The flourishing printing and packaging industry of Saudi Arabia is set to become one of the fastest growing industries in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In 1976 there were only 179 printing presses in Saudi Arabia. Today there are more than 1500 printing and packaging centers are operating in Saudi Arabia catering to a booming society.
The historic background
The first printing house in KSA was established about 50 years ago in Al Riyadh. The Ottoman Printings in Mecca and Al Hejaz were amongst the first private printing presses that were established in 1909 in Mecca. However, in 1921, with positive impact of modernization, the printing companies began to offer new printing services such as newspaper.
Moreover with the country’s economy on overdrive, the printing sector has also blossomed.
The growth in advertising and government’s policy which discourages print outsourcing to other countries graphic arts industry was bound to grow.
Many new printing and packaging operation grabbed the opportunities that the boom provided for the country.
A printing company is born
Al Hayat House for Printing & Packaging was established in 1991in Riyadh. Al Hayat has continuously developed and modernized its structure at various stages.
In the early days, the press primarily started with silk screen and two colour machines then soon adopted four colour printing equipment. Following the strategy of modernization, company upgraded their equipment to Heidelberg printing machines.
Keeping up with the market trends and industrial growth between 1996 and 2006 Al Hayat invested in Heidelberg six-colour and 10-colour printing machines.
A family run business
Driven by his father’s vision, Sultan Al Hammad General Manager at Al Hayat Printing Press is committed to take this printing business to the next level. Hammad joined Al Bayan Holding leaving behind his career as a banker.
He says, “My father primarily worked in the commercial sector before he moved to the printing industry. We are four brothers, the eldest is Mohamed Al Hammad, Chairman of Al Bayan Holding; then second is Dr. Abd Al Rahman Al Hammad, Vice Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer; then Dr. Nasser Al Hammad, the Executive Vice President and finally Sultan Al Hammad, the Vice President Assistance in Al Bayan Holding and General Manager of Beit Al-Hayat Printing and Packaging Co., Ltd. We are all trying to expand and develop what my father started 18 years ago, keeping with the pace on technology and market trends.”
In implementing the policy of continuous innovation, Al Hayat installed Heidelberg Image Control CPC 24 and Heidelberg Suprasetter105 in 2006. Furthermore, adding to the existing Heidelberg port-folio in 2009 the press invested in Heidelberg XL105-8-Lx3-Foilstar, Heidelberg SM102-10-P, Heidelberg Stahl TH82, and Heidelberg Stahl Ti52. In 2010, the press added more specialized machinery such as Heidelberg XL75-8-P5+L-Fx2, Heidelberg Stahl TH82. Subsequently Heidelberg XL105-8P5+Lx3 and Heidelberg Suprasetter 195 were included to the existing range.
In 2006, the development process was directed towards the packaging sector with Al Hayat box making capabilities. Hammad says, “We became successful in this venture and decided to expand into the packaging sector and increase our market share. The factory which was built with a capital investment of 140 million Saudi Riyals started to show signs of success and growth as almost immediately lot of contracts from the private sector rolled up. This prompted us to diversify into printing of school books. Currently, we are catering both to commercial business as well as the governmental sector by efficiently serving their packaging and printing needs.”
Attention to training
The management is dedicated to keep its employees abreast with the technical skills and in doing so; employees at various levels attend specialized training workshops, exhibitions and educational seminars that aid them in upgrading their distinct skills. In addition, special attention is also given resolve any worker related issue to ensure that every employee is happy and motivated enough to be able to work efficiently.
Hammad says, “Our employees are the backbone of the business and their dedication and involvement has made us pioneers in the market. We have about 250 employees who are workers and technicians and others who work in the warehouse and handle the distribution process. All our employees are well qualified and trained with over 15 years of experience.”
Vision for future
The sky is the limit, which means Al Hayat has no limits for progress. With growth as its objective, the printing press continues to build up as finest press in the market that is adopting the new methods in line with the global market. “We would like to incorporate measures that serve the printing industry with superior quality results, high speed while minimizing waste.” Hammad says.
On the personal front he adds, “I am passionate about sports, especially inclined towards tennis. During my free time I like horse riding. Happily married for six years, I am a proud father of a boy and two girls. I hope my son will work in the printing field as well.”