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Mohammad Ghos Khawaja, managing partner of Al Omeira Printing & Publishing Co. LLC, shares his secret of success with Venkat Raghavan

 

Formerly from India, Mohammad Ghos Khawaja did his Science Graduatation from India. At the age of 12, he took the reins of life in his hand due to certain circumstances and he started to earn his own bread while studying in school by doing some trading. He then wanted to be self reliant as much as possible, and not to be a parasite to anybody, also not under the shunning wealth of his parents. With the insistence of his close friend he landed in UAE, even he slept on Abu Dhabi beaches to save the room rent but soon with his hardwork, honesty, and grace of Allah’s (SWT) within a short time he rose to a good poistion. When he realized that progress is limited in doing service, he started looking for business opportunities. Later, he had brought the capital from India to invest and used his built-in entrepreneurship. In 1976 Ali Al Omeira who had started a small printing press early in 1967 took him as an equal partner in Al Omeira Printing and since then he never have seen back.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

● Press has around 170 employees

● Awarded by Ministry of Interior, Department of Justice, and Road Transport Authority

● New plant in Dubai going to be opened in next few months to offer an additional 120,000 sq.ft working area

Talking about his carrer, Khawaja added, “I am originally from India with a legacy of Turky and Afghanistan, my ancestors where high officials in Mughal empire. But now I have been here (in UAE) more than 40 years and I love UAE and its people. Basically, I am a businessman all my life. Since my early childhood I have been doing business of my own and that has taught me a lot. Actually business or in particular trading is to get (purchase) more (value/material) for less payment and realize profit by selling it (what you purchased) for more money. Business is no different but you need to input few more important ingredients in it  - that is consistent efforts, honesty and devotion. With this mixture anybody can get success. At the time of entering in to the  partnership of the Al Omeira Press we had few old – mostly letterpress machines, hand composing and a staff of about 20 people working with us. Gradually, I did better marketing, made the finances disciplined and replaced most machinery with State of Art and very latest machinery. Now I have more than 175 people working and the important fact is most of the staff is working with me for more than 15-20 years.”

He futher added about his press, progression of the business, trends, and awards, “Our specialization is security printing. Although electronics is eating the traditional Print products (in security) still there is lot of scope and market segments. I feel our strength is in R&D which is the very important part of Security Printing. I consider growing and developing (machinery and manpower) in difficult time is our success. All my people are contributing (in this business) as a homogeneous family and as their own business. My progression in the business is step by step – you can say Brick by Brick -  the wall is being built. If there is a task of building a huge Mansion you may face challenge, but I am not bothered about the target or apex, I don’t see anything as a challenge but perhaps a continuous process of progressing. I have to swim till end of my life, ofcourse taking along and with the help of my colleagues without thinking of the end of the task. I have seen too much changes occurring to Printing Industry. Really, it’s a sea change. Except we are still printing on paper with ink (mostly) everything has been changed. All over world new technologies are emerging very fast and printing is no different. It is neck to neck. That’s why I consistently upgrade our technologies – machinery and recruit more technical people. We have been awarded by Ministry of Interior, Department of Justice, Road Transport Authority and many other valued customers many times but I feel our main award is the trust of our customers and suppliers in us.”

He futher narrates about the region, future of printing, company’s plan, “UAE is the leader of AGCC countries. The leaders of UAE are having vision and unity to move towards progress and they are managing successfully with modern policies and technology. With the basic economic boost printing industry is riding with full speed and changing rapidly. Most of the outdated presses have been closed or got modernized in the process. The progress in economy has helped printers to modernize their old presses and adapt new technologies. UAE has taken big strides in Printing Industry compared to any country in the world. The coming years are of Digital technologies. I am sure, eventually the main role (in printing) will be assumed by Digital technologies which has a huge potential. I also feel that best security products is the requirement of the hour and there is excellent scope for our products. Our new Dubai Plant in DIC Dubai is near to its completion which is expected to be launched in next few months. We will be having additional 120,000 SqFt working area with fully secure environment and lot of new state of art machinery. It is really an adventure in this sluggish time but with the backing of our loyal customers it is an opportune time to invest.  

He finally adds about the industry, “There are many establishment who can’t produce good quality and don’t understand business. For the same product people quote with variation of 10 to 100 even 300%. Excess production capacity and changed market requirements are cyclical. But it is becoming harder and harder to start a new business with unprofessionalism, very few uneducated layman’s will survive. However, there is no doubt they have spoiled the market everywhere.”