From Tech Professional to Entrepreneur Extraordinaire!
Today, achieving true success requires more than simply talent and effort. The people who stand out from the crowd in the truest sense are those who have a great sense of inventiveness and a constant passion for perfection.
Khaled Bamohamad, an extraordinary CEO and Founder of Print.sa, has successfully transformed his expertise and unwavering passion into a groundbreaking business venture. With an illustrious professional background and an unyielding determination to push boundaries, Bamohamad has emerged as an innovative trailblazer in the world of printing. Bamohamad’s remarkable journey began over fourteen years ago when he honed his skills in the realm of technology. Immersed in the dynamic domain of system integrators and service provider companies, he gained invaluable experience in various facets of the industry, including pre-sales, sales, and post-sales activities. Throughout his illustrious career, Bamohamad consistently excelled in front-end and back-end management, adeptly navigating vendor and client relationships, designing cutting-edge solutions, and flawlessly delivering exceptional customer service.
Bamohamad began a brand-new and exciting chapter in his working life in 2017, armed with a wealth of expertise and a thriving entrepreneurial spirit. At that time, he established Print.sa, an avant-garde online printing service that would change the face of printing in the Kingdom. By February 2018, Print.sa had established itself as the nation’s first and leading online printing platform.
The rapid success of Print.sa can be attributed to Bamohamad’s unwavering dedication and strategic vision. Collaborating with his partners, he expanded the platform to encompass over 200 printing centers spanning across 35 cities in the Kingdom. This extensive network ensures that customers, regardless of their location, have seamless access to top-notch printing services. From business cards to banners, brochures to books, Print.sa offers a comprehensive range of printing options tailored to meet diverse needs.
Along with its wide printing services, Print.sa recently presented the Printing Book, an inventive solution that transforms the publishing industry for writers, publishers, and printing facilities. Authors and publishers may now have their books printed on demand, doing away with the need for big print runs and surplus inventory. Bamohamad has simplified the publication process with the Printing Book while also providing new opportunities for both budding writers and established publishers.
His relentless pursuit of excellence and his unwavering passion for innovation have firmly established him as a disruptive force within the printing industry. Through Print.sa, he has revolutionized the accessibility and provision of printing services in the Kingdom. With his unyielding commitment to customer satisfaction and a forward-thinking mindset, Bamohamad continues to shape the future of printing, one visionary project at a time.
Join us as we delve into the inspiring story of Khaled Bamohamad and discover how his vision and entrepreneurial acumen are reshaping the printing industry, setting the stage for a new era of convenience and accessibility!
Power of Collaboration
Working for a system integrator is an ideal environment for a graduate in information technology. Despite starting in a small branch of the SI company in Jeddah, Khaled gained extensive knowledge within the first three years. Initially, he wasn’t pleased about working on multi-vendor and multi-solution projects, but after taking advice from his GM, he realized that this was a golden opportunity to learn about various solutions and meet different vendors. This would allow him to establish good connections and have valuable exposure in the coming five years. Khaled has worked with various technology stacks within technology infrastructure, software, and hardware. He has even worked on low-current infrastructure projects, such as power and network cabling. Additionally, he has also been fortunate enough to work on data center preparation projects. This diverse experience has helped him establish a robust knowledge base for his future career. Moving from ICT to a telecom company has further enriched Khaled’s experience in the same technology fields but with a different set of knowledge and skills that can’t be found in system integrators. He found working in fields such as the Internet, IPVPN, SaaS, and Infrastructure as a Service to be particularly enjoyable and educational.
Path to Developing Hard and Soft Skills
During an employee’s journey, it is important to obtain both hard and soft skills simultaneously. These skills cannot be separated, and the focus on one may depend on the number of years of experience and the position held. In the first 5-7 years, the focus is primarily on building strong, hard skills. This is achieved by reading device manuals, implementing features, and acquiring technical knowledge through professional certifications from multiple vendors such as Cisco, Microsoft, VMware, and EMC, among others. It is recommended to prioritize building hard skills at the start of one’s career while still acquiring some soft skills.
As an employee progresses to senior management roles, soft skills become more crucial than technical skills. Therefore, it is important to strike a balance between hard and soft skills to meet the expectations of the company. In the later stages of one’s career, the emphasis shifts towards building soft skills while keeping up with the latest trends and developments in the field of hard skills.
Full Sales Cycle
The primary objective of any company is to make sales, which is crucial for its survival. All other tasks and activities are aimed at supporting this goal. Khaled began his first job as a pre-sales engineer in a small branch where there was no pre-sales engineer for multiple technologies. He had to do a lot of reading to be able to support the sales teams effectively. However, he realized there was a gap that needed to be filled to become a good pre-sales engineer, which was to be involved in installation and configuration, which is a post-sales activity. Convincing a customer to buy a technology by just reading about it was difficult. Hence, he decided to be involved in both pre and post-sales activities. After gaining knowledge in post-sales activities, Khaled’s pre-sales life became much better and easier.
