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Jai Lilaramani, managing director, Dar Al Andalus Printing Pub. & Dist. LLC ., in conversation withVenkat Raghavan, shares his experiences and future of the printing press in the region

 

Formerly from India, Jodhpur, Jai Lilaramani did his schooling in Hanumant Sr Secodary school. After completing his schooling in 1989 he immediately came to Dubai to visit his uncle who was planning to start the printing press on his own. Even though he has applied for the pre engineering entrance in India he preferred to stay in Dubai to start his new venture. Later which made him to open his own printing press in 2004.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

● The printing press is ISO 9001 certified company

● Press has more than 85 employees

● They own another printing press in Dubai called Al Diyafah Printing Press

 

Talking about his carrer, Lilaramani added, “I always wanted to do a business on my own that is the reason I came to Dubai. First I came here in visit visa and then migrated to the employement visa under our family owned business. My first job was at screen printing press which was started by my uncle Vasu. He was earlier working with Emirates Printing Press and later he started this  press. Soon after, with the hardwork we opened our family owned Gulf Technical Printing Press where I was working under the leadership of my uncle where he taught me everything from the basic. After gaining experience I decided to start my own press and started the Dar Al Andalus Printing in 2004.”

He added about the press, “Dar Al Andalus was established in  2004 to offer total print production solutions. We are equipped to print small jobs as well as a 100*70 cm giant-sized poster on state-of-the-art 5 colour machines. We are specialized in a wide variety of multi colour jobs (up to 5 colours), printed on variety of paper stocks from 45 to 400 gsm. We also print on foam sheets (for banners) on high end sheetfed presses. Few of our printing machineries are Heidelberg Speedmaster 102, speedmaster 52 (2 colour machines), GTO machines, Konica Minolta’s digital machine, and many more. Our company is an ISO 9001 certified company where we have a wide range of commercial printing services, commercial offset printing, right from designing, pre-press, printing, finishing to final dispatch. While I started the printing press I promised myself that every six month I should invest in a machine whatever it is either prepress or postpress or imagesetter or press so one of the division would get one machine. We have one more press called Al Diyafah Printing Press in Dubai to take care of the Dubai area. Now I have more than 85 people working and the important fact is most of the staff is working with me for many years.”

He added about the company facilities, international markets, credit policy, and memorable moment, “Our company provides accommodation and all the other facilities as per the UAE workers law. Before 2008 we were doing around 50% of our business in overseas and later we started to focus only on the local market. Credit policy is one of the uncontrollable factors in the printing press and I definitely urge to form a credit bureau or governance where it can have a policy to return the money to the press when the customers run away or anything happens. Our companies credit period is up to 120 days but nowadays it is very difficult to keep the period or policies.  Memorable moment in my career would the time when I purchased and installed the first five color with coater.”

He further said about the challenges in the industry, retaining employees and awards, “Challenges always persist but it always allows you to expand your company. I believe that only with the healthy competition we will be able to innovate the new technologies otherwise we would have got stuck with the olden technologies. Again, retaining employees are not that difficult if you satisfy their needs, all our employees are satisfied with our provided services like accommodation, insurance and many more. Out of all, we are living here as a family so it’s good for all of us.”

He further added about the trends, “Earlier, we use to get the colour separation from Singapore but as the years passed by their everyones needs have been changed which is always a good sign. Nowadays the market is a mix of different requirements. Some clients request for short run, quick turnaround jobs increasing the need for digital print machines. There are again drastic changes in the pre press and CTP machines that has made the jobs easier with the software versions having more enhanced features. Also, during the early days there were multiple operators working on a single job and with the available automation today, all the jobs have been simplified and time spend on outputting a job has been reduced to minimum.”

Talking about this region, he commented, “In other countries if you need a machine then you need to order well in advance but in this country you will get the machine within a week and at times in a day too. For instance, before sometime we have planned to invest in digital machine and approached Juma Al Majid and very next moment we received the machine which allowed us to recover the half of our investment. This region still has lot of potential and that too with the 2020 and other events it will grow forever.”

Signing off, he advices to the persons who planned to open a new printing press to study the customers thoroughly and have an in-depth knowledge about the industry before starting it. Also, do not take the job that is not having enough margin or don’t take the job just to run the machine.