Calvin Omari’s interest in business began while in high school and this triggered his enrollment to a business related course. While an undergraduate student, he and two friends started a web advertising business but their lack of capital (and perhaps dedication) led to its early collapse. By then, they had been trying to raise capital through graphic design and print business.
Using the lessons learnt with the web advertising business he decided to venture into graphic design and print. He included three friends: Grace Mutanu, Joan Nyambura (both Strathmore Alumni, Grad 2011) and Kevin Muli (a high school friend) on the agreement that they would each contribute KES 10,000 as capital. Mint Graphics was born in 2009. In 2012 from the proceeds gathered, they incorporated it to Mint Graphics East Africa Limited (MGEA) providing creative services, digital marketing and printing services. The growing East African economy has seen a rise in demand for creative services that can match global professional standards.
MGEA creative services meet in-house marketing needs for design of various publications including press ads. Their services extend to digital media with a focus on digital marketing. MGEA ensures full in-house solutions by offering printing services that complement their designs. Many organizations now prefer to ‘print on demand’ in smaller quantities which is expensive to due to dependence of offset printing. Digital printing solutions can do this at a lower cost. MGEA also offer offset printing for bulk orders. Customer satisfaction is a key priority to ensure loyalty and repeat purchases.
Their customized solutions ensure that the customer gets exactly what they want. MGEA’s competitive advantage comes from speed in delivery, reduced costs for short runs, high quality and customisation.
Calvin says that if one is to engage in branding and marketing other businesses, ensure that you have branded well first! This has helped their business sell itself. His greatest challenge has been to create a business system where the company can operate with or without his presence. This is essential for the expansion of their services at a regional level.
The company aims at spreading its influence and being a leader in the East African region. This can only be achieved by building proper business systems that can be replicated in the region and hence scale the brand’s growth. In the short term, they are focusing on building their working capital to expand their capacity while strengthening their brand through high quality products and services
Calvin Omari is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate of Strathmore University (Double Major in Marketing and Management Science, 2011). He is currently undertaking a Masters of Business Administration degree at Catholic University of Eastern Africa specializing in Entrepreneurship. He wants to see the success of Mint Graphics East Africa Ltd contribute to other businesses and dreams of using this success to motivate and train other entrepreneurs. MGEA is located at Phoenix House Kenyatta Avenue, 2nd floor, Left Wing, Office 5.