At some point, Khaled discovered that he had developed the ability to be a good salesman. Although not every technical expert can be a salesman, he received support from the sales manager, who recognized his skills and potential to become a great salesperson.
From Vendor Meetings to Tailored Solutions
One of the most enjoyable activities in his career was meeting with vendors and presenting solutions to customers. They found that preparation and thorough research were essential to capturing the attention of their audience. Understanding the components of the solutions and the best approaches to designing them was crucial to discussing his ideas with vendors and receiving valuable advice before presenting them to the end customers. Now fully prepared, Khaled has met with vendors and discussed their approaches, and received advice from experts. Meeting with customers is now a breeze, and he faces no difficulties in convincing them of the solutions they offer and discussing their specific needs.
Unveiling the Genesis
In 2008, during a training session for one of the hardware solutions, Khaled was approached by the instructor who was searching for the printed training syllabus. The assistant suggested that the syllabus should be with the instructor, who then explained that he had uploaded the documents online and ordered a printout to be delivered to the institute location. Once the training session was over, Khaled asked the instructor to demonstrate how to make printout orders. Despite having the idea since 2008, Khaled did not have the necessary funds to start his business. However, luck was on his side, and he was able to launch his startup in 2018, which became the first platform in Saudi Arabia.
Overcoming the Odds
Before launching print.sa, Khaled worked with his partner “Abduallah” on another startup that failed to gain traction for almost a year after launching. They decided to create a small MVP for print.sa and test it in the market. Fortunately, the market acceptance for print.sa exceeded their expectations tenfold. This prompted them to act quickly on two things: Technology and operation scalability. They immediately began redeveloping the system in-house to ensure they had control over new features on the roadmap. Simultaneously, they started with two office printers and a few binding tools to fulfill the first orders. Within a week, they signed on four printing centers. Today, they have over 200 printing centers in 35 cities in Saudi Arabia.
One of the challenges they faced was operating on a 20% cost-plus model. To make a good profit at the end of the year, they had to automate almost all of their processes to reduce the number of required resources. As of now, they only have a team of five individuals managing all orders for the 200 copy centers, printing and delivering over 10 million documents per year.
After the launch of print.sa, the team began receiving requests from printing centers to partner with them. Initially, onboarding each center and explaining the process was not a difficult task as most centers were located in the main city of Riyadh. However, as requests started pouring in from different cities, the team began focusing on onboarding automation. They gave printing center admins full control over adding or changing prices and the ability to add or remove products based on stock and availability.
The team was inspired by the push from consumers who visited printing centers as walking-in customers and suggested that they join print.sa to save time for both parties involved.
On-demand Book Service
Having established a solid reputation in the printing industry in Saudi Arabia, numerous independent authors have approached them with requests to publish and distribute their books while sharing the royalties earned. To better understand the challenges these authors face, they held several meetings and listened intently to their concerns, ranging from printing large quantities of books with poor sales to the storage and distribution of their works. As a result, they have decided to launch a platform specifically designed to cater to the needs of individual publishers and publishing houses, effectively addressing many of the aforementioned challenges.
Blueprint for Success
The company has set a primary objective to promote sustainability and achieve a balance between printed and electronic product delivery. After almost 18 months of development, they plan to launch the Print Reader by 2024. This will enable them to participate in the digital transformation while still providing an option for book readers who prefer paper. Additionally, the company aims to enhance document security by implementing digital rights management for all types of files. Another significant objective is to expand its market to other countries in the middle-east region. They plan to form partnerships with book printing on-demand companies in Europe and the USA. This collaboration will benefit all parties by allowing books to be printed and delivered faster within the Middle East while keeping shipping costs low.
Technology plays a crucial role in propelling startups to success. By comprehending the workings of technology and utilizing it to automate your business processes, you can significantly reduce costs and allocate resources toward effective marketing campaigns. Collaborating with a skilled tech developer partner can assist in creating robust solutions that can accommodate future expansion plans with minimal investments. Additionally, automation enhances customer trust as they can independently fulfill their requirements without the need for extensive communication via phone or email.
Launching a startup can be a critical step, and finding a tech partner can make all the difference. To test your business idea in the market, starting with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is essential. Once the MVP is completed, your journey begins, and you will need to allocate most of your time and resources toward operations and marketing. It’s crucial to spend your funds wisely during the initial stages of your business so you don’t find yourself seeking investment within the first few months.