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About Us

We take our tagline very seriously and for the last 30 years as natural stone experts have been committed to finding our clients the right Investor, best Partner and Buyer.
Since we are connected to a worldwide network of professionals and experts, 
we have a selling success rate of 95 % and an overall customer satisfaction rate of 97 %. 
We look forward meeting you to find the perfect concept or solution for you.
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Markus W. Balke - Founder
over 30 years
in natural stone business 

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Director and Founder of Balke & Partner network with currently more than 200 experts in stone business and associated fields established in August 2010.

Orator at World-Stone Congresses, international conventions and fairs.

Xiamen/China  - Middle East Big 5 Dubai/UAE - Verona/Italy and many more.

  • Member of  IMC Institute of Managements Consultants USA

  • Member of APC Association of Professional Consultants

  • Member of National Stone Association NSI



  • Initiator of start up natural stone production and distribution networks around the world.

          e.g.  www.luis-vincent .com, etc.

  • Expert in global international trading and master degree in business economics.

  • 25 years professional experiences in processing natural stones and worldwide sales.

  • Innovative and positive forward creative strategist in global project business, focused on natural stone production and trade.


Dr. James Varela

Expert Partner and regional director
South America and Lusophone countries 

Porto Alegre - RS, 90035-190, Brazil 

M +49 178 110 7591 



is an Expert (theory and practice) for mineral processing (physical and chemical processes), including crushing, screening, washing, grinding, gravimetric and magnetic separation, sorting, flotation, granulation and high temperature processes. 

More than 20 years of professional experience in Brazilian and German companies.
Professional with more than 20 years of experience in Research, Operations, Project Management, 
Strategic Planning and Sales in middle/large size multinational companies.

As project and sales manager for New Equipment/Industrial Plant Business/Service. 
Experienced professional for technical specification and consolidation with interdisciplinary teams, as well commercial execution. 
Material and production costs comparison, logistics solution, environment, legal and risk assessment, including the service aspects, especially for international turn-key projects (EPC Contracts).


Solid experience with strategic planning, quotation elaboration and contract execution at tkIS Business Unit Service (Spare parts, Revamps, Service Center and Field Services activities related with Mining, Mineral Processing and Cement Industry). 

Major Project realized at Latin America, USA, Canada, Germany. Highly motivated and commitment to achieve results/solutions. 

Multicultural thinking, flexible, excellent communication skills and team player. Ability to connect persons. Interested at Sport, Travel, Food.

He speaks German, English, Spanish on C1 Expert language skills level and Portuguese Native.
Doctor degree: Calcination of Limestone  

As an native Brazilian and spanish speaking, he will focus on South America and all Lusophone countries.

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Eduardo M. Zavala 

Expert Partner and regional director  

Mexico and hispanic countrie South America 

Mexico City 

P +52 998 370 3101


Eduardo M. Zavala has graduated in Business Administration from the prestigious National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). His path in life has taken him on an exciting journey, full of learning and personal growth.


Since his first steps in the academic world, he has dedicated myself to the study and practice of topics related to Sales and Marketing. His studies abroad broadened my perspective and allowed me to gain valuable skills and knowledge that he have applied throughout his career.


But what he is really passionate about is inspiring and motivating others to reach their full potential. Over the years,he has become one of the most recognized speakers and trainers in Productivity and Personal Improvement in Mexico. His mission is to transform salespeople into advisors, help entrepreneurs achieve their goals, and train sales professionals and business leaders.


His books, "SI SE PUEDE" and "RELÁCIONATE Y VENDE", published by SELECTOR®, have become Best Sellers, with more than 150,000 copies sold. These works have served as inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people, guiding them towards the path of success and personal fulfillment.


Through nationwide workshops, seminars, and training programs, he has had the privilege of sharing hisknowledge and experiences with a diverse audience. His approach is to personalize the "Relate and Sell" model in each product and service that is promoted, which allows to sell everything! I have also founded a movement dedicated to empowering those who want to counsel their clients effectively.


