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Pankaj Sehgal, managing director of Target Offset Printing Press, Sharjah in conversation with Venkat Raghavan, sharing his opinion on the current market and how to improve the business in the coming years.

 

Born and raised in Delhi, Pankaj Sehgal, completed his schooling in BVB school. After completing his schooling he wanted to pursue Diploma in Printing Technology, which made him to join in Pusa Polytechnic and completed the same in 1996. During the same period, he studied Bachelors of Arts in Correspondence. He assumed that in the future, the two degrees might be useful while applying government jobs. However, his destiny was moved only to Printing Industry.
Talking about his career, Pankaj, added, “While pursuing my Diploma I got selected for Heidelberg in the campus interview which was attended by more than 40 students. I worked in Heidelberg as a sales executive for North India from 1996 to 1999. In 1999, I joined Trikaya Gray Advertising Agency as production manager and worked there until 2000. In 2000, my brother who was in Dubai has suggested me to come over for a job. With his guidance, I joined in Al Mawrid Printing Press as sales executive and worked there until 2003. Later, I had got an opportunity to join in Printex Printing Press as sales manager and worked under N.C. Kumar for a period of 7 years until 2010. In 2010, I opened ‘The Agency’ where I was outsourcing all the commercial printing jobs. Since, there was a global slowdown in the market, the customers wanted to have a direct interaction with the printing press which made me to invest in the Target Offset Printing Press. I has come to know through known resources that they were planning to sell in 2013 which made me and my friend Vikramaditya Kamlapuri to invest in this Target Offset Printing Press.”

 

HIGHLIGHTS
● Sehgal and Kamlapuri invest in Target Offset Press in 2013
● The press currently employs around 70 people
● They are planning to get ISO certification in the first quarter of 2017
● The press was first established in 1991

 

He further added about the press, “Since 1991 Target Offset has been servicing the best of the breed in the Publishing Houses, Advertising Agencies, Telecommunications as well as various stand-alone operations throughout the U.A.E. and abroad. Our work covers magazines, posters, brochures, news letters, booklets, folders, leaflets, menu cards, office stationery, business cards, and boxes. The bulk of our work is concentrated on Magazines. However, irrespective of the size, type, or quantity of the jobs undertaken, the effort; attention; and quality remain the same. Our 30,000 sq. ft. plant houses a variety of presses from Heidelberg sheetfed presses like 70x100 6 colour, 7x100 5 colour with Waterbase and online coating to latest finishing equipments like UV 70x100, Cold and Thermal Lamination Machine, Foiling Machine, Folding machine, Online saddle stitcher, Online perfect Binding machine, Diecutting machine, Spiral Binding machine, Punching machine, corner cutting machine, 3 knife cutting machine etc. Our team of print professionals are dedicated to quality and efficiency. We believe that technology, efficiently managed, can help your harness the power of print.”
Talking about his family and hobbies, he added, “My wife is a Dental Surgeon and she is working for Central Poly Clinic in Dubai. I have two sons and they are studying in Grades 10 and 5. During my school days I represented Zonal levels for football and volleyball. Apart from this I play tennis, badminton, read fictional books, and follow the current ongoing global affairs.”
He further speaks about the changes in the current market, “While I was working in Al Mawrid, the commercial printing was doing great where we had around 80 percentage of the market share. However, the whole market is in a changing state and it is moving towards the packaging as well as converting business. UAE as a whole is a small market where the competitor numbers are enormous. In the last 4 to 5 years the demand for calendars anddiaries has drastically come down where earlier we use to print large quantity but now the quantity has been reduced. The price is the major factor and people in the market just want to grab the jobs even without margin. However, I have requested my team to bring jobs only with good margins and even asked them to bring small jobs with good profit margins or high volume jobs with acceptable margin.”
He further added about the challenges in retaining employees, awards, employee benefits, and credit period “Everyone knows that the market is open for all and this makes us difficult to retain the employees. In order to overcome this, we use to give them regular incentives based on their performances. As far as awards are concerned, we have received award from Dubai Tourism for printing DSF campaign in 2014. As per UAE labor law we are offering all the benefits to the employees. The current market condition islittle tough for everyone and that is why we filter the new customers and do the jobs with 100% payment or at least 50% down payment. However, the credit period for the existing customer varies from 30 through 60 days and of course at times it may extend.”
Signing off, he advices the printing presses to hold on and good times will come soon. Also, utilize the resources to the optimum level to attain good profit.