Andrea Di Giuseppe tells us about his success and his Dubai
Discovering the famous Trend Group company with CEO
Andrea Di Giuseppe, 53 years old, born in Rome, is one of the most successful and best known names in Italian entrepreneurship in the United States and the Middle East. CEO of Trend Group, a world leader in the floor and wall covering industry and specializing in interior decor, he is a true citizen of the world, based in Miami, and at least once a month he is in Dubai where Trend Group has a showroom.
How did your involvement with the floor and wall coverings industry come about?
My family of origin in Rome, had one of the largest floor and wall tile shops in the city. We were already big users of mosaics at the time, and when I met my wife Federica, daughter of industrialists from Vicenza, we decided to join forces with her family to create something unique, a new company, Trend Group. We wanted to get into the North American and Middle Eastern markets, which we had not really explored until then. That was the beginning of this adventure that took me to the United States more than 20 years ago, but always going between there and the Middle East, the two areas of my private and working life.
What have been the high spots of your career?
My biggest victory is that every day I am able to expand my group geographically and give work to more and more families. The Group that I have the honour of heading is the largest in the world in the floor and wall coverings industry. And that’s enough for me.
What makes your company unique, which sectors are you most interested in, and how does it stand out from its competitors?
Our uniqueness is to have the entire supply chain in hand: we produce vertically, from the raw material purchased up to the private house or villa, big museum or super-luxury hotel. No other company in the world is structured with vertically integrated production like Trend Group. We work in every country on the continent, but we do it in a special way: our DNA is to be producers, because we firmly believe that without production there cannot be research and development, without research and development there cannot be innovation, and without innovation there is no company. In every country, we have our own production plant and everything we sell has been produced by us. This is our mantra.
How broad is your product range?
Everything from kitchens - we are the world’s largest kitchen manufacturer (250,000 domestic kitchens produced in the USA last year) - to 24 kt gold mosaics.
And how is your product truly unique?
Think of 24 kt gold mosaics in 40 different shades of gold, or our handcrafted artistic products, our unique 6.5mm antimicrobial agglomerate slabs that kill germs and are 99% antibacterial, and the fact that all our products are green certified, because everything we produce is 75% recyclable. In short, we try to be truly unique in everything we produce, or rather, we don’t produce where we are not unique.
How many years has the company been certified green?
We were among the very first in the world; our first certifications date back to 2002.
How many years have you been involved in the Middle East and Dubai markets and how is Made in Italy perceived?
We have been in the Middle East for more than 10 years. We are fortunate to have all the Made in Italy know-how, but have combined this value with Anglo-Saxon-style management. The mix of these two aspects has been doubly welcomed in Dubai, because people here love excellence in every respect. So, yes, they appreciate the absolute quality of Italian products, but they love to rely on Anglo-Saxon business management and services.
What aspect of Dubai strikes you most of all?
I have been traveling the world continuously for thirty years and I can say that no city expresses the concept of the future like Dubai. Furthermore, this extraordinary quality that is so evident is combined with harmony, that is, the ability that only Dubai possesses to harmoniously blend many different nationalities and cultures.
You have carried out many projects in Dubai, I’d like to know which were the most significant and fulfilling?
All the biggest, most luxurious hotels in the city, such as the W Hotel - The Palm, the Bulgari Resort, Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Sky Bay Hotel, the Ciel Spa at SLS Hotel, but also the Topgolf entertainment venue, as well as many private homes and villas, including that of a member of the royal family.
What are some of your top showpieces around the world?
Well, here are a few. I would say without a doubt the Makkah Clock Royal Tower in Mecca for which 40,000 m2 of glass mosaics to the highest technological standards were used, including 14,000 m2 in 24K gold leaf, making it the largest work ever created in terms of square meters of gold applied. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, the world’s largest museum devoted to moviemaking, designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. There we were involved in restoring the exterior of the Saban Building - originally built in 1939 and known as the Wilshire May Company department store – and refurbishing the iconic cylinder with its 24K gold leaf mosaic tiles.
Then we were also chosen for the Auditorium Foyer of the Musée du Louvre (branch of the historic Louvre Museum in Paris) where we reproduced a complex floral design specially created by Yayoi Kusama, a charismatic figure on the contemporary art scene. Another mention is the Dahlia Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi which celebrates the element of water with a triumph of fountains and spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf.
What are your three favourite addresses in Dubai?
Our showroom and offices are in the Design District. My home in Dubai is in City Walk, between Downtown and Jumeirah. This is a neighbourhood that I love very much. When I want to something quick to eat, I go down and run into Trattoria da Michele where they make the best pizza in the whole of Dubai. I also love the Italian cuisine at Sal at the Burj Al Arab and Massimo Bottura’s restaurant, Torno Subito, in The Palm.
What projects do you care about in a special way?
A villa in Dubai, a special place where Italian excellences in all its aspects will be brought together and concentrated, including a very small 15-seat restaurant, intended to host small exclusive events. It will be a little gem and will open, I believe, in autumn.