The evolution of digital printing has no doubt shaped print business the world over. Now more than ever before, discerning Nigerian printers have taken up the challenge of low volume printing in diversifying into digital print production. One of such is former Senior Controller, Print Production at Insight Communications LTD – Mr. Leke Adetomiwa who is now the Managing Partner of ScreenAngle Associates – a fast-growing digital print firm. WHERE To Print caught up with him recently in his Ogba – Ikeja Office to know more about his new venture, state of the industry and entrepreneurship. Characteristically of Leke, his answers were quite direct and straight forward. Read the Exclusive Interview in excerpt below:
WITH THE CURRENT RECESSION IN NIGERIA COUPLED WITH GLOBAL ECONOMIC REALITY, WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE PRINT BUSINESS?
Thank you. There are so many factors that have contributed to the economic crunch in Nigeria which I don’t need to tell you here but the fact is - you don’t tell a blind man there is war, he literarily feels the effect of the war one way or the other. The recession is really biting hard on the print industry where it becomes so hard to even run your press but we thank God that even when others are saying there is a casting down we declare a lifting up. But let me tell you this; the first epidemic in the printing industry is the evolution of digital platforms. I remember when I was with Insight that we used to print over one million posters for Nigerian Breweries but not anymore. So, what happened to those multi-million Naira machines that run those prints? I think digital platforms will now complement print business.
ARE YOU SAYING PRINT BUSINESS IS DEAD?
(Laughs) Print can never die. There is a spiritual connection to print from the forest where you get trees to get fibre; from fibre to paper, till you get to feel a printed matter. There are so many reasons why print can never die.
WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE INDUSTRY, WHAT THEN IS THE CATCHMENT AREA FOR WOULD BE INVESTORS IN THE INDUSTRY?
Small runs because there’s a drastic fall in the volume of print jobs done now. Get the best digital press, offer competitive rates and serve your customers well.
HOW BEST DO YOU THINK ONE CAN RUN A PRINT BUSINESS?
Thank you; the first rule is to initially run things yourself. Then when the business gets better and bigger, get like-minded folks to work with you. Secondly, experience matters. You need to possess practical knowledge and be an expert in the field too. One important lesson that I’ve leant is: don’t start if you are not ready. Do not venture into the print business if you feel you are not ready to be fully committed to the business and be mindful of your staff as our today’s business community is characterized with workers who are negligent towards their jobs. Get committed staff to work with you. You also need to plan and manage yourself. Be innovative; you need to be creative and be open to new ideas on how best you can serve your customers well. Be flexible and offer other unique services to your customers. You will discover that within short time, you will have good patronage because of referrals.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE DEBT IN THE PRINT BUSINESS?
I see print business as not ‘a do or die affair’. Some business owners will say I just want my machine running and thereby running their operations at a loss. Some customers will tell you that they got a lower quote from another press but will begin to beg you to ‘please print’ for them at the rate they got somewhere else. I always ask that if you can get a lower quote, why not print there? Customers don’t need to plead. It’s a service to them so the serious ones will come back so you don’t need to run your business at a loss.
WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF SCREEN ANGLE
Only God knows best!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME SIR
You’re always welcome.