Mashrou3i in Tozeur – Abdelhamid Baira Packaging unit, Digital and Offset printing

At only 27 years old, Abdelhamid Baira launched a packaging production unit and a digital and offset printing service in his hometown of Tozeur.

In 2013, Abdelhamid gained a Businesses Administration and Management degree in Tozeur and then decided to move to Tunis to strengthen his skills. The same year, he started a Master’s degree in Legal and Economic Translation at the University of Manouba before leaving to work in the private sector at a printer in Tunis. During this experience, he started thinking about using his skills to launch his own printing and packaging production project.

In February 2015, he returned to Tozeur and started setting up his business, which has a total investment of 220,000 Tunisian Dinars. First he attended a week-long training for start-ups at the business incubator which enabled him to start the study of his project. Then he participated in the CEFE training, and in April 2017, the HP LIFE training within the framework of the Mashrou3i project organized by UNIDO and funded by USAID, the Italian Cooperation and the HP Foundation. Abdelhamid completed the 27 online courses on the HP LIFE e-Learning platform, and reinforced his skills in marketing and sales through the Mashrou3i face-to-face training.

“HP LIFE e-Learning is different from learning techniques I was already familiar with, which can somtimes be boring. The self-learning method was a pleasure to discover. Even today, when I have doubt in the daily management of my company, I go to the online platform to remind myself of the key tools in management, accounting or sales.”

“The first day I started the Mashrou3i face-to-face training, I didn’t have a clear vision of ​​my project and doubts remained. After two sessions, I began to gain confidence in myself and in my project. This was vital for the realization of my business.”

At the same time, assisted by Mashrou3i’s regional expert, he acquired his first equipment for his printing unit thanks to his own funds and additional sources of finance. In May 2017, Abdelhamid obtained a bank loan of 78,000 Tunisian Dinars from the Tunisian Solidarity Bank (BTS) which enabled him to buy print equipment.

“The core business activity is the manufacture of packaging but we also offer offset printing on all materials. Recently, I received the digital printing machine which allows me to produce in smaller quantities and now I can be more flexible for my clients.”

“Thanks to my personal network as well as online social networks, I’ve manage to attract more and more potential customers. Being the only multi-tasking packaging producer in my region, my prices are more competitive compared to other suppliers in the region who tend to rely on printers in Tunis or Sfax. I recently won a call for tenders for the production of flyers thanks to my competitive costs.”

Today, Abdelhamid employs 13 people, among them technicians, designers and salesmen. He is currently preparing his website to promote his product and service range and is already handling the production of promotional materials for his first customers.