This month, TSJ caught up with Vincenzo Vichi Montoli, the CEO of Brevetti Montolit SpA, which manufactures the globally successful Masterpiuma Tile Cutter.
Key to Montolit’s success is the company’s ability to listen to what the professional tile installer needs and to take this into innovating some of the most popular products in the market.
Vichi’s grandfather, Vincenzo Montoli, was born near Varese in Northern Italy in 1892. At the end of the Second World War, and with Italy in turmoil, he formed a small company in 1946 that specialised in the industrial cutting tools sector. Within ten years they had turned this expertise into cutting machines for tile, marble, and roof shingles. This was the birth of the Montolit company.
Research and development became an integral part of the company’s ethos, as it remains today.
Finding out how installers work, think and use their tools became a fundamental part of its success with (at the time) ground-breaking innovation.
With this innovation, and still today, patenting products was essential to stop competitors copying inventions. Vichi explains: “The Italian word for patent is brevetti, so this word was added to the name of the company to form what we know today as Brevetti Montolit SpA. We must make sure that our innovation is protected. Cheap imitations are not good for the industry.”
Vichi joined Montolit in 1977, at the age of eighteen, while still studying a degree in Economics and Trade. He quickly set up Montolit France, a separate business and started to look at how Montolit can become a global brand with the innovation it has. Montolit was, by this point, winning many European awards for its ideas and growing reputation.
Since Vichi’s appointment as CEO in 1986, Montolit has become a worldwide success with customers in over 100 countries, with sales and popularity now growing rapidly too in the UK market.
Vichi defines why Montoli has been so successful and why the values that have given Montolit the unofficial title of “the professional’s choice” within the market. “Being from Italy, we understand what a professional tile installer needs to be able to do his job the best he can. We innovate for them. We work with the tile factories. Everything is hand made here in Italy to the highest standard and specification. We know the issues that cutting and shaping tiles and stone can bring, and we try to give them the best solutions of our 77 years’ experience and knowledge. We also get a lot of ideas from the people who use our products. We listen to them.”
Over the years, Montolit has launched and refined its super professional tile cutters. The latest model being the hugely successful MASTERPIUMA P5 which launched last year. Vichi adds: “The P5 cutter is our best yet. It has many great features that give the tile installer a lot of solutions, even tiles that are over 1600mm. We improved the cutter after listening to the installers who use it. Montolit also has many quality products such as premium diamond blades and core bits that are designed give a fantastic finish but ultimately, they are made to last. We are always first for innovation.”
Another factor in Montolit’s success is its communication with the end-user, the tile installer. “We decided many years ago now, that with the growth of social media we would be the company that spoke to the end-user, our customer, the tile installer. Giuseppe Maffei and his great team run the digital marketing and engage daily with our customer’s – it has been hugely successful, and we are the most followed manufacturer in this sector globally. We have a video demonstration of every product we produce, and they are watched thousands of times a day.”
Montolit gauges its success with its ability to communicate with the people who will use the products on a day-to-day basis. “We understand the problems they will face, and the difficult job which being a professional tile installer involves. It is not only a trade, but an art-form. The owner of the project, be it a house owner or a big Supermarket wants the finish to be perfect. Montolit products help the installer with innovative products and superb technical support”.
Montolit have been growing fast within the UK market, with National Brand Manager Jason P. Smith at the helm since February 2021. “Our UK business is very important to us. Tile installers here are learning that investing in Montolit products helps them with their professional life and we want to support them as much as we can. We work with fantastic partners who also share the same values as us and want to provide solutions to their customers too. This is also why we joined the tile association, as they value our passion and dedication for high standards, professionalism, and growth for the UK tile market”.
With many more innovative products planned in the future and more professional tile installers converting to the Montolit range, demand for the Montolit Cutters is high. The future in the UK looks extremely bright for Montolit.