A coffee with...Vittorio Baghin (Agglo Baghin, Italy)
Discover what Vittorio Baghin - CEO of Agglo Baghin - told us about his entrepreneurial experience in the Engineered Stone Industry, the unique relationship with his international customers and the attention to the technical-aesthetic characteristics of the finished product.
About Agglo Baghin
Agglo Baghin was founded at the end of the nineties by Luciano and Vittorio Baghin, on the strength of their entrepreneurial experience in the field of kilns and brick products.
In a period when many companies were investing in the production of resin-bonded composite stone slabs, they were among the first to believe in the cement-based Engineered Stone business and at the end of the nineties, they bought a Breton Terastone® plant.
With extreme dedication, Vittorio Baghin - the current CEO and President of the company - has managed to combine product innovation and tradition, offering the market a unique product featuring high quality and resistance.
Today their material, called Ecostone®, is known worldwide and has been chosen by architects for many public projects, including airports, underground stations and hospitals.
Agglo Baghin has combined the manufacturing capacity with the technological efficiency of Breton Terastone® plants, employs 14 people and has an annual turnover of around 4 million euros.
The ingredients of success
From the very start, Agglo Baghin has invested heavily in research and development, producing its products in collaboration with Breton. Today Agglo Baghin has a plant capable of guaranteeing high levels of productivity and quality and considerable production flexibility. This allows production to be variable according to market requirements. In twenty years of activity, Agglo Baghin has gained considerable experience in the sector and is currently present in all continents, with more than 80 projects to its name.
The range of products offered is very wide and, in addition to the high technical characteristics, is appreciated for its aesthetics: for this reason, Ecostone® has also become a protagonist in applications in the residential sector.
The importance of always developing new products
Vittorio Baghin has always been focused on the development of new products and qualifying technologies. Ever since he invested in the Breton Terastone® system, he has never stopped perfecting and improving the product. About this, he says: "From the very begininng, I had the opportunity to be trained in the Breton Research Centre and to follow closely the technologies behind the process. I had the honour of working together with Mr. Toncelli, who devoted part of his time to developing new products with me - some of which are still in production.
Cement is a material that is as simple as it is complex, and you have to follow the rules to the letter so that you don't make mistakes that can compromise its quality later on. It is necessary to understand the limits and potential of cement in order to produce a material that meets the demands of our customers. I would like to thank Breton and the entire Toncelli family for supporting me over the years."
Ecostone: the best non-slip product
Ecostone® tiles are produced using Breton's innovative Terastone® technology, which bonds stone materials such as marble, granite, quartz, porphyry, diorite and gravel with cement and water. Vittorio Baghin explains about the technology "The amount of stone contained in our product is very high (about 75%), and the superior quality cement is mixed with a limited amount of water. The result is a very homogeneous, dense and compact paste structure. With the vacuum vibro-compaction process, the tile will be more beautiful and more resistant."
The result is a completely natural product, which, due to its aesthetic refinement, is used in elegant and prestigious environments and, due to its technical-mechanical characteristics, is also suitable for places exposed to intense pedestrian traffic.
For these reasons, it has been chosen and included in the specifications of many public projects in large cities such as the various London Underground stations, the airport terminals in Perth, Melbourne and Dublin, various shopping centres and museums around the world - to name but a few.
One of the most important aspects in the choice of material is slip resistance, which is evaluated with specific tests - for example the R9 ramp test, which checks the slipperiness of a wet floor based on its inclination. Vittorio explains: "We have studied the material for a long time and we have realised that, by making mini-channels on the surface of the material, we can create a grip that drastically reduces slipperiness. This is why Ecostone® has been chosen for large public projects.
Agglo Baghin worldwide
The Ecostone® material is present in all continents and Vittorio Baghin tells about his personal sales experience "when we started the business, I used to spend three weeks outside and one week at the headquarters. I find it hard to believe that external companies can carry out the creation of sales networks, I think you have to create your own network by carefully choosing people in the various countries - be they agents or distributors.
Today Agglo Baghin uses both agents and distributors, depending on the needs dictated by the country. The sales of our product are focused abroad, with exports accounting for over 95% of total sales. The markets that give us the most satisfaction are the Anglo-Saxon ones - very attentive to the technical characteristics of the product, Israel and the countries of Northern Europe. Our strength is that we have created a cement-based product that cannot be replicated by any other player. Ecostone® is synonymous with quality, strength and aesthetic refinement."