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Jagannath M Wagle, managing director of Sigma Middle East Labels Industries LLC, Ajman in conversation with Venkat Raghavan, shares his experience towards the printing industry and what has to be done in the industry.

Hailing from Mumbai, India, Jagannath M Wagle has pursued his schooling in Little Flowers School in his hometown. After completing his schooling, he pursued BSC Physics and went on with BSC Tech (Elect). Apart from this he even has a Diploma in Advanced Computer Programming from CMC. Later, he was placed in an IT company in sales and technical support through the campus interview. After some years, his uncle who was having a Label Company in Ajman has requested him to join his company which made him to come to the UAE and to start his career in the labels industry.

HIGHLIGHTS
● The company is currently restructuring and once it is completed they are planning for ISO certification
● He started his career in UAE with a salary of 1500 AED

Talking about his career and how he started Sigma Labels, Wagle, added, “My passion towards working has started during my college days itself. When I was pursuing BSC I use to assemble the personal computers for known persons. I was doing this along with my friend who was having very good experience in assembling. I learnt all types of installation from him and during those days I was having around 60 customers. In the college campus interview I got selected for an IT company and started my career in sales. After seeing my technical knowledge they have asked me to handle sales as well as technical support. After some time I was looking for some opportunities and almost got selected in Reliance for their new mobile launch which was newly launched and at the same time my uncle who has owned a Label company in Ajman has requested me to join his company. I was in a dilemma and not sure which one to choose by that time, but my mother suggested joining my uncle company. My uncle was the reason because of whom I came to the UAE and got the opportunity to enter into this printing industry would surely like to thank him for the same. Even though I do not have any printing experience I had a big confident towards my passion and working experience which made me to come to the UAE in 2004 to join his company. The company was doing a very less amount of business when I joined but later year on year I increased the business with a good turnover. I got an amazing opportunity to learn all the basics of labeling industry and I grabbed it. I use to talk with my suppliers and experts of the industry to understand the subject as there was no one to teach me. In 2009 end, something sparked in my mind to start my own business. I informed this to my uncle and his son about my new business and they requested me to remain with them for one year. During that time, one of my friends in the industry was having a machine which he was not utilizing all the time and I suggested him to utilize his machine to do extra business as our machine was over booked with orders. He suggested me to take that press and do the job on your own. Then I requested for some easy installment plan and my family helped me to arrange the money which made me to start the Sigma Middle East Labels. During the initial days I faced several issues and with the passion towards working I have overcome all the obstacles. For instance, in the begining of Sigma, my operator met with accident so I was forced to run the machine myself with the help of a single helper where I was doing sales and production together. So by now I had the complete exposure to sales, administration and production of the labels industry.”
Speaking about family, he added, “My father was a government servant and my mother took tuitions in those days and raised me and my two brothers. I was married to Pooja who is also part of my company where she is taking care of the collection department which is the backbone of every company. I have one daughter who is pursuing her education in Ajman.”
He added about the company specializations, “Sigma Middle East Label Industries is in the business of manufacturing self-adhesive labels. We are specialized in all types of self adhesive labels such as product labels, industrial labels, price stickers, cargo labels with facilities like cold foil stamping, lamination and UV printing in sheet/roll form and many more. We have some customers where we are the sole suppliers just because of our service and support and quality of printing.”
Talking about the company facilities, “I have given insurance to all my employees even though it is not mandatory in Ajman and everything as per UAE law. As I started my career from scratch so I know what a sincere employee needs and thinks so I always try to do my best for the employees. In addition, I always love to appreciate the employees even for their small task and that is one of the reason that none of the employees has left us. We also don’t leave our employees as they are our assets.”
Talking about the pricing wars, he said, “The price wars in the market are the major factor which is spoiling the whole industry where some of them are taking the jobs just to run the machines. They are giving the quote by calculating only the paper cost. However, everyone in the industry knows that they will perish in longer run. In addition, people who do not have production experience and only with their sales experience are leaving their jobs to start companies of their own. They use other financers money without any self-investment and spoil the industry as they don’t have any idea about costing. They should understand that the company has to run on profits and not on sales which are not attaining profits.”