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Consistency, speed and quality is what clients require from their printing jobs.

"The one thing I fear is the digital media making inroads into the outdoor and exhibition signage market," says Tarun Prakash, managing director of Multigraphics Production FZ LLC. "Earlier displays were always prints, nowadays with the LCDs, LEDs and plasmas, electronic media is becoming a big threat. Except for roadside advertising where it can be a traffic hazard, in malls like Mall of the Emirates for example, I have seen most of the posters being replaced with LCD screens."

Multigraphics is a AED 22 million turnover company specialising in providing complete solutions for exhibitions and events, advertising materials including snap frames, pavement stands, pop-ups, roll-ups, promoter tables and banner stands.

The company was

Whether recession or boom, prices are going down & margins are shrinking

Karim PH Saad, managing director, PrintWorks-Mediatech hands out samples of his printed work in answer to my question, what sets a printer apart?...."Our knowledge of colour management is what differentiates us from competition," he emphasises. "Printers in the region have similar machines, but our knowledge of and focus on colour management determines the quality of our job."

An accidental printer, Saad majored in communication and film making from St. Josephs University in

Speed specialists supply the want-it-now generation

You could blame Amazon; its relentless focus on shortening delivery times infected the rest of high-street retail and ultimately spread further afield, including to print.

So, the causation of those same-day delivery demands seeping into your sales channels may well be the entrepreneurial mind of Jeff Bezos, founder of the online retail giant.
Yet that would be to simplify things in a rather complex area. In truth, there are multiple reasons why print production facilities are now geared up to

The internet can never replace the look and feel of a printed publication

A youthful, AWI Printing started operations in 2003, from Beirut in Lebanon, with 50 employees and six years down the line has expanded into Syria and Kuwait, with current staff strength of 225 people.

Graduating in business administration from Haigazian University in Beirut, AWI’s managing director, Elie Mrad set up his first prepress and graphics art house in 1992.    “The shift from CTF to CTP forced print houses to have their own prepress departments

Setting up pay strategies for long-term love affairs

Salespeople are the beating heart of a business; without the revenue they generate no other parts of a business will function for very long. The question is, how best to incentivise sales to work well, individually and as a team?

Fiirst principles
The Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) suggests that any pay structure “should be carefully designed to support the business strategy of the organisation and to provide a clear and non-discriminatory framework for pay progression and

Profitability of companies will surely improve if sales collection is good

A keen athlete Yasser Alkuwari joined Union Press, a family-owned business, in 1987.  Right at the onset of his career he faced a power struggle between several groups within the company, which resulted in dissatisfied clients and delays in delivery schedules.

“The infighting forced our then production manager to leave the company and I took over.  We took a hands-on approach and identified bottlenecks in the production process.  These were dealt with individually

Strategies to land the perfect catch

The question of how best to grow a business is asked again and again and again. Organic or acquisitive – either way the intended end-result is the same: the greater efficiencies and profitability that come through economies of scale and increased market clout.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with organic growth, it’s just that it takes time. It’s an option that Nick Dixon, director at Veriteva and a long-term buyer and seller of businesses in print, says firms should consider because “if

We have been enjoying a 10% year on year growth since the last 15 years

An ardent follower of Sri Sri Ravishankar, Sandeep Bhatia is unfazed by the slowdown.  While small and large units around him are closing shop, Bhatia already fully booked for the next three months, is actually expanding operations by buying more machines, warehouse space and recruiting staff.

A reluctant entrant into the printing industry, Bhatia is an electronics engineer by qualification.  “ I hated printing when I joined my college in Mumbai.  My father wanted me

Skills schemes to attract bright young things

Whenever I thought of the print industry I pictured big warehouses printing stacks of newspapers: I guess I just thought of print as being quite old-fashioned,” recalls one of them.

Another admits unflatteringly “If I’m honest, with recent technology I was under the impression print was outdated”. Meanwhile a third rookie printer “knew the basics: requests come in, print goes out”.
All of them have now wised up to the reality of print in the here and now. And all of them did so by completing the

From a one-man show to one with hundreds of men, Raidy is moving up

My childhood memories are full of happy hours spent at the printing press located in the same building in which we lived in downtown Beirut.  I would invent games to play with the shredded paper or use trolleys as skateboards,” says Raidy Emirates Printing Group managing director, Doumit Raidy.

“I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and went on to do my masters in printing and publishing production from the

How to raise your profile or make an impression

Now that colour digital printing is ‘good enough’ for the sort of things most people want to do with it, attention is switching to the twiddly bits that catch the eye and add value to the print job.

Embellishment is the fashionable term. This means what used to be called special effects, such as spot gloss (or matt), texturing, embossing, metallic and other exotic finishes.
There has always been the option to add these with traditional analogue processes, but we’re now seeing more and more

A passion for people and a good sense for business keeps press owner on top

A heap of entrepreneurial spirit stirred with a splash of good business sense was what brought CK Mukundan’s recipe for print to the table.

Born in Kerala, Mukundan moved to Dubai in 1978 after graduating in Mumbai to look “for new opportunities”.

He says: “My first job was at a company called GKN Al Gurg. I started as a store keeper and eventually moved up to a sales executive position in the stationery division.  After having learnt what I could, I left the

A focus on the past helps build for the future

There’s no future in history, unlike heritage. And for one large-format printer what lies ahead has never been more promising for a service both high in impact and highly acclaimed.

