Crafting Success: Aarif Merali’s Journey in Print and Entrepreneurship

In the bustling world of entrepreneurship, where ideas spark innovation and determination fuels success, there are individuals who stand out not just for their achievements but for the depth of their journey. Entrepreneur Prime Magazine had the privilege of sitting down with Aarif Merali, a visionary whose path to success is as unique as the business he helms.

Merali’s journey into entrepreneurship began with a simple need—a need for printed marketing materials for his software business back in 2005. Little did he know that a routine visit to a local printer would sow the seeds of his future enterprise. “Like the Viktor Kiam quote,” Merali recalls, “I liked the company so much that I ended up buying one for myself!”

What began as a quest for marketing materials evolved into something much grander—Merali’s own venture, offering design, print, and direct mail services under one roof. With an astute understanding of the enduring importance of print in the digital age, Merali’s business thrives on the principles of innovation and personalized solutions.

In this exclusive interview, Merali delves into the core of his business philosophy, emphasizing the importance of understanding clients’ objectives and delivering results that exceed expectations. “Rather than just putting ink on paper,” he explains, “we try to understand what outcome our client wants to achieve with that print.”

Merali’s vision for the future is ambitious yet grounded. With a goal to grow his business to a £2M turnover company in the next three years, he envisions a path of organic growth complemented by strategic acquisitions. Central to his strategy is a commitment to understanding clients’ needs at a fundamental level, providing tailored solutions that go beyond conventional print services.

However, success for Merali isn’t merely measured in revenue figures or expansion plans. It’s rooted in integrity and authenticity. “We know where our strengths lie,” he asserts, “so do not try to be all things to all people.” This ethos extends to his approach to client relationships, where transparency and trust form the cornerstone of every interaction.

As Merali reflects on his entrepreneurial journey, one thing becomes clear—his passion for creativity and innovation is matched only by his dedication to serving clients with excellence. In an era where business landscapes evolve at breakneck speed, Aarif Merali stands as a beacon of entrepreneurial spirit, navigating the currents of change with unwavering resolve and a commitment to timeless principles.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

In 2005, I was running a software business in a previous life and wanted to get some marketing material printed. So I placed an order with the local Kall Kwik printer near my office for some design and print work. Like the Viktor Kiam quote, I liked the company so much that I ended up buying one for myself! Despite the online world, I knew that businesses would always need print to communicate and that has proven to be the case.

What services do you offer? How do you advertise your business?

We offer design, print and direct mail all under one roof. Our clients come to us because they know they are getting a complete solution to their direct marketing needs and we do everything possible to get them insanely great response rates. We use innovative techniques such as personalising every piece of direct mail, using coloured envelopes and often put something lumpy inside the envelope to encourage it getting opened. We advertise our business by using the same techniques we use for our clients which means a lot of highly personalised direct mail sent to a very targeted list of prospects.

What do you attribute your success?

Rather than just putting ink on paper, we try and understand what outcome our client wants to achieve with that print. Once we agree on that objective we make sure we over deliver on our promise. The client is kept informed every step of the way and we are always trying to come up with new solutions so that future campaigns are always better than the last one.

What’s your company’s goals? What is unique about your business?

We want to grow our business to a £2M turnover company in the next three years and this will be a combination of organic growth as well as acquisitions. Our unique selling point is that we really get under the skin of our client’s business so we understand exactly the problem they are trying to solve and we then provide solutions through print and direct mail.

What made you choose this type of business?

As mentioned above, I love the creative aspect of the business and how no two campaigns are the same. This keeps things interesting and it challenges us to keep raising the bar. It also separates us from the commodity printer who focuses only on putting ink on paper while using price-cutting to win business.

Have you ever turned down a client?

Yes – we do this quite often when we feel our services are not a good match for a client and will often recommend them to other suppliers who are a better fit. We know where our strengths lie so do not try to be all things to all people. I believe this earns you trust and often people who we have declined to work with come back to us in the future when it’s more appropriate.