Africa Print interviews Thandazani Nyide, owner and CEO of Ndabase Printing, who discusses his career in the printing industry, which spans 24 years.
How did you get into the printing industry?
I began an apprenticeship in 1994 with Kohler Flexible, which I believe has since been bought by Nampak. I grasped a strong passion and understanding for printing while there. By 1998, I had moved to Government Printing Works, where I worked for about 10 years, and eventually held a management position.
In 2007, I started Ndabase Printing Solutions in Sunnyside, Pretoria. It began as a small photocopying shop, which mostly helped students at the nearby Vega College. The business started to develop when the company purchased a Xerox 700. By 2012, the business relocated to bigger premises in Sneeuberg. It continued to grow so quickly that the binding section had to be moved to another warehouse across the road.
Since 2014, the company has had a distribution leg in KwaZulu-Natal, which transports textbooks and stationery for the province on behalf of the department of education. It is a huge responsibility as each child must receive their textbooks and stationery on time.
What important industry-related changes have you noticed over the period of time you have been part of it?
The printing industry has evolved over the years for various reasons, such as advanced technology, clients’ requirements as well as business requirements that are changing. The traditional lithographic printing finds itself sharing much space with digital printing. Furthermore, the printing quantities are decreasing due to new technologies and electronic communications. The fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is an important aspect to be considered in any industry, as it impacts various operations within a business, including production planning, human resources and machinery.
What are the challenges of working in this industry?
Funding does not always come as easily as one would wish. It is also difficult to get work from the private sector, so we are grateful to government for giving us the opportunity to print for them. The economy has struggled for a long time, but as long as the president tries to bring in more investment, and we have the right equipment to service our clients, we can expect to continue to grow.
Any hobbies or interests?
I love to study. I recently finished my post-grad in business management, and am currently doing my MBA. I love soccer – my favourite team is Orlando Pirates. I’m also a Formula 1 fan. My favourite team is Redbull, they’re struggling a bit but are getting there.
I am married with two sons and two daughters. My first born is studying marketing, and is currently working as a trainee in marketing here at the company. If things go well, I hope for him to take over the business.
What is the key to being successful in this industry?
Having good employees and seing them as one big family. Client satisfaction is also important. The more equipment we have invested in, the more satisfied the client.
What do you enjoy most about working in the printing industry?
As I’ve been in the industry for many years, printing has become second nature. It is something that I’ve trained for and grown to love, and therefore it is easy for me to do.
What advice do you have for someone starting out in the industry?
Work with passion and invest your time in gaining knowledge in the work you do, so that you can understand the trade and the technological advances. Secondly, be comfortable with progression and growth, but also know that it does not happen overnight. Lastly, associate yourself with various professionals such as those of finance, human resources and legal compliance relevant to the printing industry.
NDABASE PRINTING SOLUTIONS +2712 343 6291 http://www.ndabaseprinting.co.za