The idea of creating a startup that would change one’s perspective of printing began with four colleagues who were dissatisfied with the current services in their area.
In fact, it was only about 5 months ago that the primary founders of PintNiu, Ivan Soh, Soong S.M., Michelle Chong and Soo Gar Wen, were still working full-time in the educational services sector. At that time, they were often given the task to print their company’s marketing materials, which could extend from stacks of business cards to large banners.
Yet, the hardest part of the job was not to print the materials, but to look for a suitable printing shop, that would meet both their quality and budget needs. This would end up being frustrating and time-consuming, and Ivan further recounts that sometimes they would print in a shop, only to find out later that there was a better place for the job around the corner.
The four friends were aware that this is a common problem in Malaysia and, in the drive to solve it, they created PrintNiu. They did not start with much, other than their determination to level up the printing industry and make things easier for everyone.
In fact, PrintNiu aims to give access to cheaper yet high quality printing services, without the need to get up from one’s desk.
It is a website that has connected various partnering local printing shops in Malaysia, an online shop diverse in products which are highly customizable. All they need is your company’s logo, and type and amount of prints. Ordering is similar to online shopping: add to cart and they will process it, print the materials with their partnered printing companies and finally deliver them to you.
“People are able to get fixed price printing and do not need to wait for the quotation and all from the other printing shops,” Ivan Soh said. “They do not need to find different products from many shops. Later on, we are planning to upgrade our system so that users can get connected straight to the nearest printing shops to print their own stuff.”
One of their most interesting perks is that they guarantee fast delivery, “earlier than the time expected”, according to their website. This is the result of the team’s unpleasant experience in wasting time and petrol to get their materials printed. They value the importance and urgency of printing jobs and the need for efficiency, which they are working hard at.
Ivan Soh recalls a few of their successful partnerships with other companies, big and small, “We are officially the printing partner of a Korean restaurant in Malaysia called Mr.Dakgalbi. Also, we helped a startup from Penang called The Coding Shophouse to lower their costs in printing.”
Furthermore, PrintNiu offers the option to professionally design sketched ideas, whether these involve creating a logo or a whole flyer. This special service is particularly helpful for fresh startups that have a limited set of skills and a small team who lacks design skills.
Any types of customization to printing products can be requested as long as they are feasible. To make a request, simply drop them a request in the note box at the bottom of the website. They also reply to messages dropped in their chat box on the far bottom right of the screen (I have gladly experienced their prompt responses to any inquiries). They can also be reached via their Facebook Page.
The team ultimately did not depend upon their educational background to make their dream idea happen. They mostly learnt along the way on their own. For instance, Ivan and Soong were determined to be self-taught in the subject of technology and business so as to fully optimize PrintNiu.
Moreover, their team expanded, uniting a diverse collection of skills: from designing to business development and even Singapore’s branch management, which enabled them to reach out to an international market.
The members at PrintNiu have grown to be just like family. In fact, Ivan’s sister is helping them in graphic design, while the Singapore manager, Kun Kuan, is an ex-student of Soong. They are a close-knit community, driven by the same goals. They, most of all, believe in progress and self-initiative.
They know they have much more to learn and they welcome it. Indeed, Ivan Soh’s current objectives for the startup, for its limits to be pushed, is to find more funding so as to grow the PrintNiu team, marketability and, most importantly, improve their tech. In addition, the leap to expand to Singapore will require more work especially in terms of transportation.