Philip James, managing director of Ali Jasim Printing Press LLC, Sharjah and Dubai in conversation withVenkat Raghavan, shares his vast experience towards the printing industry and how he handled the industry


Hailing from Kerala and raised in Kerala, India, Philip James completed his Schooling in Kerala and Bachelors of Arts degree in Commerce at Changanacherry in the year 1982. After completing his education in India he has joined as a forest officer in forest department at Kerala and worked there until 1987.  Later he decided to open a company in UAE, which made him to open his own company Ali Jasim Printing Press.

James says, “My career started in the year 1983 when I joined forest department which taught me what is the life and how to handle top management persons. Later in the year 1987 I came to UAE with dreams and ambitions to open a printing press on my own. As soon as I came, I joined in a printing press and worked there for two years. The printing press has taught the tactics like how to handle the customers, what kind of exposure we will get while providing service to the customers and it moulded me like anything which later shaped me to be a owner. Bagging with that exposure, I opened a small printing press in Ajman by 1991 and continued to run the service for three years. Later, I worked as a freelancer for advertisements through my new company in the same Ajman and continued the offerings for eight years. After gaining ample years of experience in the printing industry I opened this Ali Jasim Printing Press first branch in Sharjah with 15 employees and now our group has 100 plus employees and we will be recruiting further 100 employees sooner. As like the most successful persons in the world I too struggled a lot to bring the business to attainable position where everybody could say my name from the hard work.”



● The printing press has branches in Sharjah as well as in Dubai

● Their group has further two more companies where they concentrate more into digital

● The press has more than 100 plus employees and planning to recruit further 100 employees sooner


Talking about the printing press, he added, “We have opened the Ali Jasim Printing Press in the year 2002 with less employees where we were undertaking offset and finishing jobs. After running the show for three years we planned to expand the press so we have shifted to Industrial area 10 and purchased big machines like Heidelberg 4 colour machine and few more machines. In another aggressive expansion we have opened a new branch in Dubai to accommodate the regional requirement from the central hub where the branch has 20 employees while opening in the year 2009. After knowing the potential of the digital industry we have decided to open a new company called Al Mawthooq Adv. Computer designing & documents copying for digital section in the year 2010 alongside the support of Xerox machines with 5 employees and even added few finishing equipment in that wing. Apart from this, we have opened another company with the name Multi colour typing & photocopying office to capture the customers. Finally, in the year 2013, we again expanded our Sharjah office by relocating to Industrial area 4 with more space where we offers A to Z service to our clients.”

Speaking about the changes in the technology, printing industry and the regions business, he added, “The industry always welcomes the new technology and without the technological development we cannot grow so the technology is growing rapidly. For instance, during the early days we were using the CTP plates which we swallows the time like anything but nowadays it is become very easy where we do not wait not even for an hour. The main challenges this industry faces is only due to the increase in the number of printing presses. I believe in the year 1997, there were only 17 major printing press in Dubai and Sharjah but now the region has more than 1000 printing presses and more freelancers which is very huge compared to any region. Due to the increase in the presses the competition goes stronger and stronger by the price wars. Nowadays, most of the printing press does not give a care for the quality and what they require is the instant money without knowing the future impact. Due to this unhealthy competition the market has lost his value and in reflection this affected the machinery cost, employee hiring cost, raw materials cost and finally the profit margin has been nullified.”

Speaking about the employee benefits, credit period, and company plans, he further says, “Retaining the employees is always a big concern if you are running a big company. However, with our services like accommodation, insurance and other benefits, our employee are much happy with us and that is why we have reached this good position along with them. In addition, we always give our first preference to our staffs as we believe them as our family, secondly our preference goes to the customers and finally we care us. The credit period is the one critical point to be considered and we always do not prefer to give them to all the customers to avoid risk. Earlier we use to give 15 to 30 days before 2009 and now we have been pushed by the industry to give them 90 days. We have some plans for publication of some magazine and project were we planned to do them for humanitarian cause. We also see the industry in India and precisely Bangalore has some vital recognition from the multi national companies so we will be expanding our press over there in the coming years.”

Signing off, he requested the printing companies to join hands to form an association which would allow us keep the margin and to welcome the healthy competition.