JOBS & ‘Your school knowl­edge can en­hance your busi­ness’

Daily Trust - - JOBS & CAREER - From Chris­tiana T. Alabi, Kaduna Mr. Olatun­bo­sun in his work­shop

Mr Abay­omi Olatun­bo­sun is a Kaduna based printer who is very pas­sion­ate about his pro­fes­sion. Though he earned a Na­tional Di­ploma in Hu­man Re­source Man­age­ment in Kaduna Polytech­nic in 2007 he still chose to re­main a printer be­cause of the love he has for it. Ac­cord­ing to him, go­ing to school does not mean you must work un­der some­one, he said you can be a grad­u­ate and aban­don the cer­tifi­cate to work for yourself and em­ploy oth­ers. He said he went to school not be­cause he wanted a white col­lar job but be­cause he wanted knowl­edge to en­hance his print­ing job.

How did you come about print­ing?

I came from a hum­ble back­ground and I did not get fi­nan­cial sup­port from any­one to fur­ther my ed­u­ca­tion and I so much de­sired to be ed­u­cated and be­come some­body in life. So I de­cided to ac­quire skills in print­ing so as to raise money to go to school. I learnt print­ing for three years from 2002 to 2005 be­fore go­ing for my OND.

What would you have loved to be­come, had you not gone into print­ing?

As a grow­ing child then, my am­bi­tion was to be­come an ac­coun­tant but my dream did not even­tu­ally come to pass due to cir­cum­stances around me.

Why didn’t you study ac­count­ing in school since you had a dream of be­com­ing an ac­coun­tant?

I ac­tu­ally ap­plied for Ac­coun­tancy in Kaduna Polytech­nic but in­stead I was of­fered ad­mis­sion in Hu­man Re­source Man­age­ment. Even though it was not what I wanted, I de­cided to ac­cept the of­fer so that I can have a lit­tle ed­u­ca­tional back­ground and be­cause I also know that in Nigeria it is not what you study that mat­ters but your cer­tifi­cate and truly, the knowl­edge I ac­quired in school has helped me tremen­dously.

How has your school knowl­edge helped you and your busi­ness?

It has re­ally helped me and is still help­ing me in the area of ap­proach­ing people es­pe­cially my clients, it gives me courage to re-mod­ern­ize my busi­ness premises un­like oth­ers who don’t have ed­u­ca­tion back­ground.

Have you ever looked for job with your cer­tifi­cate?

I have not be­cause I ac­tu­ally went to school not be­cause I wanted to work for any­body but to gain knowl­edge of be­com­ing a bet­ter em­ployer of labour and I thank God be­cause my knowl­edge in school makes me a bet­ter per­son and also a bet­ter man­ager of my busi­ness and man­ager of my em­ploy­ees. It also helps me to give touch of pro­fes­sion­al­ism to my print­ing work. I al­ways en­sure that my work is unique.

What kind of print­ing do you do?

I print jot­ters, cal­en­dars, note­books, text books, flex, hand­bills, posters, ban­ners, sou­venirs for wed­ding, birth­day and other oc­ca­sions. I also pub­lish books and other forms of print­ing.

What does it take to be­come a printer?

It takes self-de­ter­mi­na­tion and readi­ness to learn un­der some­one for at least three years. Then you have to be cre­ative so that your work can unique and dif­fer­ent from that of your col­leagues. You also need to able to ap­pre­ci­ate aes­thetic value and make yourself dis­tinc­tive among oth­ers and main­tain cor­dial re­la­tion­ship with your clients, with this, you will make money but the money ought to be used in procur­ing the needed ma­chine for your work so that you can work bet­ter and have more clients.

What is your as­sess­ment of the busi­ness?

Well, it is a very good busi­ness and who­ever comes into it will have no re­gret. In fact we have a lot of grad­u­ates who are print­ers due to lack of em­ploy­ment. All they need is a lit­tle train­ing to mas­ter the work and be­fore they know what is hap­pen­ing, they will for­get that they have a cer­tifi­cate be­cause the work is very lu­cra­tive and if you are cre­ative and have con­nec­tion, you will get big jobs.

