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A keen sports enthusiast, who majored in sports science, Al-Mohannadi started his career teaching at university, and graduating to becoming the editor-in-chief of a sports magazine.

"I did my bachelor's on Doha, masters in the US and Ph.D in London. In 2005, while working as the editor of a sports magazine we faced a lot of problems, quality and delivery schedule wise. We were publishing an Arabic newspaper and in 2006, started the first weekly English newspaper in Doha. Since we were outsourcing the printing jobs, and the Doha printing market being as it were, there were a lot of issues. Either it was quality or the publications were very often not printed and distributed on time, with newspapers being delivered in the afternoons. Even after paying the printshop 7m riyals a year, we never received the quality of service we rightly deserved. This got me thinking...why not establish our own printing press?"

Poor customer service in the Doha market was the main reason of the establishment of Aspire Printing Press. "I visited IPEX in 2006, studied the business model, spoke with the owners of other presses, interacted with suppliers of machinery and consumables and at the end of 2008, Aspire was born. To us every customer is important, whether he gives us a 3000 riyal job or a 3m job, we take equal pains in doing each job."

Emphasising his business policies, Al-Mohannadi says, "We had to put in a lot of time and effort in changing the mind-set of our employees, underscoring 'customer is king' concept. Our employees have been expressly instructed to redo the job if the customer is dissatisfied. My take is that most large presses have the latest and most expensive machinery, but we have created our own niche on sensing the gaps in the local market.

"Our multi- cultural staff is truly concerned about the product. With every employee empowered to stop the production process if a flaw is discovered, the amount of errors reaching the client is also far below the average rate in Qatar."

Talking about the changes in the printing industry the general manager rues that price and only price is becoming the determining factor while choosing a print shop to execute a job. "Customers do not realise the investment put in to ensure quality jobs, technology and other services. The overheads of a larger printshop are naturally much higher than the smaller operators. Price cannot and should not be the only clinching factor."

Aspire works with international clients in USA, UK and other countries in the GCC, counting Qatar Olympic Committee, Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup Bid Committee, QNB - Qatar National Bank, Qatar Financial Center, Marriott Hotel, Doha, 5PS Marketing and Oryx Advertising, etc among its local clients. "'Quality on Deadline' was my idea. I wanted to bring innovation. That is why Aspire Printing Press is equipped with the latest machinery from Europe. We are adopting the most progressive ideas for offset and digital printing. And not only technical ones."

"My strongest concerns have been and always will be the best quality, fast production and affordable price. None the less, it is important to have a strong, professional and reliable team of specialists in all the related areas of printing business," Al Mohannadi emphasises.

Expressing his opinion on the difference between the printing industry of Dubai, UAE and Qatar, Al Mohannadi says, "Dubai is an international city attracting a lot of tourists and a lot of business investment, while the print industry in Qatar is limited. The UAE market is much bigger with catering to a larger geographical area, and investments in technology will have many buyers."

Retracing his steps to when the press was first launched, Al Mohannadi says, "It is fantastic to see an idea germinate and bear fruit. Our press is now acknowledged among the top printing presses in the country. Initially people were incredulous at the investment we put in, they now turn back and applaud our achievements, so all in all, this certainly has been a memorable journey. It is my dream to see the press work 24/7, reduce the production time to the bare minimum and grow from strength to strength."

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Aspire Printing Press was established in 2008
  • The print shop has 120 employees
  • Aspire owns a KBA Performa 66 printing press, a MAN Roland 700 Printing Press in 6 and 8 colours, HP 5500 digital inkjet, DuPont Largo 4406 among other folding, lamination and perfect binding machines