Konica Minolta smooths newspaper baron’s foray into digital printing

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This is the proverbial phrase that has driven community newspapers mogul Rishaad Mahomed who always chooses optimism and a positive can-do attitude in the face of adversity.

Rishaad Mahomed who is CEO and founder of Tabloid Newspapers, KwaZulu-Natal’s largest independently owned community newspaper publisher with 15 titles, used the economic downswing triggered by Covid-19 as a stepping stone to further economic success.

The onset of the pandemic with the subsequent lockdowns and restrictions temporarily affected the production and distribution of Tabloid Newspapers. With the luxury of free time that suddenly became available, Rishaad set his mind on diversifying the business he had been profitably running for three decades.

The July 2021 civil unrest and widespread looting in KwaZulu-Natal made him realise the need to create alternative revenue streams. This saw him launch Tabloid Digital, a division specialising in digital advertising and marketing with two new brands – Tabloid TV and Media Master.

While Tabloid TV is an online TV station that broadcasts in-studio infotainment on YouTube and Facebook platforms, it is within the realm of Media Master that Rishaad is seeing exponential growth in business and for this he is thankful for the faith he has placed in Konica Minolta and its AccurioPress C14000 high-quality, high-speed production digital printers.

While Rishaad has ink running through his veins, given the fact that he prints 550 000 community newspapers weekly on offset web presses, he has now taken to digital printing and is as excited as a kid with a new toy.

When he became the first and only owner of the Konica Minolta AccurioPress C14000 in Africa, so impressed was he with all that the digital printer can do that, no sooner that it went into production, he placed an order for a second one. Now he is the proud owner of the only two AccurioPress C14000 printers in Africa and boats that all cartridges of ink toners for this machine belong to him in this part of the world.

He said the AccurioPress C14000 was selected because it has the following advantages:

– It enables a business to grow – the device’s new system has extensive variety of supported media, from thin to thick paper (up to 450 g/m2), embossed paper, envelopes, as well as polyester and cut-sheet labels – to name but a few. It prints on long sheets of up to 1300 mm, or 900 mm in duplex.

– It boosts operational efficiency – It is designed to increase the uptime of press and to print more in less time. New features let users produce more higher-value print products faster.

– It maximises the investment – It has reduced the setup time drastically, giving one maximum uptime and combines with various inline finishing capabilities.

– It improves the customer loyalty towards users – By automatically adjusting the print quality on the fly, it always produces exactly the quality customers expect and ensuring they come back time and again.

‘The AccurioPress C14000 has got to be the masterpiece of the next generation. The new flagship model has unprecedented print quality, amazing media flexibility and the highest degree of automation. This marvel of printing technology simply gets on with the job, day after day – printing with consistency, reliability, ease and efficiency on a wide array of media,’ said Mahomed.

He was also full of praise for the after-sales support he has received from Konica Minolta South Africa, who he said was extremely helpful, getting commercial work flying off the digital printer soon after installation.

‘The KwaZulu-Natal team have also been extremely helpful in introducing us to suppliers of finishing equipment and businesses that may require our services. Their customer service has given us the knowledge and confidence that we slowly but surely become the digital printing outlet of choice. Our customers, including discerning designers, have been most complimentary of the quality and turnaround time we are able to offer which is also giving us a leading edge over other digital printing outlets.

‘This device can produce exactly the quality that you expect – from page 1 right up to page 100 or 1000. Registration is perfectly accurate over the entire print run as it is constantly monitored and automatically corrected as required. The Auto Inspection Technology guarantees that only impeccable prints leave the shop – so that customers will come back but the products won’t,’ said Rishaad, ‘”my new printing baby” ensures colour quality issues are a thing of the past.’

Already the Tabloid Group’s Media Master division is seeing order books filling up for anything from business cards and brochures to glossy menus, magazines, catalogues, pamphlets, banners and books to be printed on the two AccurioPress C14000 printers running in tandem.

Mohammed Vachiat, Head of Sales and Innovation at Konica Minolta South Africa added: ‘Our new generation of true production systems has been designed to increase the uptime of your press and print more in less time. Their range of new features lets you produce more higher-value print products faster. With the Intelligent Quality Care Unit, you achieve the desired print quality every time, job by job. And their high productivity and versatile automation help you meet today’s demands of short-run production and fast turnaround most efficiently.

‘As a division of Bidvest Branded Products, we have more than 70 points of presence across the sub-continent, enabling us to implement our technology-powered, service-focused approach across Southern Africa. We are continuing to drive innovation in the printing industry and to creating value for our customers by proposing advanced insights and solutions to their business challenges.’