Invest in Africa partners Canon to train 22 printers
Invest in Africa, in collaboration with Canon, a technology company, has trained twenty-two printers in the SME sector in a bid to build their capacity to compete with their international colleagues.
The twenty-two, who were chosen from the African Partner Pool (APP), were taken through intensive programme in the area of entrepreneurship, business management, business planning skills, and technical skills.
Commenting on the purpose of the training, Ayman Aly, Marketing Manager of Canon, said his outfit decided to offer training to printers after a market research identified that the quality of prints in the country did not match competition from other countries.
“We commissioned a market research for Ghana for those in the printing industry and we discovered that there was a problem with the print quality. So, we decided to help the printers improve on the colour management and business management as well,” he said.
The trainees benefitted from business planning that will help them be more organised. It will help them know how to draw mid and long term plans for their business. In terms of technical knowledge, we trained them on how to use the latest technology to improve the quality of prints,” Mr. Aly added.
Also, in an interview with the B&FT, Sam Brandful, Country Manager of Invest in Africa, said apart from the training that the printers benefitted from, talks are ongoing for Canon to assist the printers with easy and cheap access to equipment; while arranging with banks to also advance loans to trainees.
“Part of the deal is for Canon to make this equipment available to the printers at discounted prices. And when we come to IIA, our partners include banks that are prepared to look at the proposals of businesses, especially when they win contracts, so that they can provide them with finance if necessary,” Mr. Brandful said.
Some of the trainees shared their experience with the B&FT.
Henry Obeng Tawiah, CEO of H.O.T Morgans Ltd, referred to the training as an eye opener. “It was an excellent programme. It was an eye opener for most of us who participated. There are a lot of things we took for granted when printing.
At first, we just did anything when we are in front of the machine. But now we have learned that even before we do the printing, we must interact with the customers first and know what they really want so we can serve them better and make our work more professional,” he said.
Another printer, Emmanuel Brown, CEO of Ink Express Business Solutions, added that the training has equipped him with skills that has made his business efficient.
“The training opened my eyes to do printing in a way that will be quite beneficial to my business. We were taken through colour management, quality control, communication skills, negotiation skills which have all help me to make my business better,” he noted.