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“With the support of our international 
partners, we are coming up with a system of financial support for printing industry which will be majorly on sales and installation of our prepress equipments.” – Prince Kelly Aremu (MD/CEO) Elkran Imaging Systems

Amiably, humble and philanthropic are the 
best three words to describe the Osun State born print engineer – Prince Kelly Aremu. As a trained artist and industrial designer, Prince also had an MBA in International management, London United Kingdom with various print engineering and management experiences both within nigeria and abroad.

To his credit, he was one of the pioneers of the development and conversion of CTF to CTP in nigeria. WHERE To Print caught up with him recently in his brand new ELKRAN HOUSE and he shares some of his experiences, work ethic and vision for the industry with us. Below is excerpt:

Q: Let meet you Sir?

PKA: I am Kelly Aremu

Q: How did you come into print business?

PKA: I came into print business as a trained artist and industrial designer which means that I am a trained printer. After my training in Nigeria I went for my MBA in International Management in London. I worked as a designer with CAO Qualitex in 1989 and six month later I moved on to SCOA textiles and work there between 1989 to 1994. I later left the country to work with SB Offset in Stockholm, Sweden. I return to Nigeria in 1997 to start Elkran Nigeria Limited, which later metamorphosis to Elkran Imaging Systems in 2009.

Q: Your academic background sir?

PKA: I Hold Higher National Diploma (HND) in Fine Art from The Polytechnic Ibadan, and Bachelor of Art (BA) in Industrial Design at Ahmed Bello University, Zaria.

Q: What are the challenges you have faced on the fi eld and how did you surmount them?

PKA: The challenges are mostly environmental, which are epileptic power supply, inaccessibility of finance,  lack or dearth of skilled personnel and the multiple taxation by the governments. These are the major challenges faced by any entrepreneur in the country. Surmounting the challenges, the issue is when you find yourself in any business environment there is bound to be challenges which may varies from internal to external; and if you are careful enough you have partial control over the internal challenges, unlike the external one that you have no option than to adjust to it accordingly – this is because you have no control over it.

Q: How do you see the industry improve?

PKA: If there is improvement in our power supply sector, printing industry and every other industry will improve spontaneously. Another thing is for financial institution to make loans accessible to printers for the procurement of printing equipments, for them to compete well with their competitions in the world. For example, a lot of printers attend exhibitions in Germany and any other countries, to me such an expedition is mere sightseeing. My point is why you are wasting your time to watch what you can’t buy due to the lack of financial aid from our fi nancial institution in the country. And this same attitude has made Nigeria – the second hand market when it comes to the sales of printing equipments. Right now, the industry is tilting towards CTP, why not digital press? As they are doing overseas, the answer is not far fetch; we can’t afford it, simply because there is no fi nancial scheme to assist in this area. Notwithstanding, I see a future for the industry, despite all odds there are still some wonderful printers who have weathered the storm. Another thing that have been bedeviling the industry over the years is the issue of some print contractors who knows nothing about the profession but because of nepotism in Nigeria they are the one who normally get the job at the expense of professional printers. I strongly belief if the nepotism can be done away with and the printing contract were given to the professionals; the industry will in no doubt thrive beyond our wildest dreams.

Q: What are your future plans?

PKA: It has long been about supply of quality imaging system, pre press, and CTP and we have been a consultant in the printing industry over the years as we run printing business alongside. We see an explosion of CTP in this market and we have decided to remain focused in our area of strength which is supplying, installation, and training. Being the only accredited supplier of BOB WEBBER INC. and HUNTER PENAOSE for sometimes now, it is pertinent for us to expand our services in those areas. With the support of our international partners, we are coming up with a system of financial support for printing industry which will be majorly on sales and installation of our prepress equipments.

Q: What advice did you have for the upcoming printers?

PKA: They should do their research very well, before they pick any area to specialize on. This is because combining segments of printing will be too cumbersome for them to handle. They should rather focus on the segment they are most comfortable with, to avoid being jack of all trade and master of none. And lastly, research is very important and the beautiful thing about printing is that you can start from anywhere.

Q: What are your likes and dislikes?

PKA: What I like most is relaxation, and also enjoys selling and marketing of digital image equipment. To be precise I enjoy my job. I dislike people without integrity. Lack of integrity is what I find difficult to condone.

Q: How did you relax and what time do you have for your family in this ever demanding industry?

PKA: Any good family head, should always fi nd time for his family no matter how small. The problem is that majority don’t know how to relax. As for me I make it compulsory to always go on six weeks holiday yearly and I have never miss it since 1997.

Thank you for your time Sir.

PKA: You’re always welcome.

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