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Zahid Hameed Khan, managing director of Excellent Printing Press L.L.C., Ajman in conversation with Venkat Raghavan, shares his views about the future of the printing industry in the region.

 

Hailing from Pakistan and raised from the Dangdeo Gujarmal-Punjab, Zahid Hameed Khan completed his high school and the degree from Pakistan. As on own wish he studied his degree in Law and completed it by 1985. Later, he did spare parts business in his country where he use to do business to the Army and many other companies. In 1995, he came to UAE, Ajman which made him to open the printing press on his own at 2003.

Talking about his career, Khan added, “Since I do not have any experience related to this region, few of my acquaintance has suggested to open a printing press which was doing well during that time. Then, I started a printing press on my own with 15 employees in the name of Phoenix Printing Press in 1995. Even though I do not have experience related to the printing industry I tried the best to bring the business up but due to the intervallic power supply and other reasons made me to close the printing press in one year of span itself. Immediately, I opened the Excellent Stationery and through that I was doing freelancing jobs where we do jobs for different companies. During the period I gained more experience which taught me that how to do a business and how to interact with people. I learned good reputation through the freelancing job and earned little money which helped me to open the printing press again. Again in 2003, I opened a printing press called ‘Excellent Printing Press’ with 5 employees which later become 50 plus employees.”

 

HIGHLIGHTS

● They are doing business in UK and Canada

 

● They are planning to expand more into packaging

 

● The company is doing business to few of the leading brands in UAE

 

Speaking about his company specialization, he added, “Excellent Printing Press is a one stop service provider offering a full range of printing services and customized solutions to a diverse set of clients across all business segments. We offer the best services in printing, pre press, finishing and binding using state-of-the-art technology. We believe in creating value to our customers. EPP has an efficient, committed and motivated team, trained in-house to proficiently handle the latest and best technology. It has pioneered several new and innovative print techniques and has acquired a reputation in successfully delivering new and challenging assignments of a very high standard in a time bound manner. We understand the customer’s requirements fully, collaborate with the customer and optimize the print project be it size, paper selection, etc so as to optimize the cost and still produce best-in class product. We have a state-of-the-art Heidelberg printing machines from single colour to multicolour. Our binding and finishing unit offers various types of value added services and binding techniques respectively. Our value added services including screen printing, laminations, embossing, foiling, spot UV, and die-cutting etc. In addition, we have industry tandard equipment in our digital printing unit for roll up, PVC sticker, pop-up stands, posters and Banner etc.”

Talking about his hobbies and family, he added, “Like others I too have a habit of reading books and of course I do not find time nowadays as my main priority is always business. Before coming to UAE I was doing business in Spain for almost two years and I love that country like anything. The country was too good and you can always enjoy the pleasure in that place. I have three children and all of them are grown up and now they are pursuing education in Canada.”

He explained about the trends he saw in the printing industry, company benefits, the region scope, “During my days we use to do everything in the CTF and now it has changed to CTP. Earlier we need time to print all jobs where at least few days for short run jobs but nowadays everything has been abridged and you can get instantly. Most of the industry person has shifted their jobs to digital machines but the complexity of the digital is the expense to bare the machine. However, the commercial printing in this region is almost in dying state and to overcome that surely we need to shift to packaging and again investment requirement for the packaging are huge. Like others, we provide accommodation and transportation for the employees. If critical, we are also providing medical expenses for the employees at times. Retaining the employees in this region is quite difficult where the employees moving to other press even for 200 to 500 AED. Anyway, we are giving good increment to our employees based on their performance so retaining is manageable for us. The credit period is one of the difficult task to handle in all the region. Our company period varies from 90 through 120 days. Since, the commercial printing is going down so we have decided to do more business to overseas countries. Already, we are doing business in UK and Canada so now we will vigorously expand ourselves.”

Signing off, he advices, printing industry for the commercial is going down so everyone should think for alternatives which would probably the packaging. The new printing press should not invest all at once and need to invest gradually depending upon their requirement.