 

For more than 125 years Leach has specialised in large-format graphics from its base in the North West. Only in recent years, however, has it honed its service to a core niche that focuses on heritage displays for museums and galleries.
Breaking into a niche is hard, making a name for it can be harder, then

Veteran sportsman still going the distance in building a career in print

A keen athlete with no qualifications in print, managing director of the Abu Dhabi-based Al Omeira Printing and Publishing, Mohammad Ghos Khawaja admits he ran a long way to get to where is in print today.

As a student, Khawaja ran in several sports events up until state level and almost reached national level when he first left India.

Having left his family in India during his adolescence, it was “sheer determination” that led him to finishing a Bsc while also going on to build

You can’t put a price on the value of good relations

Price has long been king for print buyers and brand owners, particularly in recent years with budgets being squeezed to the limit. And with some printers falling over each other to offer the lowest price they can to secure work, many buyers do not have to look far for a competitive quote.

 

Price is important because everybody’s got a budget and that magic figure in mind that they want to pay, says independent print consultant Mark Francis.
But price is far from the be-all and end-all for

‘Building an empire is less about work and more about a passion for print’

Global citizen and managing director of Dubai-based Spectrum Digital Solutions, Ramzi Razian has spent most of his life observing different nationalities. Now he spends his time observing his presses and counting the number of print runs.But before heading up Spectrum, Razian worked across various sectors - from the construction business to sales and marketing to being an environmental consultant.

“I have been in the UAE for 27 years so the UAE has become home,” he says. But I

Stand out from the crowd to up sales

Profit is sanity, turnover is vanity’. It may be an old cliché, but like many clichés there is a degree of truth attached to this statement – especially when you apply it to the printing industry.

 

For far too long far too many printers have chased turnover without giving enough consideration to what their margins are likely to be. Their main priority has been to keep their presses ticking over rather than allowing them to stand idle.
However, this approach has caused irreparable damage to

Self-taught printer says raising the bar is the best way to get on the map

Managing director of Promotech, Nabih Fakhry talks about his transformation from physiotherapist to printer

With no experience in print, everything that Dubai-based Promotech’s managing director Nabih Fakhry learnt,  was self-taught.

HIGHLIGHTS
● Has a MBA in International Business and Marketing
● Relocated to Dubai in 2002
● Joined Promotech in 2002

A qualified physiotherapist, the Lebanese-born Fakhry, now runs the

Low-cost solutions for colour consistency

Colour is a very subjective concept in that we each perceive light and colour in subtly different ways. But colour management is all about eradicating differences in the way that colours are printed.

 

Colour management means measuring targets, defining tolerances and profiling presses to achieve the same results time after time. However, it is often considered to be fiendishly difficult to carry out, something that is undeserved. As Paul Chamberlain, Heidelberg UK’s colour management

‘Print quality will pave the way for ME printers to match global competition’

Design, colour and presentation.
These were the three words that led IMC advertising chief executive Nizamodin Can to a successful career in the print industry.

With a bachelors degree in Arts from a university in India and a keen interest in technology, Can – who is originally from Verna in Goa in south-west India – was first involved in mechanical automative engineering.

“My family has been involved in mechanical automative engineering for generations so you could say

Ensure you keep your staff out of the danger zone

 

On the whole, print has a reasonably good safety record. According to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) annual statistics, the printing sector has a lower accident rate than associated industries such as paper and board production.

 

 

Yet there is certainly no room for complacency. Sloppiness has potentially terrible ramifications. Several years ago, the HSE issued specific safety requirements for using hand-fed platen (die-cutting) machines following five fatal accidents around

Moulding the family business is more than hardwork and firm commitment 2009-02-01 28

An Arab by birth and an Egyptian scholar with a qualification in mass communication.
And that’s not all about Lina Taha, managing director at the Cairo-based Al Mohandes.
“My parents are Jordanian but I was born and raised in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. I then went on to study mass communication at the American University in Cairo and specialised in advertising. But despite my varied upbringing, for me, Egypt is my home now. It is where I have lived and worked for more than

Logistics and the just-in-time production model

An approach centred on timeliness, efficiency and frugality, its origins lie in the mid-20th century. But it remains relevant today because, after all, time is still money.

 
When you buy bananas, all you want is the fruit, not the skin. But you have to pay for the skin also. It is a waste. And you, the customer, should not have to pay for the waste.”

Shigeo Shingo, the Japanese industrial mastermind who helped pioneer the famed Toyota Production System and the just-in-time manufacturing

A personal approach wins new ground for digital tech

Conventional wisdom has it that digital printing is best suited to short-run applications with very limited opportunities in packaging, which is mainly a business of very long runs.
But we have seen from the rapid ugrowth in digital label presses uthat brands do value the added umarketing opportunities that udigital brings. Maik Laubin, sales director for KBA’s Digital Solutions division, says that this also applies to the wider packaging sector, which is becoming more interested in digital

Part-timers provide full-time benefits

 

Many print businesses use temporary workers and there are many reasons for doing so. Seasonal peaks in demand, new clients or unexpected orders, cover for full-time staff absence, boosting capacity in the short term after a machine breakdown – these situations and more may drive the need to dip into the temporary talent pool.

 

There has been a strong growth in the temporary workforce over the past decade, which is good for employers requiring flexibility. But before going any further

Connecting paths of cooperation

There is no doubt that technology is helping companies to collaborate in ways that were unthinkable 20 years ago. The internet is of course the main reason for this – but advances in video technology, cloud computing, processing power, and so forth have led to new types of collaboration.

As Jason Oliver, head of digital at Heidelberg, explains, there is a lot of technology that helps to drive partnerships. “We’re using digital video and photography, and we’re sharing digital data to communicate