menu

P K Kumar, general manager from Global Printing Press, LLC, Abu Dhabi in conversation with Venkat Raghavan, shares his opinion about the regional inclinations about the printing industry

 

Hailing from the IT hub and Garden City of India, Bangalore, Kumar did his Masters in Marketing and Business Administration and Diploma in Printing Technology in Bangalore and started his career in 1990 as a senior marketing executive in a reputed Printing Industry in Bangalore.

Talking about his career and the reason for choosing this particular industry, Kumar said, “During his college days he used to contest the college elections and one of his friend’s father was running a medium tech printing industry, where he used to get his election campaign materials printed. He says the technical know how of the printing industry impressed him so much which made him pursue printing technology course after his Masters in Marketing and Administration.”

He worked in the Printing Industry in Bangalore for 5 years that taught him the nuances of the industry and the technology. His initial abroad assignment was with Awal Printing Press, Bahrain and later came down to Abu Dhabi and joined Global Printing Press as senior marketing manager in the year 2003 and became the general manager in 2005.

Speaking about Global Printing Press,  Kumar said, “The press is owned by Aref Ismail Khouri, a very well known person in the Banking Sector and in the local Business fraternity. Global Printing Press known as GPP in the market is a one stop service provider offering full range of Printing Services and solutions to a diverse set of customers across all Business Segements. We have the latest state -of -the-Art Heidelberg machines from single colour to multicolour machines. All our ancillary machines are also from the Heidelberg family.”

The Printing Press started with 15 employees in 2003 and within a span of 3 years became a 75 plus industry with a growth rate of 40%  every year starting 2003. “We don’t just put ink on paper but give colours to the Printing with creative ideas. Our value added service includes Lamination, Embossing, foiling, Spot UV and Die cutting. Our valuable clients are Banking Sector, Oil and Gas, Financial institutions, Hospitality, Educational institutions and few Private sector establishments,” says Kumar.

He further talks about the regional trends, “The business turnover is not the same as it was 3 - 4 years back. There is a huge competition in the market and the profit margin has come down drastically because of the unhealthy competition amongst the printers. There are some printing press who do business below cost and have spoiled the market. Even during the economic recession in 2008 - 09 we were one amongst the few printing industry who never thought of reducing the margin and doing business. But today we are forced to reduce margin for reasons beyond our control. Most of the Government and Banking sectors have applied brake on our Industry with cost cutting policy on the printing materials and they have gone online. The digital apps have also played a vital role in down sizing the printing materials requirement.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

● The printing press was started with 15 employees and within 3 years it grown to 75 employees

● Has won three well recognized awards

● The press was doing well even during the recession

 

In his opinion the commercial printing in this region has touched its low ebb and many of them are shifting to packaging industry. Again the investments to set up a packaging industry are huge but GPP have decided to move forward to set up a printing and packaging industry in 2016.

Talking about the company employees, retainment of employees, credit period and awards, he added we have skilled and very disciplined employees. We take care of them with excellent remuneration, accommodation, Air ticket, incentives and every quarter we select an employee through lottery system and give him a free Air ticket to Haj and take care of his 10 days stays during his pilgrimage. The credit period is one of the difficult task to handle in all the region. Our credit period varies from customer to customer. It ranges from 30 to 90 days but no customer pays on the due date except a few. GPP has many achievements to its credit. We have received Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce Award in 2009, National Heritage Award for Best Printing in 2010 and Science forum award in 2012.

Speaking about the regions scope, Kumar said, “It is very difficult to predict at this point of time as we need to wait for some more time. Most of the Printing Press have gone through different curves in the last 2 - 3 years as such being optimistic is as good as a false promise.”

Singing off, he advices his printing industry friends not to go for new investment but invest gradually depending upon the market requirements and maintain a healthy competition by not under quoting. ‘Doing business below cost not only affects the industry but will affect you in the long run.’