Percetakan is led by Dato Haji, who has led his printing business on the path of a growth industry.
Today’s flourishing business of Percetakan Haji Jantan Sdn Bhd, got its foundation stone laid in the year 1982, by Dato Haji Mohammed Zakaria Bin Haji Naina. He was just a young man of 21 and has been able to guide and steer the business from one achievement to another along the decades. He made the best of his three key strength areas – family, staff and suppliers. He attributes Percetakan’s success to the support from his family for the set-up part; to his staff for the continuous flow of production; and his suppliers for regular business support. Not only did he spell success for his business, but also denied the notion of print industry being a sunset industry. As an answer, he has always found newer opportunities and always been at the forefront of investing in the latest technology.
“People say printing is a sunset industry, but by finding new opportunities in the industry by adopting new technology and investing into it, one can turn it into a sunrise business,” says Dato. “Only those running their shop with a hands-on approach can survive. They have to be on the front foot in all – starting from meeting the customer to discussing his requirements of the job, getting it prepared as per his wishes. He has to ensure quality and service in outputting, printing, binding and delivering what the customer expected. Customers come and go but the three elements just mentioned are the pillars of the printer’s success,” he continues.
Writing the success story letter by letter
Dato actually had hands on experience in typesetting the old way – letter by letter. This one of the earliest printing methods required movable type to be composed by hand for each page. Cast metal sorts were composed into words, then lines, then paragraphs, then pages of text and tightly bound together to make up a form, with all letter faces exactly the same ‘height to paper’, creating an even surface of type. The form was placed in a press, inked, and an impression made on paper. “I am one of those who actually have also done the masking thing hands-on to make the film ready for exposure on the plate,” Dato reveals with a pride.
In 1982, Dato started with a two colour machine Heidelberg SOR and added a few more Heidelberg including the sturdy SORD and in due course added a Komori and Mitsubishi as well. With the business picking up he invested in a Toshiba 4 colour Web printing machine along with a two-colour. “I have always believed in improving on the existing capability and technology to ensure a constant growth path for our business. This path gives us the impetus to move further whenever we look back at our efforts,” adds Dato.
Prepress is Percetakan’s main strength and that has helped it to retain its customers all these years. Their customers from their initial days were government education departments and quiet interestingly, they still constitute majority of their production. Dato feels proud that his organisation is contributing its bit to the country’s education growth story. “We do a lot of medical books for the Ministry of Health and it involves quite a bit of diagrams, formulae and many more things. Everything is done in-house in our designing department. I believe prepress is our strength and probably the source of our continued success too,” he reasons.
Dato prefers to outsource post-press part of his products. They are located in a virtual printing hub and outsourcing post press is saving them both costs and time and they are also getting the required quality for their customers. They have been outsourcing the entire post press work including binding – perfect binding or hard binding – and all their customers are fully satisfied with the final output. Dato showed us a few nice samples of his products. We found them pretty impressive – both quality and finish was superb. Dato also told that they are presently doing printing with various processes like offset, digital as well as web-fed offset. “This way we able to not only distribute our risks in a volatile environment, but also make the best of these technologies. Moreover, the economy’s condition still doesn’t allow us to keep all the eggs in a single market. It can even prove a suicide,” he declares.
Taking on digital printing with Konica Minolta technology
Dato has been at the forefront of technology adoption. While adopting Digital, he thought it a great opportunity to add Digital Printing capability to his Offset business. Now, both the processes complement each other to the hilt at Percetakan. “Konica Minolta is my favourite and they have been giving me excellent support all these years,” says Dato. The company has invested about RM1.4 million in their Digital Printing setup. They plan to further increase the investment once they achieve their present targets. With both colour as well as Digital Printing available for their customers, Dato sees a big opportunity ahead with the infrastructure in place.
Dato admits that profit margins in printing are getting thinner by every passing day. For him, investing into new technology has become absolutely necessary. “One needs to be alert and progressive in order to achieve success,” he says. Digital has helped him a lot, especially, when it comes to customers putting extra pressure to get their jobs done in extremely short time.
Dato, an avid golfer, is the Vice President of the Malay Printing Association. Many of his suppliers too being his golfing partners makes it more of a friendly game than competitive business. Another golfer in the family is Dato’s son who too plans to join the printing business soon. Dato’s wife gives him an able support by devoting quite a bit of her time in the daily management of the press.
To any fresher, who wishes to enter the printing business, Dato has a valuable piece of advice, “First of all he needs loads of cash to invest in the machinery. Secondly, he must acquire proper knowledge of printing, its technologies and processes. He must be prepared for the initial hard phase and may even have to spend up to 16 hours working daily. In short, if you are not looking for any short-cuts to success and you are ready to focus and dedicate yourself to it completely, there is undoubtedly success in this industry.”
“I strongly believe that new and young people must come into the industry to keep it growing. It is indeed exciting to see so many youngsters visiting the exhibition like IPMEX and Print Technology and exploring possibilities of starting businesses in the industry. I hope this industry will continue to inspire the next generations,” he concludes.
Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C1100: An asset for in-house print rooms
Dato Haji Mohammed Zakaria Bin Haji Naina of Percetakan Haji Jantan Sdn Bhd owns the popular and production workhorse – The Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C1100. “With high-volume job production possibilities, high image quality and stability, the machine is an asset for in-house print rooms and graphic communication providers,” confirms Dato, while speaking about his Konica bizhub. Today the company is able to do small lot orders and variable data printing jobs with tight deadlines with speeds of 100/85 ppm on 55 to 350 gsm papers. The multifunctional options helps save labour and ensure added value. The bizhub PRESS C1100 owned by the company meets the latest global standards, supporting various industry standards as well as high-level colour management. With JDF support, APPE, Pantone, industry-standard Fiery and Creo controller, the company owns a state-of-the-art model for the printing industry in Malaysia.