What are the chal­lenges as­so­ci­ated with your kind of busi­ness?

Fi­nance is the ma­jor chal­lenge, with my knowl­edge in print­ing, there is no amount you in­vest that is too much or that you will re­gret. The ma­chines we use for print­ing are very ex­pen­sive and un­til you get those ma­chines be­fore people will have con­fi­dence that you are ca­pa­ble of han­dling their work. There are dif­fer­ent types of ma­chines used in print­ing in­clud­ing Kord ma­chine, which cost about N4mil­lion; the next one to Kord ma­chine is pop­u­larly known as GTO which cost about N1.7mil­lion; lam­i­nat­ing ma­chine, which cost about N400, 000; ex­pos­ing ma­chine, which cost about N80, 000; MOV ma­chine, this is more au­to­matic and the lat­est ma­chine now is speed mas­ter ma­chine; in fact I don’t think any­body has the speed ma­chine in Kaduna for now but you can find it in La­gos.

An­other chal­lenge with this work is that you have to be very care­ful not to in­volve yourself in forgery be­cause a lot of people will bring re­ceipt, cer­tifi­cate and other sen­si­tive documents for you to print for them. As a knowl­edge­able print, you need to ask for LPO to en­able you know that the au­thor­i­ties of the or­gan­i­sa­tion are aware of the print­ing or you go to the or­gan­i­sa­tion to find out, in or­der not to land yourself into trou­ble.

What other ma­te­ri­als do you use for print­ing and where do you get the ma­te­ri­als?

We make use of lam­i­nat­ing films which we buy in bun­dle from La­gos. There are four rolls of the film in each bun­dle, we also have plain and de­signed film. Also we make use of print­ing plates which is used for ex­pos­ing the de­signed work be­fore tak­ing to press for fi­nal print­ing. We have dif­fer­ent sizes of plate in­clud­ing 201, GTO size, sort size and kord size among oth­ers.

Do you still nurse the dream of be­com­ing an ac­coun­tant?

No, I don’t any longer. My dream now is to es­tab­lish a very big press in Nigeria, the only chal­lenge if fi­nance but I am very proud to be a printer be­cause there are many job­less grad­u­ates out there do­ing noth­ing, so I am proud of what I am do­ing. Presently I have a grad­u­ate with me whom af­ter grad­u­a­tion found it dif­fi­cult to se­cure a white col­lar job; so he de­cided to come and join me and we are work­ing to­gether.

What has the print­ing work helped you to achieve?

To the glory of God, I was able to ac­quire my OND through money got­ten from print­ing; I am also mar­ried now with a child and I am an em­ployer of labour. I still be­lieve God for ex­pan­sion for that I can em­ploy more people to work with me. Though I presently have the GTO ma­chine, lam­i­nat­ing ma­chine and ex­pos­ing ma­chine among oth­ers but I still de­sire to buy the lat­est ma­chines for my print­ing work.

What is your ad­vise to un­em­ployed grad­u­ates out there?

My ad­vise to them is that they should not wait for govern­ment to pro­vide job for them but they on their part should also try to be cre­ative. Ev­ery­body have a gift and un­til you dis­cover what you are at do­ing, you may not make head­way in life. One im­por­tant thing for them to know is that it is not a crime to be a grad­u­ate and an en­tre­pre­neur, so I be­lieve that if they ap­ply the knowl­edge they ac­quired in school to their busi­ness, I tell you they will do bet­ter than their col­leagues who have not gone to school. Not all pro­fes­sional print­ers are grad­u­ates, so the school knowl­edge will make you stand out and will help en­hance your busi­ness. You can imag­ine the num­ber of job seek­ers that died in the Im­mi­gra­tion tragedy, this is wor­ri­some; our grad­u­ates need to wake up and be­gin to help them­selves since the jobs are not avail­able. Some people have prob­lem of pride and a feel­ing of how can I be a grad­u­ate and be work­ing as a printer, such people need to swal­low their pride and de­spise not the days of lit­tle be­gin­ning. Rome was not built in a day; their lit­tle busi­ness could in fu­ture turn into a very big com­pany that both na­tional and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets will reckon with.

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