Tuesday, 12 Mar 2019 16:18 GMT


With print playing a part in the family since the 1800s, Genevieve Lewis talks to Abizar Dungarwalla, director of Graphico, on providing a one-stop-shop for customers

A one-stop shop for everyone

When asking a company about its history, not many will say that print has been in the family since the 1800s, and even fewer will say that it has origins in Kenya.

Graphico is a history-rich business catering for the hospitality and security printing sector, and Abizar Dungarwalla, director of the firm, explains: “We were founded in 1975 by three brothers who came to the UK to study printing. Originally started in Barnsley, a year later, we moved into the current premises on London Road in Croydon. However, printing has been the family business spanning three generations, starting in the lates 1800s back in Mombasa, Kenya.”

Graphico was originally founded in Barnsley by three brothers who came to study print in the UK

Having found its niche markets, Graphico has gone from strength-to-strength in the last 44 years, investing in technology that would ensure the firm stayed competitive and prosperous. Dungarwalla continues: “We always pride ourselves on our attention to detail and service offered. We thrived in serving the hospitality industry and understood the unique needs of this industry, which allowed us to tailor our products and services to our customers’ specific requirements.

“Additionally, the benefits of being a family business meant that when others sometimes focus on the short-term results, we were able to plan for the future by investing heavily back into the business and ensuring our equipment and technology was always at the forefront of what was available.”

Investing in new technology is something that Graphico believes heavily in, and in an interesting turn, is even looking into the prospect of 3D printing. This is also something that Dungarwalla believes is one of the goals for 2019. He says: “We will look at investing in new finishing equipment to allows us to offer an increased range and speed of finishing options, but we are also looking into a 3D printing offering.”

We also have a sister company offering import/export goods and everything non-print related which enables us to provide our customers a ‘one-stop-shop’ service

Dungarwalla also highlights that in today’s business climate, offering a one-stop-shop for customers is important to maintaining a long-term relationship. He adds: “We always produce everything in-house, so we have complete control over all the items we supply. We also have a sister company offering import/export goods and everything non-print related which enables us to provide our customers with a one-stop-shop service.

“That coupled with us doing our best to never let a customer down has really helped us gain customer loyalty, and our growth has resulted from continued customer support and organic growth rather than from large overheads from advertising or sales.”

Xerox Versant 3100 printing press

In terms of investing in new equipment to maintain customer loyalty, Graphico recently made the decision to invest in a Xerox Versant from Xeretec. Dungarwalla says that investing in this new machine will help the printer to stay on track when it comes to branding and corporate colours. He explains: “The Versant, supplied by Xeretec, allows us to produce high-quality jobs, matching our customers’ corporate colours and run their corporate stocks quickly.

“Often the deadlines are very tight – near impossible and when the customer does not want to compromise on quality, we can really shine through and deliver the best job possible in the shortest time frame.”

All our projects are equally valuable to us. We are grateful for the opportunities and trust our customers put in us

Working in the hospitality sector is an exciting venture for the Graphico team, and it has also allowed the firm to take part in events all around the UK and the rest of the world. Dungarwalla says: “All our projects are equally valuable to us. We are grateful for the opportunities and trust our customers put in us.

“We have done many and continue to do hotel and restaurant openings in the UK and around the world, and for us, these are the most exciting. Often there are many jobs which come in together, with tight deadlines and we do like a good challenge. We are also proud of the numerous times we have received exposure in movies and documentaries where our products and services have been unknowingly showcased in the background.”

Dungarwalla adds: “One very memorable opening would be the new exclusive Private Members Club ‘Annabel’s’ in Mayfair which we supplied all the collateral for. This truly was at the top of luxury/exclusive print.”

Graphico has been based in Croydon since the 1970s

With three generations’ worth of experience in the print industry, it is no surprise that Graphico has become a successful and prosperous business over the last 40 years. With the investment in new equipment and a plan for future opportunities – such as the interest in 3D print and new finishing techniques, Graphico is definitely here to stay.