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Partnership crucial to SMMEs’ success

For ROTOCON, it’s not all about pushing presses. The company also understands the need to give back. By providing proper business guidance, quality equipment and solid partnership support, they’re contributing to the success of SMMES such as ProPrint Screening and Label Solutions while helping South Africa’s economy to prosper.

Cape Town-Based ProPrint Screening and Label Solutions’ success story has humble beginnings. Owner Anne Jacobs has worked in the printing industry her entire life, and gained valuable experience while working as key account holder and quality controller at several major printing companies in and around Cape Town.

From left are SEFA investment analyst Zanele Phanziso, ProPrint owner Anne Jacobs, ProPrint production manager Raymond Jacobs, ROTOCON directors and co-owners John Lomberg and Pascal Aengenvoort, and ROTOCON Group CEO Michael Aengenvoort.
From left are SEFA investment analyst Zanele Phanziso, ProPrint owner Anne Jacobs, ProPrint production manager Raymond Jacobs, ROTOCON directors and co-owners John Lomberg and Pascal Aengenvoort, and ROTOCON Group CEO Michael Aengenvoort.

In 2018, she decided to take the plunge and start her own printing business. Initially she and husband Raymond ran the business from a small office in Woodstock, Cape Town, with only one outdated printing press. But the business expanded rapidly, and in April, Anne made her lifelong dream a reality when they moved into bigger premises at 80 Manhattan Street in Airport Industrial, Cape Town. “Scary and exciting,” is how she describes the initial launch of her company.

Today, ProPrint Screening and Label Solutions is a 100% B-BBEE black female-owned business with 14 employees and prints everything from T-shirts, caps and bags to barcodes and labels. The company operates in various sectors, including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), pharmaceutical and wine labels.

Social responsibility is one of ProPrint’s key components. The company aims to make young people from the surrounding communities employable and to this end it provides unemployed youths with skills training and a steady income. “While many young people in our community complete their schooling, they’re often left with few job opportunities after matric,” Anne says. “Our mission is to employ them, and give them the necessary work training and opportunities so that they can further their careers.”

As a company based on strong family values, ProPrint has an underlying responsibility to meet the needs of the community, Anne says. “We instil the same core principals in the people we employ. We’re one big family, each with a sense of responsibility towards each other.”

Raymond and Hilton Jacobs with the ECOLINE 340 RFP LED flexo press.
Raymond and Hilton Jacobs with the ECOLINE 340 RFP LED flexo press.

With noticeable growth in the printing sector, it’s no surprise that ProPrint obtained support and funding from the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), the financial arm of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) – both government initiatives whose core function is to foster the establishment and growth of SMMEs in South Africa.

“With SEFA, it’s more than just supplying funds and equipment, and leaving companies to their own devices,” ROTOCON director and co-owner John Lomberg says.

“The agency has a robust application process, and offers intense business guidance and consultation to ensure that companies operate effectively. It also has a broader social responsibility that includes stimulating economic growth and contributing to poverty alleviation and job creation. Undoubtedly, this is a win-win situation for SEFA, ProPrint and South Africa.”

ROTOCON and ProPoint have formed a strong business partnership, a move that was spearheaded by ROTOCON co-owner Pascal Aengenvoort. “As a major player in the printing industry, we understand the pitfalls of starting your own printing business and were able to share our experience and expertise with ProPrint throughout the entire process of starting a printing business,” he says. Thanks to his guidance, ProPrint invested in an ECOLINE 340 RFP LED flexographic press.

The press features an advanced drive and control system, while each printing unit is driven by a separate servo motor. These units are designed for optimal ink transfer and pressure adjustments to guarantee crisp-dot printing in high line counts, text, linework, solids, adhesives and varnishes, Pascal explains. “The BST web inspection system also ensures high quality during the printing process, while the LED curing system ensures an improved energy footprint across the short web path.”

ProPrint’s ECOLINE 340 RFP LED flexo press was supplied by ROTOCON.
ProPrint’s ECOLINE 340 RFP LED flexo press was supplied by ROTOCON.

“The ECOLINE 340 RFP LED has upped our game,” ProPrint production manager and quality controller Raymond Jacobs says. “With this machine, we’re not only able to do longer runs, but with the level of quality on offer, we can provide clients with the best possible product and service. With this machine in our arsenal, we’ve been able to venture into other lucrative markets and grow our business.”

When Anne decided to start her own company, she immediately turned to ROTOCON, whom she knew from her time working in the printing sector. “Yes, there were other less expensive options, but ROTOCON is a company I trust. The owners believe in being visible and involved. They’ve been with us every step of the journey, from recommending investments in complementary equipment to enhancing productivity and quality. They also offer superior aftersales service and always have technicians available.”

Anne says they haven’t looked back since their first meeting with ROTOCON. “ROTOCON goes over and above what’s required to help us. We owe a lot of our success to Pascal and his team.”

Feature image caption: ProPrint is a family business. From left are operator Alton Jacobs, director of sales and marketing Hilton Jacobs, operator Nathaniel Jacobs, production manager and quality controller Raymond Jacobs and owner Anne Jacobs. 

Article by Anton Pretorius, featured in the September 2021 issue of WineLand Magazine. PDF version here.

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