It was just after 8 on a Thursday evening when the call came through to the noisy case room of Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing. Officials of the World Bank and United Nations were on the line – and they had a problem. Six hundred thousand election ballot papers had been seized and burned by rebels intent on sabotaging the first elections in an aspiring African democracy.
The destroyed ballot papers had been printed and delivered by AGPP the previous week. But now they were required for the opening of the poll stations in a little more than 24 hours. No ballots – no election. Was it at all possible, asked the officials, to do a complete reprint and get the ballots from Dubai to Africa in less than a day?
It was a question asked more in hope than expectation. The printing plant was easing down for the weekend; administrative staff had already gone, looking forward to their Friday off. But the ‘inkies’ and press managers were still on duty as the presses continued to roll – as they always do at Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing – 24 hours, seven days a week, if that’s what is necessary to fulfill customer needs.
A flurry of phone calls followed as the Print Hall summoned back pre-press staff and other technicians. Ballot printing is a specialist job with strict security and identity components which must meet the highest standards of electoral commissions appointed to oversee the polls. There is no room for error – even at 24 hours notice!
As the computers were reloading the ballot details; and fresh stocks of ballot paper were being prepared for the flatbed printers, the World Bank and U.N officials were preparing for a long night too. The local population in the electoral areas had to be informed that the elections were back on! And a plane had to be waiting on the tarmac at Dubai International Airport to take delivery of the new ballots – with permission for emergency clearance and departure.
Within 12 hours of Al Ghurair receiving the call, six hundred thousand new ballot papers had been printed and, eight hours later, were safely delivered to their African destination for distribution to polling stations and the next day’s elections. That’s the kind of performance that spells commitment – to meeting, and exceeding, client expectations at every turn.
Today Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing is a trusted partner of the World Bank – which funds many of our Third World contracts and increasingly insists that such projects are put into the hands of a single reputable company in order to avoid corruption. UNICEF, UNESCO, the UNDP and a host of other United Nations agencies now also entrust Al Ghurair with their printing and publishing contracts.
For thirty years and more, Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing has spelled professionalism and reliability – setting the benchmark for quality, competitive pricing, fast response, timely-production and, above all, unswerving commitment to its customers. Even at 12 hours notice….