In short, his life and career have been focused on personal and professional growth, and helping others achieve their goals and dreams. He hopes that his life story and his passion for personal improvement inspire, to achieve goals and believe in the power of "Yes, we can."


His motivation to join Balke & Partner network:

Eduardo was part of the founding group of the Century 21 Real Estate Network in Mexico and since then he has considered real estate as the most accurate investment we can make. When he received the proposal from Markus Balke to be part of the international team of Balke and Partners, he considered it as the great opportunity to be part of a select team of brilliant minds, now around the natural stone industry, which throughout over the centuries it has transformed into one of the options with the greatest investment potential available to visionaries since with quarries and mines, it is enhanced by what the earth produces: MINERALS, support for any transaction that generates wealth.

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Joseph Sam 
Expert Partner and regional director  
South and East Asia 

New Delhi  110070  INDIA

P +91 98103 19111


I.Joseph Sam is a multifaceted management professional with evolved entrepreneurial capabilities, exemplary familiarity with International business practices & diverse sectoral experience.


He has built & continues to build businesses with a global outlook from its incubation phase and have actively led activities from business planning, roll out, funding, business re-engineering & repositioning, brand building, investor relations and global alliances & partnerships.

In the last 2 decades he has had extensive exposure & participated in leadership, operational, advisory and strategic roles. His sectoral experience includes Mining, Building Materials, Consumer Goods & Services and Manufacturing. His lead expertise has evolved from General Management into Strategic initiatives, Finance & Investment management and Business Development. 


He is a qualified Corporate Director from the Institute of Directors, a Production Engineer and a Post Graduate in Marketing Management.

He has also an Advanced Certification in Investment Law & Institutional Finance, is Certified in Business Valuation, a Certified Negotiator, Certified in Change Management and Certified in Entrepreneurship.


He has also a Diploma in Advertising & PR. Currently besides being on the Management team of one of India’s largest Natural Stone quarry group's he is also an Advisor to a fast growing Agri venture and advises various state Governments on new industrial initiatives. He has been the CEO of various companies in the past and also was heading a Dutch Agro fund initiative till April 2018.


Active into sports he is also a part of initiatives that include mentoring slum and street kids and believes no one should stay hungry or stay foolish.

Joseph Sam : 

"The reason I joined Markus in his global initiative of aggregating Quarries for Investment and Sale is because of

(1). his professional expertise & networking in this area,

(2). his ability to envision the monetisation of natural resources astutely and collaboratively and

(3). his strong business practises which resonate his values, vision and integrity.


Markus has entered a space with the objective of ensuring that the future of natural resources is secure through collaborative intervention and at the same time it ensure cross pollination of investment into potentially sustainably profitable ventures." 


Ajit Kumar

Finance & Business Development


Expert Partner East and North Asia 

China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan,

Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea

and Taiwan

Hong Kong 999077 - Central District  
P +852 93270117


Ajit believes in quote said by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus “The only Constant in the Life is Change” Life is all about to experience the change, lets love & live it. 


Kumar, Ajit has a very versatile talent in the field of corporate finance and international trade & business, his attitude and solution-oriented approach makes him a leader with difference. 


Ajit has extensively worked in area of research analysis, corporate finance & business valuation. He is expert in business valuation mainly in minerals & mining business. 


He is very active in Hong Kong, China & Singapore market since 2012. Besides his sectoral experience in investment banking, he has been working in dimensional stone quarry industry since 2015 as director with Indian group.

He joined the group when group was very small and at very nascent stage, Ajit did financial modelling to bring the investors, created structure of the company to fetch investment from strategic investment along with financial investment from private investors, opened up export market at China, Thailand & Taiwan.

Ajit helped his group to raise USD 12 million to fund the quarry. 


