menu

Abdul Wahab Abdul Qadir, director of Express Printing Services L.L.C., Dubai in conversation with Venkat Raghavan, segments his opinion on how to approach the printing industry and to overcome the challenges

 

Formerly from India, Abdul Wahab did his GCSE’s in Surrey, UK.  Later came back to Dubai and studied Business Management in Dubai Aviation College. He has a BTEC National Diploma in Business & Finance, BTEC Higher National Diploma Business Studies and a Bachelors Honours Degree in International Business Administration. However, he doesn’t have any print-related qualification before entering Expres Printing Services (EPS). Since, he felt that EPS is an institution by itself, so he thought that he could learn a lot on the job and he is still learning to keep himself up to date. 

Abdul Wahab says, “My father, Abdul Qadir Mohamed being the chairman of the company, made EPS a natural transition after getting the degree. Very quickly the printing and packaging process excited me. I was fortunate to go for my first Drupa exhibition in the early years of my career and that experience would always be remembered. Also, I personally felt that exhibition has glimmered the interest over me. The technological developments that were being introduced to the printing industry were just brilliant. I was sure that I wanted to be a part of this industry and continue to be excited about what will amaze me in the future.”

Talking about EPS, he said, “The business was started in 1978 by Abdul Qadir Mohamed. Under his leadership, EPS pioneered in manufacturing of folding cartons and it didn’t stop there. Over the 3 decades, Express grew into a group of companies that could provide various services with printing and packaging being the common factor. It started with as few as 10, we are a team of over 300 members in EPS. Express Printing Services is your one stop shop for all commercial printing and folding carton manufacturing. Also, there are many factors to our success; the vision of our chairman to ensure that EPS could provide all kinds of printing and packaging solutions under one roof, being one of the first, if not the first to introduce the new technologies to this region. Eventually, one of the biggest reasons for our success is the loyalty of our team. Without their hard work and commitment to us, our growth would have come at a much slower pace than now.”

 

HIGHLIGHTS

● The business was started in 1978 with as few as 10 and now we are team of over 300 members.

● Express Printing predominantly focused on the local market, but they do have a good percentage of jobs coming in from GCC countries. 

 

Giving his opinion about the printing industry, he said, “Printing is an industry where technological enhancements occur quite often. Computer to film (CTF) was the process when I joined, it turned to CTP and now, one can actually execute a packaging job digitally without compromising on quality. Hours that we spent preparing a die manually for the die cutting machine, introduction of multi bend system and laser dies have helped us provide our clients quality and service.  A lot of processes have been combined to save time and money. Make ready time has been reduced, machine speed increased, etc. Also, the integration of prepress, press and post press has definitely helps ensure a smooth work flow, excellent colour management and quality finishing. Printing is a capital intensive and highly competitive industry. However, packaging will continue to be the main focus and this is where I see growth. Commercial printing will see a decline in the near future due to the internet and the mobile world. As far as the digital market, I could say that it is under-utilized. There are endless possibilities with variable data printing from a client’s point of view. With the help of digital printing, client could really personalize their marketing material to be far more  effective in their marketing campaign. I believe that this change would come only when the advertising agencies create marketing campaigns for their clients by keeping digital printing in mind. When you say digital marketing, if you are talking about the Internet? Internet marketing is growing and it will only see an upward trend. It is cost effective with a larger audience and a bigger reach. It is the way to advertise. The changes have been one too many.”

Narrating about the companies future, ME industry, challenges, he added, “Indian market is enormous; therefore you do get a lot of long run jobs. UAE, especially Dubai moves at a much faster pace. There are a lot of short run jobs, which need to be delivered yesterday. So we do need to constantly invest new technologies that can give us the edge, and help us produce quality products at a faster rate. Most products are moving towards online. To give you an example, Encyclopedia, a 200 year-old company has stopped printing and moved online. I believe the internet and the digital world will have the biggest impact on the print industry. As new technologies continue to come in, we are going to continue upgrading our machineries to meet our clients needs. Credit period is the biggest hindrance in this industry. I feel print houses should mutually agree on a strict policy on credit period, and compete purely on quality of service.”

Signing off, he advices, that if you would like to hang in then ensure to hold on to your loyal customers by continuously providing the service they require, eventually you will overcome all hurdles and continue to flourish.