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Siju Madhavan, director of Al Alef Stationery & Printing Press L.L.C., Ajman in conversation with Venkat Raghavan, shares his views to improve and to create more revenues to the UAE printing industry.

 

Raised in Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, Siju Madhavan completed the schooling from his Native place and the degree from Chempazhanthy. He pursued his Bachelors in Economics from Sree Narayana college and completed it in 2002. Later, he did his Master of Business Administration in HR and Marketing at Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu and completed the same in 2004. Around one year he worked in India and later he came to UAE to start his venture in printing industry.

Siju says, “My professional career started in a similar fashion as a normal person when I worked in India between 2004 and 2005. In 2005, I came to Dubai to seek a job in marketing and after attending few interviews I got a job in UAE Exchange in the same marketing profession where I was handling corporate sector for Northern Emirates. Being new to the region, the exposure which I got from the job was enormous but later in the year 2010 I resigned from my job. Later I joined in the Nabeel Printing Press into marketing which eventually taught me what is printing industry. In the interim time I got married to Vijayasree who is the daughter of Vikraman who is one of the partner in Nabeel Printing Press which was later sold to the other partner.”

 

HIGHLIGHTS

● Around 80 employees work in the Printing Press

● They are having 5 star hotel, luxury villa, and travels & tours. 

Talking about the Al Alef Printing Press, he said “Al Alef Stationary & Printing Press LLC was established in 1989 in a modest way by K S Vikraman. The company had grown under his leadership and from 2012 onwards decided to expand its operations in new premises of around 45,000 Sq ft. at Al Jurf, Ajman to meet the ever-increasing customer requirements. With an investment of more than AED 20 million, Al Alef Stationery & Printing Press LLC is equipped with all the latest and hi-tech commercial brand new printing machinery imported from Germany, Japan and United Kingdom. The company works a team of qualified and well experienced technicians as well as dynamic and client-oriented marketing staff under the leadership of Siju Madhavan and Vijayasree V S, continuing her father’s work. Our company basically focuses on the commercial printing segment and always contributing more meaning to thesame. Some of our commercial printing offerings are into books, corporate brochure, folders, files & binders, desktop calendar, paper boxes, danglers, buntings, posters, shelf  talkers & other promotional items, wall calendars, desktop calendars, desktop planners, paper shopping & gift bags, paper boxes – cake boxes, perfume boxes, snack boxes etc. Apart from this we do non-woven bags which are made of polypropylene which is the best suitable replacement for the plastic bags. It is bio-degradable within months and widely accepted among the European markets. We are the first in UAE to produce the non-woven bags on large scale with fully automated machines. We have started the printing press from the scratch with 8 employees around and now we have around 80 employees which is growing regularly. Most of our machines are from Prestige Graphics and they are Komori 5 colour GL540 plus coater, L420, Horizon Pur perfect binder, fully automatic folding machine, Itotec Guillotine, and few more machines which was purchased from others.”

Talking about the technological changes, industry needs, he further added, “I do not see much more technological changes happened in the industry. However, there has been some drastic changes in setting up the machine. Former, we use to spend a lot of time in setting the machine but now it has become very easy. In addition, the trial print to set the machine goes to 250 sheets earlier and now it has come to less than 100 so it is obvious to see the impact in the technology. The utilization of the printing press should be at least 75% to bring more revenues and nowadays we are having more jobs only in two weeks of a month as well as the job volume has come down to 50% which is not at all a good sign for the industry.”

Briefing about his company’s future in the next five years, and staff retention, he added “We are now planning to expand into digital as well as finishing. We have few international clients from Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and many more where we are doing around 10 percentage of our business. We are discussing with few of the clients from United Kingdom and if everything goes well then we shall see more revenues from the global market. We always liked to encourage our staff and that is why we are selecting best performer of the month and distribute the awards in the quarterly staff party. Since, we believe in staff so they wanted to be a part of us to grow along with us.”

He further added about his group of companies, “In the next couple of months we have planned to open a five star hotel near the Trivendrum airport and it will be started in the name of vivin luxury. We are having travels & tours in the name of Jayasree and High sands tours. Also, we are having luxury villa in the name of Sreeragam.”

Signing off, he said that the dubai market is huge hub for the printing press but the big press should concentrate more on the international market to withstand long.