In the 1970s with little more than a dream—a dream of making a difference in this country of great opportunity. They wanted to create jobs, build partnerships, and in the process, to treat people as an extension of their family.

For over 40 years, the Shahs have held firm to that dream. Today, Las Vegas Stone, (LVS) has over $1 billion in annual revenues, with over 1,800 U.S. employees, and has helped to create over 130,000 jobs around the world across their supplier base. Manu, Rika, and sons Raj and Rup are truly making dreams a reality. This is their story.

He started LVS in 1975, in the basement of their home in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The original idea behind the business was for Mrs. Shah to work at home during her pregnancy and still generate additional income for the family. Mr. Shah had originally come to the U.S. to get his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, which he accomplished in 1968.

From 1974-1981, while getting LVS off the ground, he continued to work full-time as a mechanical engineer at International Harvester, a manufacturer of trucks and farming equipment. During these years, while the natural stone industry was in its infancy, as a second job he served as a broker selling blocks of granite to U.S. manufacturers, primarily in the monuments industry.

In 1981, while still operating LVS out of their basement, the Shahs secured the contract to supply the black granite for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. With their entire savings invested in this project, they spent endless nights making sure that the project was executed perfectly. It was.

Following up on this success, the Shahs decided to develop and grow LVS full-time. In 1984, they decided to move the company to Southern California, driven by their vision that, to ultimately succeed in distribution, a company must be located in focal distribution points.

Up until 1987, the business primarily served as a distributor of granite for monuments and tombstones. In 1987, the Shahs realized that natural stone for residential and commercial usage had even higher market potential, and redirected their efforts towards developing this sector of the industry. In 1997, MSI embarked on its vision of becoming the first nationwide distributor of natural stone in the U.S. by opening a second location in Edison, New Jersey.