A passion for people and a good sense for business keeps press owner on top

A heap of entrepreneurial spirit stirred with a splash of good business sense was what brought CK Mukundan’s recipe for print to the table.

Born in Kerala, Mukundan moved to Dubai in 1978 after graduating in Mumbai to look “for new opportunities”.

He says: “My first job was at a company called GKN Al Gurg. I started as a store keeper and eventually moved up to a sales executive position in the stationery division.  After having learnt what I could, I left the company in 1989 and decided to start my own business called Kunnath Stationery. It was from this company that my interest in print began to grow.”

Selling stationery, Mukundan began to notice that besides the usual paper and pens, people also

Veteran sportsman still going the distance in building a career in print

A keen athlete with no qualifications in print, managing director of the Abu Dhabi-based Al Omeira Printing and Publishing, Mohammad Ghos Khawaja admits he ran a long way to get to where is in print today.

As a student, Khawaja ran in several sports events up until state level and almost reached national level when he first left India.

Having left his family in India during his adolescence, it was “sheer determination” that led him to finishing a Bsc while also going on to build

Pay heed to employees’ rights and aspirations

Whatever the Bible may say about the love of money being a “root of all kinds of evil”, as Paul wrote in his first letter to Timothy, there aren’t many of us who wouldn’t be happier with a little bit more. 

In living memory, and immortalised by the film Made in Dagenham, the Equal Pay Act 1970 was first mooted in the 1964 General Election by the Labour Party in its manifesto when proposing a charter of rights that included “right to equal pay for equal work”.
We’ve come a long way since then and

‘Building an empire is less about work and more about a passion for print’

Global citizen and managing director of Dubai-based Spectrum Digital Solutions, Ramzi Razian has spent most of his life observing different nationalities. Now he spends his time observing his presses and counting the number of print runs.But before heading up Spectrum, Razian worked across various sectors - from the construction business to sales and marketing to being an environmental consultant.

“I have been in the UAE for 27 years so the UAE has become home,” he says. But I

Xerox: How to find and sell document technology where it is growing

The VP of channels document technology  of  Xerox, Jim Morrissey, discusses how channel partners market their products, what characteristics to look for when seeking opportunities in the document technology segment and the fallacy of vertical marketing and the importance of precision marketing.

The time-worn observation that you cannot and should not try to be all things to all people still holds true, but the good news is that as a channel partner, you don’t have to be the one producing a

Self-taught printer says raising the bar is the best way to get on the map

Managing director of Promotech, Nabih Fakhry talks about his transformation from physiotherapist to printer

With no experience in print, everything that Dubai-based Promotech’s managing director Nabih Fakhry learnt,  was self-taught.

● Has a MBA in International Business and Marketing
● Relocated to Dubai in 2002
● Joined Promotech in 2002

A qualified physiotherapist, the Lebanese-born Fakhry, now runs the

Your network is only as secure as your weakest linkpost

Earlier this month, Hydro, one of the world’s largest producers of aluminium, was forced to switch to manual operations at some of its 40 sites dotted around the world due to a severe ransomware attack.

The sheer scale and severity of the attack crippled the company and attracted media attention globally. Sadly it was not an isolated example. Government figures published earlier this year show that more than 40% of UK businesses experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12

‘Print quality will pave the way for ME printers to match global competition’

Design, colour and presentation.
These were the three words that led IMC advertising chief executive Nizamodin Can to a successful career in the print industry.

With a bachelors degree in Arts from a university in India and a keen interest in technology, Can – who is originally from Verna in Goa in south-west India – was first involved in mechanical automative engineering.

“My family has been involved in mechanical automative engineering for generations so you could say

Ramping up social media in pursuit of the perfect

For a sector that is frequently geared around promoting the services of other businesses, the print trade often struggles with selling itself.
And with an increasingly diverse mix of potential marketing channels – online, offline, natural search, pay-per-click and beyond – it can sometimes be tricky knowing which areas to focus on.
For Sam Neal, chief executive at Feltham-based Geoff Neal Group printers, marketing hasn’t really been an issue until very recently. “We’re a people-based business

Moulding the family business is more than hardwork and firm commitment 2009-02-01 28

An Arab by birth and an Egyptian scholar with a qualification in mass communication.
And that’s not all about Lina Taha, managing director at the Cairo-based Al Mohandes.
“My parents are Jordanian but I was born and raised in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. I then went on to study mass communication at the American University in Cairo and specialised in advertising. But despite my varied upbringing, for me, Egypt is my home now. It is where I have lived and worked for more than

Picking the right route to success

Printers are facing a perfect storm with rising job numbers, shrinking average order values, a less clear-cut distinction between the most appropriate production methods and the ever-present spectre of downward price pressure, Barney Cox

In the face of such challenges you could be forgiven for running for the hills, but there are some businesses out there who have rolled their sleeves up and got stuck in.
Understandably, some of these leading lights don’t want to reveal their secrets. In

Top tips for working from home by Natalie Sweis, regional manager marketing MEITA region, OKI Europe Ltd

As workers around the world navigate these challenging times, many of us are having to acclimatise to new working environments. Except these environments are also quite familiar, because they are our homes. 
While some may have preferred to keep their home and work lives separate, working from home is one of those benefits many other people love. Many businesses already have work from home policies in place that employees can use where required, yet the idea of working remotely from your

‘Selling on price is not selling, it’s order taking’

All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy,” quipped the offbeat, hilarious Spike Milligan

Money is one of the great themes of comedy and there’s no end of witty one-liners about how much things cost. But of course, in the world of business, pricing is a serious matter.
Set your prices too high and you’re uncompetitive, too low and you’ll be unprofitable. Like Goldilocks, it’s all about getting it just right.
As pricing strategy is such a commercially sensitive aspect of any

Copyright or wrong?

