Printing Industry Veteran Rajiv Yajnik Buys Minuteman Press Franchise in Southampton, Pa.
Rajiv “Raj” Yajnik is the new owner of his full-service Minuteman Press marketing and printing franchise in Southampton, Pa. Raj brings with him a wealth of business experience to the table as well as a prominent focus on personalized customer service. He says, “With proprietary Minuteman Press FLEX software, my staff and my training, I know exactly how to grow this business. I have a shorter learning curve and feel we are right on track to not only complete the ‘new business turnaround’ but to have a much faster ‘ramp-up’ that we would on our own.”
After a successful career as vice president and COO, Raj decided to retire from corporate life and become his own boss.
The last position Raj held at International Paper in the U.S., the largest paper company worldwide, was vice president, international business. He spent a total of 15 years in various positions in printing and packaging in the U.S. He had an opportunity to go to India as the COO of the largest printing and packaging company there. He led with a clear marketing driven strategy and the company grew 300% in the 5 years he was there. When he returned to the United States, Raj retired. However, he became restless and had more to do professionally so his retirement was temporary.
Raj has always maintained fierce determination as a professional and used this to do well by International paper with the assignment overseas. He explains, “I was running this company as it’s CEO and then came back to the United States with the intent to retire; but after working so many hours most of my life, I tried retirement for more than a year and decided I just couldn’t do it.” It was at that point that he decided to beeline for a business opportunity in the printing industry. As he says, “I owned an independent printing business in Orlando before selling it to go off to India. I have been connected to paper or printing my whole career, so buying a printing business was logical.”
This time, however, he wished to bypass the struggles that go along with solo business ventures. He wished to use his prior experience to his advantage, but specifically sought printing franchise opportunities as he was wise to the reality of organic growth without a system or support. “I was dealing in paper and print my whole life. When I was with International Paper, I had seven different operations under my management throughout the world and I traveled extensively, so my experience was at a very senior level. To go from that to running my own print and marketing center is very different, but it has been exciting. It would be more stressful if I had to invent my own systems and do it without support. That’s why I looked for a franchise.”
Raj gets a boost from the Minuteman Press franchise system that benefits his clients in Southampton.
Raj knows full well the boost the Minuteman Press brand gives to his Southampton, Pa. center as a former print shop owner without the famous name. “Brand helps tremendously. With Minuteman Press here in Southampton, I already have both and I even have ongoing local support from Regional Vice President Rich Hornberger and Field Representative Rich Hartz and they are excellent. I know, from my due diligence that other franchises may train me and give me software, but then I’d be left to sink or swim. I’ve only been in business for a few months and I know that the opposite is true as a Minuteman Press owner.”
In business and in daily meetings, growth is a frequent theme as it is the ultimate goal. Raj feels he’s fortunate again to have purchased a franchise, not only for the brand name, but for the jumpstart his earlier hardships have helped him appreciate. When a lot of work comes in, Raj has a solid workflow process in place to ensure a positive customer experience as well as a professional team that includes a customer support person and a designer. He says, “It is when things are very busy that you need the structure, system and process in place or you can be in trouble. My whole career has been centered around creating this environment. And the result of structure should be the end product and business owners are the ones tasked with creating it. Since Minuteman Press International has created it for me, this is where the value of my franchise comes in as it provides the system which hard to create.”
Additionally, Raj wastes none of the time spared to him by his franchisor. “I have an AM meeting and a PM meeting to sum up the day and get ready for next day and then I have a trained staff to take care of quotes and move it through design and production, using our proprietary software. Since we are looking to grow rapidly and one of the things I specialized in previously was acquisitions, I am working on small print company acquisitions right now with my Regional Vice President, Rich Hornberger. I would like to grow in this way with support from my franchisor in addition to organic growth.”
Raj is pleased that organic growth means greater involvement in the Southampton community. He has joined the local BNI and enjoys speaking in front of its members, connecting businesses to one another as a marketing services expert. “I build customer relationships and take them to the next level. At BNI, I explained to fellow members what I am doing and that we are here to help each other, the objective of networking and it is helping tremendously.”
“I am aiming to go beyond customer service into customer delight," Raj said. "Minuteman Press in Southampton is actually creating more of a customer ‘obsession’ because we do not stop at what they ask for, but make it clear we are invested in their end-goals and are committed to getting them there.”
Everything in Raj’s professional proximity will be taken beyond face value and into a more meaningful marketing campaign. “They may come in and ask for flyers to promote something, but then we steer them towards the focus on what they wish their business to be doing in three years. We show them that flyers are a small part of a bigger approach and then we create a plan just for them, combining products and services like direct mail, wide-format printing and branded apparel, for instance. We address their needs and together we all become successful.”
Printing is something for which Raj has always had a passion and he his relieved he came out of retirement to enjoy it as owner of Minuteman Press in Southampton. “I think the beauty of digital printing is that it takes customization in print to a new level. With packaging, vendors and international production, we are a full-service and one-stop marketing center for all of our clients. This is very exciting.”
Raj says with a smile, “I am glad my wife Renu ‘kicked me out’ of retirement because we have a good life. We have a daughter who is a biomedical engineer living nearby with our two grandchildren. I am back in business at full force and things are only going to grow bigger and better.”
Among the businesses imparting trust for essential growth to Minuteman Press in Southampton is a limousine company that is now outfitted with branded EVERYTHING, thanks to Raj and his staff.
One day, Raj walked in and visited a limo company that had just established itself within his area and they let him return with freshly printed business cards, but it wasn’t a simple order. “We needed to recreate the design because they no longer had a clean copy of the file. They were very happy and went on to ask us for placards, so I stopped him and asked a few more questions to see what else was possible.” Raj uncovered ways to establish the brand after its owner admitted he wanted to market but really did not know how to do it. “We introduced him to USPS Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) services, produced 150 branded shirts for his employees to become brand ambassadors, and 200 pens with his logo. We have also produced 15,000 EDDM postcards for him in 3 months.”
Rich Hornberger, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for Philadelphia, is delighted to have such proactive entrepreneurs such as Raj within his region. He says, “Raj combines an incredibly positive attitude coupled with Minuteman Press’s vast business services, to satisfy his customers complete marketing and printing needs. He takes the approach of, ‘How can I help you grow your business?’ Raj realizes the best way to secure a repeat customer is show the value of doing business with Minuteman Press. What better way to illustrate that idea than by helping his customers market and grow their businesses?”
For Raj, going forward is a matter of what he has done his whole professional career, taking something smaller and making it bigger, and in marketing, nothing could be greater than that aim.
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Printing Impressions. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of the staff of Printing Impressions.