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George Varghese, managing director of Al Sharjah Neon & Printing Press LLC, Sharjah in conversation withVenkat Raghavan, shares his opinion towards the printing industry and how to financially handle the impediments

 

Kerala-born and raised George Varghese completed his Schooling in his home town. Later he did the Bachelors in Commerce in Panampilly Memorial Government College at Chalakudy and completed the same in the year 1985. After completing the degree, he studied Masters in Commerce at Sree Kerala Varma College in Thrissur, and completed the same by 1987. Then he joined company secretary course in 1988 and completed it in 1989. Due to his strong academic upbringing he got a job in New Delhi, India and migrated fully there. Like most people, he too had something in his mind which made him to come to Dubai, UAE in 1992 after quitting his previous job and with his steadfast thirst towards the industry made him to start a printing press on his own along with his brother Paul Varghese. 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Earlier we were less than 10 employees and now we are more than 130 plus

 

During early phase of our company we were only into offset and gradually we become one stop solution

 

Even during the recession we made an investment of 2.5 million AED and made profit of it

 

George says, “My career in UAE started with the Bin Zayed Contracting company in Diera, Dubai. Since, I am new to the region the company has taught me how to live in UAE and it was a good exposure to me. Later in the year 1994, I joined the Al Riyami Group of companies as an accountant and I was there with them until 2003. In 2003, me and my brother together opened the Al Sharjah Neon LLC to bring it more viable to all sorts of clients. The financial part has been taken care by me whereas he is taking care of the marketing part. Most of the clients during the early days felt that we were only into the signage by assuming from our name of the company then we felt that this has to be transformed so we rehabilitated our company name as Al Sharjah Neon and printing Press LLC. Like all the small scale company we too started the company with less than 10 people and now with our plodding increase we have grown to more than 130 plus employees. In 2004, we were in to the offset printing and during the recession we took a big risk by investing 2.5 million AED in Heidelberg multi colour offset machine which gave us good growth.”

Speaking about the company, “Established in the year 1998, we are a one-stop-shop that inspires and converts your printing, graphics, acrylic and sign board related needs into wants. For more than 15 years we have been providing the tools and resources that help businesses thrive and together bring growth. Starting from zero, we have been able to nurture our passion to create a business, where we take nothing for granted. We do offset services like Brochures, Catalogues, Posters, Leaflets, Folders, Wobblers, Newsletters, and many more. We do take digital printing like indoor & outdoor graphics, roll ups, pop ups, Toblerone Signs, and many more. Apart from these we do signage solutions like Signage & Way Finding Solutions, Door Name Holders, A-boards, Snap Frames, Light Boxes, Stainless Steel Signs, Menu Cards, Greeting Cards, Calendars, Corporate Stationeries, Screen Printing, Lanyards, Shopping Bags, and many more. Finally, we offer vehicle graphics, pro services, and acrylic displays. Altogether, we provide a complete services to the clients.”

Speaking about the changes in the printing industry and the regions business, he added, “Earlier, to print a business card for one side two colour it comes around 1.5 AED whereas now, you can print 2000 business card on both side as well as we can do multi colour printing for 300 to 350 AED where you can clearly see the impact of the technology and market growth. This is just an example but there are many changes happened in the industry. So I believe that only through our efficiency and time management we will be able to sustain in this arduous industry. In addition, people nowadays do not want to wait for printing so that is where the digital printing has come to play. Even during the recession period we worked very hard and expanded the business. Most of the rent has gone up by considering the 2020 expo but the business is not growing as expected. However, I find it very difficult to go with the industry now and that is why we are always expanding to provide one stop solution.” 

Talking about his company’s future plans, credit period, employee benefits, he further added, “Probably in the next couple of months we will be starting the case making and hard binding. So it will make the client feel that all the things could be done through our press and if everything goes well then we will be opening the packaging in couple of years. Apart from this, we are progressing the license procedure for our Africa branch. In addition, I have plans for Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda, Nigeria, Angola. In the printing industry there is an unwritten credit policy but it is entirely different in signage industry where we will start the work only after receiving the 50 percentage as an advance. However, we maintain an average credit period of 90 days and it varies at times. We are providing several employee benefits like accommodation, insurance and many more so most of the employee wanted to stick with us.  

Signing off, he advices the printing companies to not to compare the quotation of others and cut the prices to get a business. Always, give a quote by considering your requirements.