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Christopher Santhaseelan, managing director of  SolidRock Advertising, Sharjah, UAE in conversation with Venkat Raghavan, explains about the industry expectation and where the industry is heading towards.

Christopher, well known as Chris in the printing and advertising industry, a printing technologist with passion in the printing from Southern part of India, Tamilnadu. In the wake of working in many organizations, his enthusiasm in the innovation and enterprise drive him to startup another wander SolidRock Advertising.

Highlights
● The company was started in 7 X 10 meter shop with 2 employees and now it has grown around 50 employees.
● They have their offices in India, China, and they have associated partners in Qatar and Bahrain. Also, they have planned to open in many other countries in near future.

Discussing his profession, Christopher stated, “Subsequent to finishing the tutoring, I needed to seek after my instruction towards printing innovation so I have proceeded with my Diploma in printing from Institute of Printing Technology, Tharamani, Chennai. I don’t need my degree to stop there and I need to be more creative in the business so I enquired with known associates and they proposed taking the a few masters degree which made me to think about Masters in Advertising and Public relations from Madurai Kamaraj University. I have started my career in Nagaraj & co as an assistant sales executive. Then I cater my knowledge in different areas in many places like Bee Vee Graphics, Lucid Software, Paramount Media and Advertising, RealTime Advertising, where I learnt the modern technologies of the printing industry. After working with many companies, my passion in the technology and entrepreneurship drive me to startup a new venture SolidRock Advertising Requisites. By seeing latest fast development in the digital industry, I have decided to step into the digital innovation; because I hope that will be the future.”
Talking about his best moments in his career and hobbies, he added, “The greatest moment in my career is when I started this SolidRock, I had many hurdles and pressure and crunches, I must overcome all this to have this SolidRock. My wife has given enormous support during those days and that’s one of the reason I am here. I would always remember my companions who has holing up behind me and conveyed my face to the world. My job is My hobby, other than in my free time I read books, swim and play with my kids.”
Talking about his company, he said, “In SolidRock we offer corporate gifting, Digital Offset Printing, Large and wide format printing, and many more. We are specialized in the Below The Line Advertising production, like Roll Up, Pop Up, Promoter Tables, flags, Light Boxes, Fleet Graphics, Gondolas, Self, Flyers, Coupons and Displays. Later 6 year in our service we have started joinery to support our services to our clients. Our commitment to the job brings us bigger and bigger, our stable and steady growth brings us one of the best digital printers and BTL advertising producers in UAE.”
Speaking about the industry and the region, he added, “Printing Industry has developed much more than expected, those time we were doing the work manually with camera and positive negative. Then scanner and Macintosh has come and made the work easier and cost effective. Now the Latest digital technology development in all the processes has made the industry very innovatory and sophisticated. These made to print even one book with all the special operation in couple of hours. The moto of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum ‘Be First’ has brought all the inventions in all the industry to this country in couple of days after launch, even lot of technologies launched from this country. So, this region is always a up to dated. I would never say that the increased amount of presses created over supply, being a hub for MENA region, there is necessary requirement is here to start many entities in this region. And I believe in healthy competition will bring more ideas and more innovative products in the market.”
He further added about the company struggles and company business, he added, “In the 10-successful year of way in SolidRock, we have come across many hurdles which gave us the strength and confidence to take the business to the next levels. I always think every day is new, not the continuation of the previous day, it gives more energy and ideas how to take forward the company. In the modern world, you cannot think a day without a print, since morning to bed every one touches, feels, smells and now even eating the print. So, printing is an ever-dying process, only we need to be updated to the latest technology. We do serve some international clients. With our latest machinery, equipment and our knowhow employee, we are offering services to clients throughout GCC countries. We do have our offices in India and China and planned to have in many other countries in near future. Also, they have partners in Qatar and Bahrain. When we talk about the Digital era in printing industry is still in development stage. It is very good for the small jobs. When it comes to the large printing still we need to go with conventional printings because it is very cost effective. The challenging part in this industry is credit period which is really need to be regularized, we hope that after the implementation of VAT there will be changes in the payment terms.