By Nick Carne
Phil Scardigno hopes his many shades of white will stir up the DIY industry as much as 50 Shades of Grey did in the book world. It’s his bold bid to make online buying a viable and cheaper alternative to driving to the hardware store.
The new Monsta brand has started out selling one product line – white paints, which make up 90% of paint sales – but Phil plans to quickly expand by adding coloured paints, sealers and timber related products. He believes DIY and home improvement products have lagged way behind in the e-commerce sector.
His confidence is based on a track record for reading the market and making good decisions – as Managing Director of the Adelaide-based Axis Group, he heads one of the quiet achievers of South Australian business.
The Gripset solvent-free bitumen membranes his father Sam designed for the construction industry back in the 1980s have grown into a range of innovative products for waterproofing, pavement protection, sealers, natural timber protection coatings and chemical free water disinfection, with buyers throughout Australia and SE Asia.
Just as Sam invented something new because he didn’t like the alternatives (in his case products using solvent-based and carcinogenic materials), so Phil says, “the time has arrived for a better, fairer and simpler way for DIY products”.
Monsta already has a team of 10 on board, with a strong emphasis on customer interaction and answering questions online. You can even Skype in so a consultant can see where you’re working and make suggestions.
And you certainly can get any shade of white. There are 20 in the base range, and hundreds more can be made up. According to Monsta’s website: “If you are standing in the aisle of any paint store take a photo of a white colour card from another brand, attach the image to an email and we’ll match the colour and make it at fair price”.
And the name? Phil says he is a “friendly Monsta” supporting the consumer looking for a new way to buy their DIY needs.