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940 Greenleaf Avenue | Elk Grove Village, Il. 60007 | www.msistone.com
MS International

The beginnings of MS International, Inc. (MSI) is a typical American success story. Founder Manu Shah and his wife Rika started the original location of MSI in 1975 in the basement of their Indiana home as a way to enhance Shah's income as a mechanical engineer withInternational Harvester. With the help of Shah's brother in his native country of India, who worked in the natural stone business, MSI established itself as an importer of premium natural stone for monuments.

In 1981, MSI was chosen to supply black granite for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D. C. After winning this important contract, Shah left his position with International Harvester in order to devote himself to the stone importing business full-time. In 1984, the Shahs moved MSI to its current headquarters in Orange, California. They kept an eye on building trends and, in a well-timed act, expanded MSI's services to commercial and residential customers to meet the rising demand for granite and other stone in homes.

Since then, MSI has grown to become a leading distributor of natural stone in North America and the largest global supplier of natural stone in the United States. It comprises 12 distribution centers and three sales offices in strategic locations of the United States and Canada, as well as international purchasing offices in Brazil, China, India, and Turkey. The Shahs' two sons have joined them in the business, and Shah himself won Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Distribution, Manufacturing, and Security in 2007.

The Elk Grove location of MSI, which started operations in the village in 2005, is currently located in an 11,000-square-foot facility on Greenleaf Avenue. Plans are underway, however, to expand capacity by moving into a new 226,000-square-foot building at 1441 Jarvis Avenue in August of 2011.

The new structure will act as a distribution center and showroom for MSI's wide selection of premium natural stone, which includes granite, limestone, marble, quartzite, slate, sandstone, and travertine, as well as an extensive range of ceramic and porcelain tile. Most of MSI's stone is imported from over 35 countries and is available in an almost infinite variety of colors and patterns.

The new expanded facility will also allow MSI to stock approximately 1200 truckloads of material on full capacity.

"Our Chicago facility acts as a hub to cater to the Midwest area of the United States," said Shah. "It focuses on supplying natural stone to distributors, fabricators, retail kitchen and bath stores, commercial projects, architects, and designers in eight Midwestern states."

Elk Grove's strategic position in the Midwest was one of the major factors in its selection for MSI's Chicago facility.

"Elk Grove is very centrally located for a distribution business," said Shah. "It gives easy access to the airport and interstate highways, which allows us to provide for a multi-state market, and it is surrounded by residential areas, which helps in recruiting manpower. Also, Elk Grove is very business-friendly. The village has always promoted and supported its local businesses."

A Product of Matthew D. Walker Publishing, LLC © 2012