Events for Egypt’s Printing Industry

Walid Qorish has been working in the printing, packaging and publishing industry for more than twenty years. In 2008, he founded Egygraph Creative Communication, an advertising agency in Cairo. During the 2014 MP, he was able to strengthen existing relationships with key German players in the printing industry. A contact he established with a German trade fair enterprise would prove particularly valuable; it would lead the 44-year-old entrepreneur to set up a new line of business in event organisation. The German trade fair organisers in turn were happy to secure a committed partner in Egypt.

Cairo. drupa is the world’s largest trade fair for the printing and media industry, and it is held in Düsseldorf every four years. Print service providers, designers and publishers from all over the world gather here. Qorish is a regular participant. It is a place where he can network and catch up on the latest industry news. But it was only at a meeting during the MP in Frankfurt that he was able to present himself to the drupa management team as someone with the potential to become a fully-fledged partner. “Suddenly, I wasn’t just anyone,” says the entrepreneur, who had been organising the Egypt day at drupa, regularly attended by approximately 800 representatives from the Egyptian printing, packaging and publishing industry, for a number of years.

It was agreed that Qorish would represent the interests of drupa in Egypt. He organised pre-drupa events in Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt’s second-largest city, presenting the latest trends and technologies in the printing industry in a number of exhibitions and lectures. This compact drupa road show was well received by the Egyptian industry, and the German partners were very satisfied. Qorish was subsequently commissioned to organise a post-drupa event in Alexandria.

Competition is fierce in the Egyptian advertising market. There are a number of competitors and the pressure on prices is high. Qorish aims to diversify his business and believes there is a gap in the market when it comes to organising industry events. This is why he decided to establish a new event division with two new employees. He also intends to continue expanding in this area in the future. He has already established a new regional conference format with “Print Innovate Summit”, showcasing innovative printing technologies, which was held for the first time in 2014 in Cairo. He also organises international conferences and exhibitions in the Egyptian capital under the name DIGITECH. “We hope to draw German enterprises to Egypt. We recognise that they are leaders in the printing industry, and we want to bring them together with enterprises in the MENA region. This will allow German enterprises to save on the costs of participating in large trade fairs and communicate directly with their target audience. And our enterprises will benefit by staying up-to-date with the latest technology,” explains Qorish, who has increased revenue at his firm by 25 per cent since the MP.

Egypt is a promising market for foreign print service providers as virtually all printing and packaging machinery is imported. In 2015, Egyptian enterprises spent a total of US $255 million in this area. Approximately one third of these orders were placed with German enterprises. Qorish has also observed that Egyptian enterprises value the quality of “made in Germany”. The entrepreneur, who himself commissions subcontractors to print on machines from Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, tells us that many printing works use German printing technology. Qorish, who recently conducted a study on developments in the printing industry in the MENA region, also reports that other markets for the print media industry are shrinking, particularly in Europe, as to be expected with the advance of digitalisation. According to the study, the industry can expect annual growth of over 7per cent in the MENA region.

In order to improve Egyptian MP alumni’s ability to network amongst themselves and create a platform for the exchange of ideas beyond the programme, Qorish is also involved in establishing an alumni association, supported by GIZ on the German side and ITC (Industrial Training Council) on the Egyptian side. Qorish expects the association to begin work in October 2017, once the paperwork is all in order. Around 200 Egyptian alumni will then be invited to benefit from Qorish’s hard work and dedication.