Besides being on the team of Balke & Partners as an Expert Partner, currently Ajit is on board of several stone quarry companies as a consultant. Ajit is very active on various business chambers & associations:

  • The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)

  • Punjab Commerce & Management Association (PCMA)


He is qualified management professional with 16 years of rich experience in varied settings across the industries, organizations, cultures, roles, decision making context and countries. 


Ajit is management graduate in finance (MBA) and an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), India’s premier management business school


He has been teaching in several leading business schools and conducted workshops in the study of security analysis & portfolio management and business valuations. 


Ajit is very passionate about sports, he is good in cricket, chess and table tennis. He is actively playing table tennis in the category of veterans at national levels. 


“What makes him special in this business is his astute ability to turn quarry story into numbers, which can speaks itself without any business” 

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Henning Roger Gravdal

Finance & Strategic Management 

Geologist and expert for concrete technology and mineral processing 


Expert Partner and

Regional director Scandinavia 

Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland 

3912 Porsgrunn / Oslo - Norway

P +4795238877

Henning Roger Gravdal has 25 years executive management experience from multinational companies engaged in cement, concrete and industrial minerals and were picked for different positions and mandates over the last years:

CEO for SMA Magnesia AS over 10 years as well as market and production responsibility for 

SMA Mineral AB in Europe which had joint ventures with Omya and Heidelberg Cement and Carmeuse.


He is an international entrepreneur with a special passion, for industrial minerals.

He has initiated and executed several big mineral and industrial projects in Scandinavia, West Africa and West Indies over the last decades.

For Heidelberg Cement AG he just finished a COO mandate in an international project in Ghana.


After completing his MBA in Finance & Strategic Management in Norway he started to work with mining, processing, minerals and natural resources for multinational companies worldwide. 

He has a degree in geology, and considered as an expert within concrete technology and mineral processing.


He enthusiastically joined the network of stone experts in Balke & Partners

this year, and are looking forward to share his knowledge and experience

with the team in the «Stone Expert Alliance».


Henning live with his family close to Oslo in Norway.

He is an enthusiastic snowboarder and mountaineer.

As soon as time allows he is to be found in their family

house in the Norwegian mountains with his dog Era,

who also is joining him on the picture.

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FGrank de Haan Balke & Partner

Frank de Haan

Mining Engineer & MBA

Specialist in Building Materials with passion for natural stone.


Expert Partner and regional director Spain and Hispanic countries.


Barcelona /Spain 

P +34 649 471 354

Frank de Haan is Dutch, but lives and works since over 30 years in Spain, or has been working for Spanish Groups in the world. He studied Mining and Petroleum Engineering in Delft, the Netherlands and completed his studies with an M.B.A. from IESE in Barcelona.


He started his career in the Roca Group (a Spanish – now – Multinational Group in the Building Materials – Bathroom – Industry), where he was responsible for several projects of internationalisation (U.K., Germany, China). He continued his career in the Levantina Group (at that moment the largest Company in Ornamental Stone Worldwide), first as International Director, then as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer and finally as Executive Vice President responsible for North & South America.


In these last 10 years he has focussed his professional activities mainly as interim director, independent advisor and consultant in the brass fitting, tile and building materials distribution industry.


Since 2020 he is associated with Balke & Partner as Expert Partner for Spain and Spanish Speaking Countries.

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50678 Köln/Cologne  - P +49 221 168 18 990

F +49 221 9698 6567 


08001 Barcelona - Spain  - P +34 649 471 354




Edinburgh EH1 3EG -  P +44 7977 410827



3912 Porsgrunn / Oslo - Norway

P +4795238877


54248 Thessaloniki Greece  

P +30 694 986 1794

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P +52 998 370 3101


P +52 998 370 3101

Gold Coast - Queensland - Australia 


New Delhi  110070  INDIA
P +91 98103 19111  south-asia@

Hong Kong 999077 - Central District  
P +852 9327 0117  hongkong@


We speak German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Belgium, Portuguese, Scandinavian, Greek and English 

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