By: Juliet NNAJIOFOR-UYI
The success story of every business venture cannot be told completely without getting first hand information from the stakeholders of such venture and the story of Nigerian heat transfer sector is incomplete without hearing from the brain behind the success story of this venture in Nigeria.
The Heat Transfer Industry giant- Mrs. Ngozi Ukachukwu might not ring as much bell as GIFIC printing solutions limited in the Nigeria printing industry as the age long adage says: The innovators are not known as much as their invention.
GIFIC is not just a one stop shop fully loaded with different equipment in the heat transfer business and printing solutions that satisfy customers’ needs in all aspect with global standard.
“At Gific Printing Solution, quality is our watchword! Our services are superb and we don’t just sell the best equipment but we train our customers on how to get the best from the machines they buy from us”, Business is as good as the brain behind it and I do not compromise on our standard. These were the words of Mrs. Ukachukwu
With nine years of consistent service to the industry, GIFIC printing solutions has won several international awards to her credit. Among these awards are the best printing company by American Embassy; Global Press Award of quality and lots more.
When asked what could be ascribed to the consistent growth and success of GIFIC, Mrs. Ukachukwu pointed out three key factors – passion, hard work and dedication.
EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW
Please could you tell us what inspired you to go into heat transfer?
I was in fashion business, I found heat transfer in a mall in America where people were on a very long queue and I went to the front to find out what was happening and I saw that they were taking peoples pictures and transferring it on the set and it was really interesting, I was so excited so I went back to the queue, more than fifty people were before me and when it finally got to my turn I gave them my family’s photograph that I had in my purse and they scanned it, printed, and it came out real good. When I came back to Nigeria, I started looking for the business and eventually I found it in Nigeria, I didn’t know it was in existence and the person will tell you how he takes the job to America to get it done. Being an inquisitive woman, I went searching for it until I found the printers somewhere in America and I made it popular in Nigeria when I started. I broadcasted it because I felt its something everybody would want to go into. Instead of me carrying out the job for people, I taught them how to do it, so they buy the machines from me and I train them on how to use it.
What problem has this business solve for you so far?
When I was in the fashion industry, I was dependent on printers to print for me but when I started printing, I noticed that it was better than the fashion I was into. Heat transfer gives me the opportunity to express my creativity which gives me joy.
My greatest interest in this business is the fact that you can easily set up young people with very little capital and this will help keep most graduates off the streets in search of white collar jobs and that was how we started training by bringing youths together and a lot of them keyed into it.
For me, Heat Transfer is my passion and I told myself that people must know about it. GIFIC Annual Print Ware Exhibition (GAPWE) is coming in February 2020. It will be an open house where we will showcase all our machines and services to the public.
How affordable are your machines? Especially for a business starter
With GIFIC printing solution, one can start a heat transfer business with Three Hundred Thousand Naira. All that is needed is a laptop, a printer and heat transfer machine about One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira, and you are set for the business.
How durable are your machines?
Our machines are the best in this country today. Quality is our watchword and we wouldn’t want to buy machines that will break down after a short period of time. We have successfully brought in a unique way of doing heat transfer right here in Nigeria and getting the same quality as the ones done overseas, we can confidently say we are the leading heat transfer printing solution providers and machine dealers in Nigeria. Our quality speaks for us and our clientele cut across all economic sectors.
GIFIC is doing so well in the industry, what will you ascribe to this?
When you’re doing something you have passion for, you only see the advantages and by the time you see more of the advantages it covers the disadvantages and people wouldn’t know what you have gone through to succeed.
How is your clientele retention policy like?
Our customers always want to come back to us as a result of quality products and services. Another thing that makes our customers keep coming is the good relationship we maintain with them. We are very passionate about our customers and that is why most times we call to check on them and their businesses. Also, we work with banks and once the bank assures us that the customers are doing well in their account, we give them small credit that won’t be too heavy on us and before you know it, the customer has finish paying for the machines brought.
Tell us about your most challenging moment as the Managing Director of GIFIC printing solutions.
My most challenging moment in this business is when some of my customers went looking for a product we sell outside our office; our products are from USA and they got the ones from china at a cheaper rate and we lost some of our customers but after a while we got them back because the good thing is when you have quality it speaks for you. Those machines they got outside packed off and they noticed that GIFIC’s machines are still working after four years and they would come back to tell us that we should have inform them that our machines are stronger than the ones outside and I tell them experience is the best teacher.
Within those challenging moments what were you doing to make sure that the company bounces back?
The economy was bad and we concentrated more on corporate companies because when the quality of their printing is bad, it will speak ill about corporate identity more than it does to private individuals, so in as much as we lost a lot of our private customers, most of the corporate customers stood by us because of our quality.
How would you describe your work style?
I enjoy my working style because I put on all my energy when I have them. Also, I am somebody who believes in finishing work once I start it. I have been able to inculcate that on my staff. Another thing is that I travel a lot to develop businesses, being able to train my staff have made it possible for me get good jobs done whether I am there or not, so I think I enjoy my working style.
How would you describe an ideal working environment?
An Ideal working environment is a place where everybody is involved. An environment where people work as a team and if somebody is weak you see the strong people take over to make sure that they get the desired result. These days’ people don’t want to share ideas because they believe that when they share their ideas, somebody will take it off and it will not be useful anymore. In our office, we try to let people know that when you share what you have, it gives you space to learn more and what you have learned you are above it so when they start practicing that it makes the working environment a good one that doesn’t frustrate the people.
Tell us one thing you enjoy doing everyday at work
What I do every day is to make sure I go through my records, especially my mails, I love my mails because your mail are a part of you, it may contain something that is supposed to have happened that day and just because you did not read your mail it just pass you.
What will you be found doing if you are not working?
If I am not working, am at home making sure that my house is in good condition or I travel for holidays or business.