The Complex & Competitive Nature of the Industry- PAUL LIM

By- Juliet NNAJIOFOR-UYI

Spanning over 27years of career experience revolving around the 4 P’s – printing, publishing, packaging & paper mills. Paul LIM worked for several years with different companies that earned him rich international exposure & experiences in the creative industry. He held many appointments in various organisations which had helped many companies accelerated the sales growth, automated the printing processes and bringing best practices to reduce cost

Background information

Paul was not keen on studying previously.  However, he realized the importance of education for career advancement in his corporate world.  With discipline and perseverance, Paul graduated from Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia with Bachelor of commence (Finance & Marketing) and has a Professional Diploma in Asia Pacific Marketing.

Paul is a Singaporean and had been headhunted to work as General Manager in MCM Printing in Myanmar which responsible for overall revenue and increased productivity in the factory.

Prior to his current appointment, he was Head of Sales & Operations covering Asia Pacific, Dubai, Oman, Iran, Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria and Scandinavian country

Tell us about your key success factors and how it has helped you to grow professionally. 

To combat today’s competitive landscape, skill upgrading helps to increase my productivity and stay current with trends and developments. Getting further education also armed me with technical tools and helps to develop the ability to work with people effectively. Social media knowledge and application were essential in building a strong online presence for me.

Business is facing market fluctuations and shifts in consumer demand and trend due to rise in digital technologies. The printing industry is badly affected & declining, what is your view?

Due to technologies disruption, the most severely affected is the printing industry.  Printing is still retaining its relevance in the current age. The use of print has changed especially in marketing. To stay relevant, printers must take extra effort to sharpen and extend their value proposition by understanding all our communication options against the digital alternative. Research shows that most people retain information more effectively with printed material versus an online interface.

How do printers overcome the challenges in the competitive market?

The printing industry has evolved tremendously over the past few years and business environment is becoming more competitive and complex. The printers must react swiftly to changing market demands. Today, many companies operate as a one stop hub providing array of valued added services including as pre-press, printing, binding and distribution.

Some companies are also providing editorial consulting, professional design & photographer service for corporate magazines and other marketing materials

The biggest challenges are inflation, overall cost of manpower and raw material costs are accelerating. In terms of business, it is increased productivity and cost efficiencies that drive earning and training to combat the challenges stay ahead.

As a practitioner, how will you marry the relationship between printing and publishing in Myanmar?

Both publishers and printers must discuss on printing quality and sturdiness in publishing school textbooks, paper, ink and quality control. There are 1800 licensed publishers to cover 14,135 tiles annually. About 40 million school textbooks to be printed annually. Primary school books are printed by government while Middle to High school books will be printed by private printing companies via tender exercise.

Why is the business of publishing on the up? Kindly share your views base on your experiences.

Publishers have to work hard for good content & design for the book which is subject for Ministry approval. The publishers must also brainstorm in

various methods to prevent counterfeit books for instance using watermark, special series numbering and authorised stamping.They are implementing fine and jail sentence for those offenders who are caught printing counterfeit books.

There are lots of opportunities in Nigeria for your sector; do you have plans of having a physical office through representation in Nigeria? 

During my recent visit to Nigeria, I noticed that the country has potential growth in the printing industry. We are targeting for partnership with book publishers and planned to expand our presence in Nigeria market in near future.

Tell us how technology networking events helped you to build your career in the industry?

You may have heard the adage “it is all about who you know”. This statement predates on technology networking. It is a great opportunity to present yourself, make new connections, work hard to develop a relationship, establish one’s credibility and share information and knowledge within the industry.

Social media is an effective to get to know important contacts better, can help you add to circle of friends quickly as well as boost your career. I have benefited many good connections for my career advancement.

Give Back to the Community.

Paul serves in various communities and social arena. He is volunteer mentor in Aidha (NGO in Singapore) to train domestic workers on financial literacy, self-development & money management skills. These trainings equip them for a brighter future more opportunities and choice enabling them to set up their own business.

In addition, Paul has been contributing to various charity organisations in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Kenya & Nigeria for helping underprivileged & abandoned students

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