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Atlas Group CEO Amit Radia in a conversation with Bandana Shah shares his print journey, defines success and also gives tips on how to survive and thrive in the industry. 

Born in Kenya, Atlas Group CEO Amit Radia is a British resident who graduated from United States International University in San Diego and moved to the UK at the age of 21 in 1981, marking the start of his print journey.

Though his family had connections with print for three generations, Radia had dreams of a career in media. And as luck would have it, within eight years of working at UK-based printer Clementine, he became the company’s general manager.

“I was sent to Dubai in 1992 for a short assignment for an international company and in 1994 I began to explore the print scene here for about six months. Thereafter, Atlas was setup with just 15 staffers and a few small sheetfed machines. Little did we know that one day the company would become what it is today,”  recollected Radia.

Team Atlas is now 230-members strong, with two offices in Dubai where the main production takes place and back office designers and programmers in Mumbai with a sales office in Kenya.

“Atlas Printing Press has a vast array of offset, web and digital printing equipment apart from a line up of finishing equipment. The printer can cater to short-run commercial work, as well as high volume magazine runs in excess of 5,00,000,” states the website. Radia added, “We have three Screen Truepress Jet Web 520 digital webs that allow us to produce almost up to half a kilometre of variable data in full colour per minute. This makes us the largest digital web production house in GCC today.”

As a key player in the UAE’s print industry for about 25 years, Radia has witnessed drastic changes. “Digitisation is an obvious factor that has widely affected this segment. We quickly realized that we had to look beyond conventional printing and thus, established Atlas Media Communications FZ LLC  in 2000. We invested on developing softwares and added services such as print-on-demand and personalization. A major challenge for the printers now is to reinvent themselves and keep up with rapid pace of change in the industry,” Radia said.

Regarding the dull market scene in the region and elsewhere, Radia commented, “Dubai’s print market is now a major force to reckon with. It is also true that the rise in number of printers in the region has lead to an oversupply, affecting businesses. We also get tough competition from our Indian and Chinese counterparts. I believe many printers have already or will bite the dust and the ones who manage to stay stable will survive further. We have seen two tough years and I see light at the end of the tunnel. The market is expected to climb positively six months prior to Expo 2020.”

Radia further added, “One can’t tide through the current situation just by selling ink on paper as it is now about providing value added services.”

Atlas works with network of outsourced approved production houses in the region to provide a seamless supply chain of print on demand services for its MNC clients.

On his company’s success, Radia said, “We provide complete print management solutions consisting of all aspects of print, be it digital, offset or web. While we do respect the fact that clients are cost conscious and the market is very competitive, we do not compromise on the quality in a bid to deliver cheap products. Also, we do our best to maintain good relations with our long-term clients, instead of having sales agents running all over and making half-hearted deals on our behalf.”

“Our biggest strength is ‘Team Atlas’, staffers who are highly motivated and energized. We work closely with our clients to provide the most cost effective method of production to achieve their objectives. Our other strength is the fact that we are highly innovative in embracing the latest trends in print that allow us the luxury of providing services and products that are not easily available,” added Radia.

Besides GCC, East Africa is an important market for Atlas. The company is expanding further in MENA, informed Radia, adding, “While most printers are moving into packaging, Atlas’s focus is on niche print areas that combine ‘digital hybrid’ solutions. In a bid to further this, we have developed two independent apps for magazines and newspapers as well as web based portals for our clients.”

Commenting on the digital market, Radia said, “Relevance is key in any marketing effort to bypass the clutter and communicate clearly with customers. With a complete team of programmers and designers, Atlas is fully geared up to take direct mail as well as ‘transpromotional’ to the next level.”

A fitness enthusiast who plays golf thrice a week, Radia defined success as achieving of one’s ambition. “It is not only about monetary success but also having a reputation and working with successful and motivated people,” said Radia.

He concluded with, “Take your time to develop a specialized niche area of production  and become a major player in the market.”

Highlights:

● Atlas Group was established in 1994

● Team Atlas is now 230-members strong, with two offices in Dubai where the main production takes place and staffers in Mumbai as well as in Kenya

● “Atlas is the largest digital production house in GCC today”

● Atlas Media Group was launched in 2000

● “The market is expected to climb positively six months prior to Expo 2020”