Jul 14, 2013 News
– The story of the Motielalls
By Keeran Danny
Small businesses contribute significantly to Guyana’s economy and have been transforming the lives of those willing to conceive an idea, take risks, dedicate time, make wise investments and enjoy the returns.
Motivated by the need to supplement their income and blessed to have a vision of what was needed to achieve their objective, in October 2010, Mohan and Nalini Motielall established M&N Printery situated at La Grange, West Bank Demerara.
While Mr. Motielall remains employed in the private sector, his accounting skills are utilized in a large way by Mrs. Motielall, who is the Chief Executive Officer of their small business. From being a full-time mother of two and wife, she is now tasked with managing the family business, which has strengthened the bond of her family.
Mrs. Motielall’s involvement in the printing business was no coincidence. Constantly assisting her in-laws to print various items, she was confident that she was knowledgeable enough to operate a printery when her husband proposed the idea of having their own press.
Transforming a section of their yard into an enclosed area and purchasing a press were initial investments made. The printery is slowly moving away from being labour-intensive with the purchases of small machines to produce quality work in a timely manner.
“When we had just started out, we used to number books manually with stamp, stamp pad and ink. To complete 100 books used to take more than a day, but we were able to buy a computer and printer with the number press installed and that would manage all your information. This is less time-consuming and gives a neat finish without ink smudging,” Mrs. Motielall explained.
One of her favourite pieces of equipment is the Risograph, because it’s simple to operate and also is a time-saver. And, like most presses, M&N Printery has a sewing machine to create grids.
Creative projects, such as fliers, tickets and even wedding invitations that require the use of Corel Draw computer programme, are done by the men in the family.
According to Motielall, two of the main reasons for the business surviving within its first year were the quality of the work the printery produces and having materials at hand. Though sometimes it is difficult to avoid making a loss, Mrs. Motielall tries to manage a profitable business. But not every project undertaken is done to make a profit. Religious institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations usually get their work done at cost price.
Nalini Motielall would like to expand her business but she is waiting until her son’s studies in the aviation field are completed.
From Monday to Friday, she and her two employees are engaged in printing and compiling various items including invitations, magazines, brochures, school books, forms, fliers, tickets, almanacs, receipt books and ledger books.
However, the work is never over for Nalini and her home circle. Whenever there are large projects and limited time, her husband and son assist. Working together to accomplish a common goal of prosperity has strengthened the Motielalls.
“When we started out we didn’t have employees and we did everything. But, as the business grew we needed the extra help. On holidays, weekends and sometimes in the evenings my family, except the little girl, works in the press to satisfy our customers. Sometimes all four of us are in the press (my daughter doing her homework) having discussions while working,” Mrs. Motielall said.
Less than four years in operation, M&N Printery has built a client base of private companies and individuals. And projects from the public sector have been won through public tender process.
“We have done work for students, large companies, the courts, Region Three Administration, churches, GECOM, and even Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. The work isn’t hard, we had to print things like tender documents, forms, manuals, clinic cards and books,” Mrs. Motielall said.
According to her, in 2011, most of the projects executed by the business were won through public tenders. But, in 2012, M&N Printery did not get any projects from the Government but was able to continue operations through the private customer base that was built.
She attributes one of the main reasons for the printing business being a little slow to the restriction of printeries from photocopying textbooks.
“The school is nearby and persons used to come for me to photocopy textbooks, but we have stopped doing that. Sometimes people come and ask us to ‘please photocopy the medical books’ because those are costly and we tell them no. That is against the law,” she added.
Nonetheless, Nalini Motielall is considering accessing a loan from a financial institution to expand her business. She does not intent to move her press from La Grange, but is hoping to open a distribution centre in Georgetown.
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