Rifki Hussain - A man with a strong willpower, who built a portfolio of his dreams at tender age

A Sri Lankan national by origin, Rifki, completed his primary education from Sri Lanka and then moved to the UK to pursue of higher education in Business Management. After accomplishing his studies, he moved back to Sri Lanka to build a foundation in his career. He started with Sinva Holding PVT LTD, which specialized in selling adhesives. This paved the way for Computer Link PVT LTD, where Hussain had a successful stint in marketing COMPAQ computers. After a couple of years, he joined Gestetner of Ceylon as a Sales Executive,and soon was elevated as a Product Manager for the Digital Copy Printers. Further he became the Regional Manager of this division. During one of the demo presentations to Gopal, Hussain created an opportunity to move to Dubai. Gopal started “The Magic Touch Advertising LLC” in 1996, a name to reckon in Heat transfer technology, Screen Printing, and with a complete solution for the textile industry. In 2001, Gopal Pai the sole proprietor, invited Hussain to take up the marketing activities of “The Magic Touch Advertising LLC”. In 2008, two more investors Adrian Jude Vangunster (Managing Director) and Christofer Jeremy Walker (Director), reinforced the team and gave Hussain the full liberty to drive the organization. In 2008 during the global crisis, ambiguity and volatility, Hussain tirelessly established the triumph with a 30% growth. Now heading the Operations and Marketing, it is Hussain’s responsibility to articulate The Magic Touch, forward course through challenging times and changing world. With his innovative mindset, The Magic Touch is staying ahead of many of its competitors. Hussain tells us all about it. Initially, the company took off with just two staff members in the Deira office and soon realized the need to recruit more as the company was growing. When we move to Garhoud, we had 12 staffs and subsequently to Qusais, where we had 15 employees for support. The year 2020 was challenging, and so was the business. Due to the pandemic after we had to reduce our employees to 5. But we put in our best efforts to optimize staff’s well-being while staying safe and healthy, as far as an employee is concerned. Comparing the pre covid time with the present situation, he said, “We had this situation couple of years back too, the business was slow, and we were hoping the situation to get better. The covid crisis has collapsed the whole activity. But this helped us to diversify and take a shift in the paradigm. That is why we started training programs for all our products, every Tuesday’s, for people who aspire for start-ups. This enhanced their knowledge, exposing the products to a broader market and increasing the noise level to say that we are here to support service and marketing. We benefited from this. People could grasp and do things better, to know whom to connect with when the situation gets better. That was one of the ideas during this time. And it paid off in this unexpected and challenging situation. This is a global situation and not just with UAE alone. So, we have to adapt to the situation and be flexible accordingly and then look for the opportunity. Dubai is a place where people can reach with ease, from any part of the
world, and that’s why it turned out to be a popular hub for business. There are plenty of opportunities, but in different formats. Printing works are happening even in this crisis.” When asked about the challenges and competition, Hussain said, “Everybody wants to have a piece of the pie. Competition, new start-ups, under quotes all exist. Those challenges are from time to time, which keeps us triggered and pushing. The main thing that sets us apart from others is how flexible we are with our business partners, which has helped us build a solid relationship. We
have been improving and developing our range to a standard way, which people would love to have”. Hussain was conversational when we asked about the company’s specialization
and success. He said that “It is about the quality and the right mix of products, available at all time. You need to have something tangible to offer without being reliant on the market factors. We can incorporate the latest ideas and innovations in our range and deliver the faster and quality services that our customers expect. We were the first to introduce heat transfer papers, and we have introduced nine different innovations in this paper grade. Our heat transfer machines come with a lifetime warranty. We have a team dedicated to aftersales support and services. Our success is our customers’ success, and we have been instrumental in helping people maintain and diversify their line of business. We want to define our success this way.” Hussain was pleased in sharing with us their participation in global shows. He said, “We have won several local as well as international recognition for our transfer papers and heat press machines. The Wall of Fame Award is the latest that we received for T-shirt printing innovations.” Hussain shared a proud moment when all the affiliates of The Magic Touch,
across the Globe, met in the Netherlands to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the organization. He remembers that it was a huge gala celebration with lots of cross learnings, a new product launch, fun and enjoyment. Sharing his plans for future, Hussain said, “We are the regional distributor for the Middle East and Africa. We would want a presence in different countries by appointing distributors, developing them, supporting them, improving the awareness, and increasing the market share. For the next five years, our focus will mainly be on the African markets. This will be enabled by launching training centres in some of the African states. Educating people will be the key focus for the next five years. This helps increase the awareness of the different options available in the market, capitalize, and differentiate the best. This enables people to take the right decision when they are ready to start a new venture. Talking about future plans, current circumstances & lousy phase, he added, “Nobody can predict the future, especially now. Eventually, everything might turn digital. The printing industry is going to get digital very fast. The advantage being it helps people have their own customization for all their requirements. For e.g., if you need a T-shirt designed according to your outlooks, it will be easily available. Billboards, Signages all will soon be digital, making flex obsolete. So, industry-wise, there will be a massive transformation in the developments that reach people fast. Current circumstances will be for the survival of the fittest. And to survive, it is utmost important to increase the brand awareness of your products. This means more aggressive marketing is the need of the hour.
Advertising in many avenues is one of the powerful tools to reach out to maximum numbers. More awareness brings more success. The market is going to turn around. Yes, everyone has gone through a bad phase. And we are no exception. The current pandemic situation has brought in a difficult scenario for us too. The market is not fully opened; travel is restricted. But I look at it from a different perspective. It’s a healthy situation where you can evaluate yourself. You will learn how to tide over your strengths and help you find out an optimal
solution. And once you succeed, you are fit for next amazing level of opportunity.” Signing off, Hussain suggested, “Success is on the corner. Just keep yourselves motivated, stronger, hold on and keep hoping. Try to maintain the best relationship with your customers, and when the situations change, you will taste better success. Exciting times are ahead…”

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