Joji Joseph, director of Al Sidra Printing Press L.L.C., Sharjah in colloquy withVenkat Raghavan about the printing industry over the region in the three decades and how is press grown over the years


Having three decades of experience in the printing industry Joji Joseph came to UAE in the year 1984. He pursued all his education in his native place called Chenganacherry from Kerala, India. Early in his career to gain experience he worked for few printing press before starting Al Sidra Printing Press. About this family, he is been survived with his wife and three kids where all of them are pursuing their education in UAE.

At the age of 19, he came to UAE after completing his education from India. Since, he does not much exposure towards any industry he joined a printing press in Ajman for a basic job and worked there for four years. After gaining some experience in the printing press he joined another printing press in Sharjah where he was overlooking all departments. During his eight years of tenure in the press he has gained packable knowledge which made him to open a small Sign edge centre in the year 1996 which comprises only 3 persons by that time. Later in a year he has opened the Al Sidra Printing Press with less numbers at the start which now has more than 100 plus employees with them.



● The press started with less than 10 employees and now has 150 plus employees under their group

● They are one such printing press which totally ignored the word credit period

● He has over three decades of experience in the printing industry

Talking about the press, he added, “Our printing press is a specialized state-of art printing press, equipped with all the latest technologies in pre-press, printing & post-press processes all under one roof. Being in the printing industry for several years, we understand our client’s needs well and have customized our facilities to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. Quality has always been our prime concern and it is evident on all the jobs printed by us no matter how big or small they are. We produce post cards with envelopes, photo frames, note pads, menu covers, magazines, loop stitching, hard case boxes, hard cases binding, credit card welcome packs, compliment boxes, certificate holders, calendars, brochures, boxes, and many more. Apart from this we have mixed combination of machines from all leading brands. Our dictum is to dispense the job on time without any negotiation on superiority and reliability.”

He further added about the trends, “Earlier, there was no CTP or film processing and we use only the manual blocks for all the jobs. Later then arrived the letterpress kind jobs and even after some period arrived the offset jobs. In addition, with the less technological development during those times we use to do a lot of manual works but now most of the jobs are being mechanized which let us to return the job swiftly without compromising the quality. The jobs in the regions always look for technologies and that is why we regularly adapt the development and we always keenly look into them to compete. Also, the integration of prepress, press and post press has definitely helps ensure a smooth work flow, excellent colour management and quality finishing. Printing is a capital intensive and highly competitive industry. However, label will continue to be the main focus and this is where I see growth.”

“Everybody use to say that the printing press is more in this region and this much printing press is not all required to the industry but what I would say is, this region has more potential for the new comers and needs more printing press to accommodate the job requirement. The competition is always needed for the industry and that is where the healthy progress will start. Finally, we believe that there is more requirement in this region and that is why we never tried to do business apart from UAE,” he added while talking about region.

Speaking about the company challenges, retaining employees, credit policy and plans about the expansion, he added, “So far I did not face any recession over these decades and we were enormously doing well and making good growth for all these years. I always believe on the hard work and Gods blessings without that I wont have attained this position. We are always looking forward to add customers to our existing clientele. We have never felt any issues in retention of our employees as we are offering accommodation and other facilities as per the UAE Labour Law. I never believed on the credit policy and that is why until now I never give credit to any of my customers. I know it is more difficult to run a printing press without providing the credit period but this is where we stand unique from others as well as this is one of the reason we never faced any recession. I have expanded a lot towards the commercial printing and not to going to expand it at least for the next few years. However, we are having few plans to expand towards the label industry in the coming years. Also, we  are planning to buy a property on our own if everything goes viable in the near future.”

Signing off, he advices the new printing companies to work hard to earn more and don’t think about the margin rather extend your productivity to equalise. The existing printing press has their own policy and they are doing well on their own.