BMF reveals speakers for Young Merchants Conference Industry Forum

BMF reveals speakers for Young Merchants Conference Industry Forum

Three leading figures from different parts of the building materials industry will come together in an Industry Forum at the BMF Young Merchant Conference at the NEC, Birmingham on 6 October. 

Krystal Williams of Pavestone, Shanker Patel of the Lords Group of Companies and Edwin de Silva of Travis Perkins plc will lead the debate on current issues affecting the industry and answer questions from the audience

As Managing Director of Pavestone’s landscaping division, Krystal Williams will provide the suppliers’ view.  Krystal has worked with leading brands of aggregates, stone and concrete paving since 2003.  She joined Pavestone in 2017 and was promoted to her current position in 2019, since when her commercial acumen, vision of the future and strategic thinking has helped drive Pavestone’s growth and market leading position in a fast-paced sector.

Shanker Patel joined his family-owned retail business in the 1990s after initially training as a lawyer.  Appointed as Managing Director in 1999 and as Chief Executive in 2009, Shanker has been instrumental in transforming the business and growing turnover to over £300m.  Today the Lords Group is a highly diversified business involved in the retail, distribution and manufacturing of construction materials and employing over 650 people. Its principal UK trading arms are Lords Business Merchants, Hevey Building Supplies Limited and APP Wholesale Limited.

Edwin de Silva has been involved in the building industry in some shape or form for over 40 years since starting an apprenticeship with British Gas, where he worked across most functions, but notably sales and marketing.  He subsequently honed his skills with a world-leading building materials manufacturer and a major housebuilder before being recruited by Travis Perkins plc into a newly created Business Development Director role to grow their market share with regional and bespoke builders, where he has been developing their understanding while supporting their strategic plans for the past 7 years.

With the theme, “Building the Next Generation”, the BMF Young Merchant Conference is designed to encourage, inspire and enthuse.  Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham on 6 October 2021, the event is being held in connection with UK Construction week and will include a visit to the Build Show on site.  In addition to a full day’s business programme the BMF Young Merchants Conference features an evening social event at the Sky Loft within the Park Regis Hotel, and enjoy unparalleled views over the City of Birmingham.

Registration of the BMF Young Merchant Conference is now open at

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