Growth Thanks to High-Technology

Tunisian family business relies on German technology and know-how

Anouar Yaiche is part owner of Novaprint, the business his father founded when he was ten years old. For the first twenty years, the family business generated an income from printing and expanded into manufacturing packaging in 2016.

The biggest challenge the medium-sized business is currently facing is their plan for even more growth, as the Yaiche family aims to double its two million euro turnover by 2020. New German contacts and production facilities as well as a publishing expert from the Bonn-based Senior Expert Service will help the enterprise in this ambitious undertaking.

Mr. Yaiche, please tell us a bit about your business.

We produce books, magazines and packaging. Novaprint employs 60 people and we export to 17 countries, mostly in Africa, but also in Europe, including Italy, Belgium and France. We focus on high quality and were the first printing firm in Africa to receive an ISO certificate for our offset printing.

What motivated you to take part in the Manager Training Programme?

Well, we are always on the lookout for new customers for our products, of course. We also wanted to expand and needed new equipment to increase our capacity and expand our portfolio. There is a lot of potential for packaging and print sales in Tunisia and Africa.

Was your time in Germany everything you hoped it would be?

Yes, absolutely. We bought an index cutting machine from used machine dealer Kruse-Bsat GmbH, which allows us to cut out the indexes in telephone directories and encyclopaedias, for example. We are currently negotiating with Stoma GmbH to purchase an etching machine for €50,000. This would really add value because it would enable us to produce our own printing plates in the future. We currently have them made in Italy. We also received a range of coatings from Actega GmbH in North Rhine-Westphalia, which we are currently testing in our plants. A technician from the company is helping us with the test runs. And we just produced a trial run of packaging for orthopaedic devices for Lohmann & Rauscher GmbH & Co. KG, a business from Rhineland-Palatinate that manufactures medical products. The firm already has production facilities in Tunisia, but has been sending the products to Germany for packaging. If everything runs smoothly, we will take over the packaging once the test phase has been successfully completed.

What are your biggest challenges at the moment?

Our biggest challenge is really a problem of our own making, as it involves our ambitious plans for growth. We hope to increase our sales to four million euros by the end of 2020 and to be the market leader in Tunisia in ten years’ time. To achieve this, we will not only need new machines – we are currently toying with buying printing machines from König & Bauer or Heidelberger Druckmaschinen – we will also need to ensure our business is strong and efficient. So a publishing expert is coming from Germany soon to help us out for a month and audit our operations. He will take a critical look at all the business units, from production and management to logistics. He volunteers for the Senior Expert Service, a German private sector foundation I got to know in Germany.