How a family-owned SME helped build the Kazakh capital

By Aliya Boranbayeva

The new capital of Kazakhstan is a mere 20 years old and its construction has been the work not only of large corporations, but many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well.

EBRD supports Nur-Sultan’s Stone Decor 

The new capital of Kazakhstan is a mere 20 years old and its construction has been the work not only of large corporations, but many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well.

One of them is Stone Decor. Together with her family, Kymbat Arslan, the owner, has been growing the company for almost the whole of the capital’s history.

Ms Arslan’s story is inspirational for women thinking of launching their own businesses in a male-dominated industry.

“Working hard and dreaming big helps, as well as believing in yourself,” she said.   

“It was an interesting time,” Kymbat recalled. “Twenty years ago, then Astana, now Nur-Sultan, the city was an empty place, just the piece of the steppe where suddenly construction development started going on. People were coming from every corner of Kazakhstan to take part in huge construction project of the Kazakh capital and to get their share”.

At huge construction site many companies needed high quality finishing materials. Kymbat found the right niche in the market, as her company works with sought-after materials such as marble, granite, onyx, travertine and limestone.

The company is the official representative of one of the best known Italian stone factories, Antolini Luigi. It also collaborates with suppliers from Turkey, Spain, China and elsewhere in Kazakhstan.

Today, it has an office in a prestigious area of the capital, as well as factory and stone art gallery where, depending on the season, about 50 to 100 people work under Ms Arslan’s leadership.

Watch the video about how Kymbat Arslan’s company Stone Décor grew and changed. 
 

More videos

Making history

The EBRD, with funding from the government of Kazakhstan, last year helped the company to automate its business processes and improve its marketing. Ms Arslan has now become a participant of the FastTrack accelerated programme for leading enterprises led by women in Kazakhstan, part of the EBRD’s Women in Business programme.

She has already implemented some of the most important projects in the history of the Kazakh capital. In 2017, Stone Decor prepared the facilities hosting the Expo – International Exposition “Future Energy”. Other large projects include the decoration of the Hotel Hilton, the Congress Hall and the shopping mall "Mega Silk Way".

Dreaming BIG

Stone Decor has not only acquired extensive management expertise, it has also nurtured a whole galaxy of stone craftsmen, as well as attracting regular customers from private sector organisations, large construction companies and government departments.