Ideas are the stuff of life for any business worth its salt. But of all the legal means of protecting ideas – trademark, patent and copyright – it’s the last which is so easy to breach, either deliberately or accidentally, by Adam Bernstein.

And the print sector is directly in the firing line for the act of printing makes it impossible to hide the evidence of a breach.

The law

Nick Rose, a partner specialising in intellectual property disputes at Fieldfisher, starts the discussion by noting

Past and present of SGI Dubai

The rise of SGI Dubai

In the mid 90s, when we conceptualised the SGI show, we never thought that we will grow to this size with so many local, regional and international brands. It’s been over two decades and each year we have learnt something new in terms of the show and also in regard to the industry.
SGI Dubai started right from the old Dubai World Trade Centre days and has been an integral part of DWTC for over two decades now.
Those days people were getting used to emails and internet was

Paper tigers

These are changing times for pulp and paper makers. While mill and machinery closures across Europe and the UK have resulted in shrinking capacity, particularly for graphical paper grades, this has been offset by a shift in manufacturing focus, by Maxine Perella.

Increasingly, producers are seeing opportunities to take advantage of wider trends in the printing industry such as growing demand for fibre-based packaging materials.

Martyn Eustace, chairman of Two Sides, says public appetite for

Open up sociable channels for better reach and impact

You don’t need me to tell you how big a deal social media has become. You’ve probably already read that somewhere... like Facebook. Or maybe LinkedIn or Twitter. Or possibly on some other platform, sandwiched between puppy GIFs, selfies and random shots of a stranger’s dinner, by Rob Gray.

But here are some facts that may prove helpful. According to the Digital in 2018 report from ‘We Are Social and Hootsuite’, there are now 3.2 billion social media users across the world, a 13% rise over the

Calling in the cavalry

Woody Allen wrote in his screenplay for the film Annie Hall, that “those who can’t do, teach. And those who can’t teach, teach gym.” While there may be an element of truth in his thinking, there has to be a compromise.

And there is: the world of consultancy, where industry experts become critical friends to firms in need. Employed correctly they can revitalize a print organization and give it an edge over its competitors.

Major decisions

John Charnock, owner and director of Print Research

Digital signages with ‘augmented reality’ feature could propel retail sales

Ecommerce is the next big thing, however, physical retail outlets in the UAE, with augmented reality enabled digital signages could pull in the customers to their stores. The retail sector in the Emirates needs to up their game by adopting the latest technology and strategies that will help them become competitive in this cut-throat industry.

According to Euromonitor the value of UAE's retail sector stood at $56.6 billion in 2016 and predicted retail sales turnover in the UAE will exceed $71

Three ways channel partners can empower the digital workplace, by Lisa Graham, Xerox

On the surface, creating a digital workplace appears simple. After all, it’s a matter of providing the right technologies and tools to empower work groups. But in reality, it is much more complex. It’s about capitalizing on the relationship between happy, productive employees and customer satisfaction, and implementing technology-driven strategies to nurture both.

While the concept of digital workplaces is not new, it’s finally reached a tipping point and is fast becoming the marketplace

Build sustainable growth with a tighter focus

The direct mail sector, like much of the printing industry, can’t claim to have had the easiest of times in recent years.

It remains, however, a profitable market for operators with the right approach, and it is one that David Wright is optimistic about. This January his employer, Taylor Bloxham, launched a new division dedicated to direct mail, Mailbox, and Wright’s job is to make a success of it. From outside print, that might look like a big ask. This is a digital age after all and marketing

Konica Milnolta seeks to ensure business growth for clients through Prokom

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Middle East is trying to add more value and offerings to its customers through Prokom, which is an exclusive community of Konica Minolta production print and industrial print users. 

Konica Minolta’s is encouraging its customers in the Middle East to join Prokom, in order to share ideas through joint discussions, develop and grow efficient digital communication services, as well as become a platform for members to express their voice and cross-pollinate with

New leadership sets out targets for growth

Signs Express rates itself the largest sign company in the UK and Ireland, with more centres than any other business in the industry.

So when Jonathan Bean contemplated taking it over through a management buyout (MBO), the potential risks were as numerous as the rewards – the bigger they are, the bigger they can fall.
For Bean it offered the perfect opportunity to go for more growth and truly connect with a franchise business he’d been involved with for well over a decade. MBOs, however, are

Why Buy Original: The Millennial Lesson for Businesses - by Ivana Laskodyova, Consumables Product Manager, OKI Europe Ltd

Millennials are renowned for their savviness when it comes to parting with money. Businesses can learn a lot by following this generation’s lead when it comes to getting the best return on investment, whether ordering essential office supplies or contemplating more significant purchases.

Millennials are known to be the most brand-loyal generation, favouring trusted brands and willing to spend more on a product from a renowned brand that is known to deliver quality. According to statistics from

Build bridges to inspire the next generation

It started badly, and with Idi Amin. In early August 1972 the president of Uganda ordered the expulsion of his country’s Asian minority, giving them 90 days to leave, Jez Abbott

Tens of thousands of people were driven out, and one of them was the boy Shahid Sheikh with his prosperous father and siblings, all of whom were forced to quit the east African country. They lost everything.
And they settled in Britain; the start of a “rags-to-riches story” that helped define Sheikh’s character and

Why the big fish you’ve just landed may bite back

Think big, they say. After all, why would anyone turn up their nose at a huge slice of business? Consider the revenue, the prestige! Maybe even take a moment to bask in the envy of your competitors.

But there are potential drawbacks to weigh up as well. Big client contracts can be risky, especially if they cause an imbalance to your business – including the classic danger of too many eggs in one basket.

In recent years, a number of print businesses have plunged into serious financial problems