the cheapest option on account
of transportation charges, but still it enjoys supremacy over other options for flooring.

Reasons behind the increasing popularity of marble

• Low cost: Now marble has emerged as a very cheap option for the flooring
purposes. Earlier it used to be a leisurely thing which could be afforded by only
few, now it holds the twin advantage of catering the needs of both cost conscious
as well as elite customers seeking exclusivity. Moreover the cost of the competing
Dimension stone i.e. granite is much higher than marble and good ceramic tiles
are also costlier and less durable than marble, this point also goes in favor of the
marble industry.

• Beautiful looks: “A thing of beauty is joy for ever”, the saying stands true for
marble too. Whether its flooring or the elevation marble looks good. Availability
in huge variety of colors, shades and designs increase the beauty of marble all the
more. Marble does not suffer the problem of monotony, which is one of the major
drawbacks with the applications of granite and the ceramic tiles.
• Longevity: Generally used Dimension stones for the purpose of flooring and
elevations are marble, granite, sandstone and slate. Of these only marble and
granite can be applied on the flooring as the other two are porous. Both these
natural stones are long lasting. This is one of the big advantages of these over
other Dimension stones and ceramic tiles. In fact the longevity of granite is much
more than marble but the historical monuments made of marble are good evidence
that the longevity of marble is also well enough more than one expects.

Competition from the Marble of Other States

There is going to be some competition to the Rajasthan marble mining and processing
industry with the development of marble industry in the other states. But seeing to the
quantum of the reserves of other marble producing states viz. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh
and Karnataka such worries appear irrelevant. Though these states are more centrally
located in the country having cheaper approach to the different parts of the country, but
each of these marble mining centers are having limited varieties of marble. The
processing industries of these places have to look ultimately towards Rajasthan for
catering to their needs to keep them in running conditions. Moreover entrepreneurs doing
them business in these sates are mainly of Rajasthan origin only. So in fact development
of marble industry in the other states will increase the demand of marble blocks from


Recently, Government has introduced many new laws pertaining to the proper and
sustainable development of marble industry, and these are well received by the persons
related to the industry.

Removal of Excise duty: One of the major changes that the Government has introduced
is the removal of the excise duty on marble (upto the annual sales of Rs.1 Crore). This is
a major step as so far marble was the only mineral product in the country on which excise
was imposed. The removal of the excise duty will reduce the landed cost of marble to the
end user and this will surely increase the demand of marble in the market.

New marble policy: The new policy for the marble mining will facilitate the search of
new marble areas in the state. The new policy not only allows the grant of mining lease
for marble in the state but also permits the prospecting work for the search of new areas
of marble deposits. In total it can be said that the Government had realized the
importance of this industry and now seems to be committed towards the development of
the industry.

Marble industry of Rajasthan depends a lot on the export market. The series of recent
events throughout the world have affected the Indian exports of marble. It started with the
nuclear tests conducted by the Government of India in 1999. In response to theses tests
many of the western nations imposed sanctions on business relations with India. This
effected most of the export oriented Indian industries. This was a major setback for the
marble industry of Rajasthan as there was already a problem of surplus production.

The industry was not able to recover from the impact of these sanctions when the
September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in United States worsened the situations even more.
Rate of growth of Indian natural stone exports have decreased severely as a result of
these events. At present the international community is quite hesitant to make deals with
the concerns of the subcontinent seeing to the disturbances between India and Pakistan
and possibility of conflict between the two nations.

Besides these disturbances there is one more threat to the Indian stone industry, which is
presented by China. In the recent years China has started exporting marble and other
natural stones at very cheap prices and is capturing a large portion of the market.

India being the largest producer of marble in the world and fifth largest exporter has its
domestic market quite safe but the international market of Indian marble has been
severely affected by the Chinese market policies.


The ongoing recession has bruised the real estate sector and the marble industry of
Rajasthan. Kishangarh, which was a leading town in marble processing till recently, has
been forced to bear the brunt of recession.

Hundreds of marble miners and processors here have been affected by stagnancy.
According to the Kishangarh Marble Industry Association, the downward trend has
resulted in sales falling by 10-15 per cent. Quarry owners and processors of marbles,
granites and other stones fear that the global recession can drastically affect their

The marble industry in Kishangarh witnessed growth rate of five per cent prior to the
global recession. Around 4,000 people are directly employed in it while another 15,000
persons are engaged in downstream activities of marble industry. Over the past couple of
years major processors in Kishangarh had also taken up branding of their products.

On the basis of all the points projected above, it is assessed that the industry has
developed itself in a very good manner, especially in the past few years. The present
harsh time faced by the industry are due to the increased supply which is quite natural
phenomenon for any developing industry and some other unnatural factors which are of
short term nature.
1. Production of marble has increased a lot in the past few years and this trend will
2. The demand of marble will further increase as a result of decreased prices.
3. The exorbitant profit margins enjoyed by the producers and the traders will decrease
and the prices of marble will become more regularized.

On the basis of the data discussed in this paper it is prognosticated that the industry will
surely grow in the times to come but it is expected to grow in a centralized manner.
Heavy mechanization will largely prevail. Though new areas have been discovered in
Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat but it will take those years to catch up with marble industry
of Rajasthan as the Mundies for marble are in Rajasthan only.

The prices of marble are expected to further go down with the increased competition and
as the cost of production are expected to come further down in future. The total
production of marble is expected to increase at the rate of 12% per annum or more and
the exports of marble and products thereof from the country are expected to increase at
around 20% per annum. Domestic consumption of marble in the country is
prognosticated to increase at the rate of around 10% per annum.

At international level the future of Rajasthan marble industry seems to be promising.

Many of the famous mines of Europe have already exhausted. China presents a tough
competition, as it too has vast marble producing areas, developed processing industry and
very competitive prices but the quality and colour of marble from China are not very
appealing. Moreover, construction activities in China have almost reached to their
saturation, but the urbanization of India has in fact just started, which provides a huge
scope of domestic consumption.

Under the given set of circumstances, India is expected to dominate the marble industry
in the world, with Rajasthan to be the hub of activities. On the basis of the studies made
in the paper we can infer that marble industry of the state is shaving a bright future, and
will keep on growing in spite of all odds. The industry will rule over the world with
increased production of good quality marble, decreased production cost and increased

• In general, the marble industry in Rajasthan has a good potential

to prosper and to be one of the driving forces for the country's
overall economic well-being especially as natural resources
abound. Regulating this important resource of the country is
mandatory for sustainable development.

• Moreover, improving the quality of the final product is key to

invading the international markets and establishing a reputation
in this field. High profitability could lead to further market entry
which may prove to attract more efficient production technology.

• This might lead to market segmentation, where value-driven and

export-oriented firms will tend towards an oligopoly, whereas
local-oriented cost-driven firms with relatively low technology will
tend towards monopolistic competition.

• In all cases, to achieve a more competitive marble industry in

Rajasthan in the long-run, effective government regulation is

• Marble Institute of America (MIA), website: http://www.marble-

• "Marble & Granite" In SMEDA. ( 12 July


• Stone 2000, cited in (online reference


• “World Stone Industries: Leading Quarrying Production”,

•" title="Facts and

information about marble"