[Interview] Esther Dumbiri, Managing Director, SHTL Publishing, Nigeria
Esther Dumbiri put her talent with words and colors to good use by starting a publishing firm over a decade ago, a firm that has grown in leaps and bounds.
Could you introduce your company?
With a keen eye for spotting errors and a passion tell people's stories, I founded a Prints and Publishing firm over 12 years ago, where our love for pristine quality editorials, designs, prints and satisfied authors keeps me going back to work every day. SHTL Publishing is an imprint of Sapient Hadassah’s Touch Limited and we offer Editorials (Editing, Writing, Proofreading, Ghost Writing, Content Development, Transcriptions, Translations), Brand Expressions (Designs, Brand Conceptualization, Website Creation, T-shirt Branding, Workplace Branding, Banners and Stickers), Publishing (E-books, Hard Copy Publishing, Magazines) and Prints (Diaries, Calendars, Notepads).
We are working to become the first choice of publishing for authors by redefining the reading culture through high quality output and technology.
Where is the company located?
We are currently at Office Block, Salami Bustop, Shasha, Lagos State, Nigeria
Who are your clients?
Our clients cut across all sectors, from Religious institutions, hotels, NGOs, manufacturers to Academia, and of course private individuals. We have also offered our services to authors based in the United States and in the United Kingdom and ship their books to them.
What are the USPs of SHTL Publishing?
We are a one-stop shop for authors and we place them on both local and international platforms. We deliver world standards locally as all our vendors are proudly based in Nigeria. We need people to see that Nigeria has a chance to compete on the international space. Through the use of Artificial Intelligence like AR and VR, we deliver reading and presentations in more exciting ways.
How is the company funded?
I founded the company as a student, and have been fortunate to have had investors come in along the line. The first angel investor fund was done in 2013 by The former GMD of NNPC, Engr Afolabi Oladele. Since then, the company has grown organically working with over seven employees at different periods and over 20 vendors.
How has the market in Nigeria responded to your services?
Up until now, SHTL has never spent money directly to acquire clients (No PPC, no ads, just content uploads, strong referral network and one book event). However, our services speak for us in different quarters. Our work is our pride. Over the last 4 years, we have experienced a 250% growth in our revenue.
What are the growth plans of the company?
To us, every deal we seal is considered an investment into achieving the goal of improving the reading culture in Nigeria. Through the engagement of Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality and Virtual Reality, we are changing the game of play.
With partnerships growing in the UK, Spain and Slovenia, we are bringing the world to Nigeria as we make reading and learning fun again.
Our current expansion plan includes offices in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt, South Africa, Kenya, UK and the US providing our services to people across sectors.
Specifically for 2019, our Book Discussion events will commence and our deployment of AR/MR/VR solutions for education through our partnerships with the three firms in the UK, Slovenia and Spain.
What does SHTL Publishing need to further thrive?
We have been able to grow our capacity over the years and can currently handle more than we are grappling with. So we need more referrals, more large scale projects plus Government partnerships to deliver digital education to children across the country.
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