TO THRIVE IN TODAY’S PRINT BUSINESS, YOU MUST BE A TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN COMPANY – THINKPRINT
Printing around the world has advanced into a more technology inclined business in the last two decades as some ways of doing print business in the late 90s is not obtainable anymore. That is why WHERE To Print sought after a new entrant into Nigeria Print Industry: ThinkPrint Press - an organization which is technology driven in offering quality services to her highly valued clients. In this no hold bare SPECIAL FEATURE INTERVIEW, ThinkPrint Press boss - Mrs. Tosin Martins speaks on technology, Nigerian Print Industry and the need to continually update knowledge in print business. The Exclusive Interview is excerpt below:
THE NIGERIAN PRINT INDUSTRY IS A COMPETITIVE ONE, WHAT WAS THE IDEA BEHIND THE EMERGENCE OF THINKPRINT PRESS?
Thank you; we’ve always been interested in printing. The whole print idea always interest the family - so much talk around the world about everything going digital and we saw an opportunity within the print market. That was why my husband and I decided to contribute our own quota to the digitization of the Nigeria Print Industry by establishing ThinkPrint Press which I manage. The truth of the matter is that print still has a very important role to play for brands, business owners, government and the people in general.
LOCATION IS A VERY IMPORTANT CRITERIA FOR EVERY BUSINESS, THINKPRINT PRESS IS NOT SITUATED IN ONE OF THE PRINTING HUBS IN LAGOS, WHY IS THAT?
Before we started our printing business we’ve always been in Shomolu, Ikeja, Ilupeju, Mushin but those environs already have a vast number of print firms that it is actually difficult to ascertain how many they are. So we listened to the pulse of the people, the printers and brand owners and discovered a lot of them find it very cumbersome going to those locations. Some business owners have locations in Aguda, Ogudu and all over and often - it’s not always convenient for them to go to these remote areas; so what we did at the beginning was to launch our 3D Printing in 3 locations simultaneously unlike some business that starts with one. We wanted our printing service to reach more people as we seek maximum coverage of our clients. We also started as a large format press but to the glory of God, we have advanced into more technology-inclined print. We are as a matter of fact one of the few printing presses in the country that does 3D Printing. We have an internally based server; we run virtualization (on line simulation of all our clients’ job), we own a drone; for example if a client want an aerial photo shot of Lagos, we don’t need an aircraft whatsoever to take the picture - our drone serves that purpose. We have a well-equipped photography studio, and an active social media team etc. ThinkPrint Press is redefining what it means to be a printer. Printing has evolved and as such we bring to the door step of Nigerians the next generation digital printing solutions.
WITH THE CURRECT ECONOMIC STANCE IN THE COUNTRY WHERE SOME PRINT OWNERS ARE ACTUALLY GOING OUT OF BUSINESS; DO YOU THINK THIS IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PRINTING?
That’s a tough question, but you know what they say - it is during recession that investors can thrive more. I think it’s really, really tough; prices of equipment have doubled; clients don’t want to pay more, and foreign exchange rate is not helping. It’s a big mess but I feel this is the time to be more creative in the way we offer our services to clients. Now is the time to be proactive. Come up with good designs and venture into active marketing. Here at ThinkPrint, we noticed our clients are small businesses that have grown substantially. We are printing so many stickers for small businesses and we are not ignoring them. If business is not coming in from big brands then we can tap into SMEs, MSMEs and be able to do creative things that will be mutually beneficial to our business and the SMEs as well.
ONE PECULIAR THING ABOUT THE INDUSTRY IS THAT WE DON’T CONTINUALLY UPDATE OUR KNOWLEDGE ON PRINT BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY INNOVATIONS: WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO NIGERIA PRINT BUSINESS OWNERS?
You might as well be dead if you are not updating yourself and this life is all about acquiring knowledge till you die. For as long as you’re breathing you should be acquiring knowledge. Even if you travel to Europe or Asia, the professional you meet there might be fantastic, they have the best equipment but they don’t know it all, they still update their knowledge. So, if we have stagnated our understanding of the industry then there will be problem. Yes, we have professionals who can do amazing prints on those outdated machines, that is fantastic but we should always look forward to do much more. There is an opportunity out there for printers to learn how to cater for their clients better. We should be able to envisage what our customer wants and be able to deliver it satisfactorily. To thrive in today’s print business you must be a technology-driven company.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME MA
You’re always welcome.