Saima Packaging, Pakistan.
With the help of Heidelberg and a new Speedmaster XL 106, Saima Packaging, one of the largest offset packaging printers in Pakistan, aims to more than double sales within the next five years. Company founder Mohammed Yousuf Tinwala explains his goals and shares insights.
Mohammed Yousuf Tinwala
Founder of Saima Packaging
What is your personal background?
I grew up in a two-room apartment with my parents and ten brothers and sisters. I worked very hard from an early age, starting from small beginnings, rolling up my sleeves and repeatedly taking risks. In the early 1970s, I worked as a print agent and, to earn some money on the side, I founded a tiny print shop that was just 43 square feet (4 sq.m.) in size.
Today, I am a printer through and through. Saima Packaging, founded in 1972, has an approx. 250,000 square foot (23,225 sq. m.) production facility. The company employs 450 staff and generates sales of over 4 billion rupees (approximately 36 million U.S. dollars, as of January 2018). Our 20-hour-a-day, two-shift operation is devoted exclusively to printing packaging for food, cigarettes, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The customer list includes Philip Morris, Unilever, Abbott, Reckitt Benckiser, and McDonald's.
What makes Saima Packaging special?
We have been printing for multinationals for many years. That means complying with international standards – whether the presses are operating in Switzerland or in a developing country such as Pakistan. Our customers have come to trust us and the quality we deliver. For us, the combination of quality according to international standards and reliability pays off – especially now that competition is getting fiercer in Pakistan, too. In Karachi alone, there are between 400 and 500 print shops chasing orders. And this figure increases to around 1,200 for Pakistan as a whole.
Could you summarize your management philosophy?
I am well aware that we will not achieve our ambitious growth targets simply by using state-of-the art equipment. Equally important to the success of the company are our well-qualified employees. That is why we care for each of our 450-strong work force personally. We try to get to the bottom of their individual problems at the workplace and find quick solutions. We are always very well informed about all the processes at the company – and take care of every little detail ourselves when necessary.
What is the most important success factor for a printer?
To me, reliability is extremely important. I can proudly say that since Saima was founded, not one single delivery has been late beyond agreed limits. In addition to consistently high quality, competitive prices and fast order processing, I know that this reliability is an all-important criterion for long-term customer relationships. Indeed, I am convinced that keeping to delivery deadlines is the number one prerequisite for customer loyalty.
How did your relationship with Heidelberg start?
Heidelberg has always had a good reputation in Pakistan. The local service is just as good as the machines themselves. Our cooperation with Heidelberg started in 1987 with a remarketed 12-year-old machine, SORK, in the 50 to 70 format class. In 2002, a CD 102 five-color press with coating unit followed. In 2004, we added a six-color Speedmaster CD 102 -LYYLX. This investment enabled us to significantly boost our position in the cigarette box market in Pakistan. The CD 102 is fully configured for UV coating and can process virtually any substrate. Saima now converts roughly 600 tons of board per month only for the tobacco category. Since 2011, Saima has been running a Speedmaster XL 105 six color press with double coating application.
Why the new Speedmaster XL 106?
In July 2017, we decided to replace our old CD 102 double coating press with a new Speedmaster XL 106 – 6 LYYLX, which will be our new flagship press when delivered in January 2018. Naturally, it is also equipped for UV printing. The XL 106 is the first of its kind in Pakistan and will help Saima maintain its vital edge over the competition.
Examples include packets for instant soup, plastic bottles for soft drinks, yogurt cups and aluminum foil for wrapping butter. We are confident that this packaging will become increasingly popular in Pakistan, too, even though the majority of food is sold loose in rural areas.
Mr. Tinwala, thank you for this talk.