Van driver who rose to CEO hails cutting edge success

Staff from Gemini Print celebrate their success and the addition of a new printing press. Picture: Derek Martin
Staff from Gemini Print celebrate their success and the addition of a new printing press. Picture: Derek Martin

A van driver turned chief executive is celebrating his company weathering the Brexit storm and is looking toward the future.

After investing £4million in recent years, Gemini Print in Dolphin Way, Shoreham, has installed a new printer that can make 15,000 copies an hour.

Steve Cropper, chief executive of Gemini Print

Steve Cropper, chief executive of Gemini Print

Chief executive Steve Cropper said: “It has been a long journey to get to where we are.

“When I first joined the company 30-odd years ago there were six people. Now there are 160.

“The print industry was affected quite badly by the credit crunch and Brexit, but we do believe the company is in a good position to spring forward.”

Steve, 51, argues that introducing technology into the very traditional print industry is the way forward.

He said: “Print is an adapting industry, we have to be constantly looking at efficiencies.

“It is about staying ahead of the curve, adapting to change as quickly as the industry’s changing.”

Steve said Gemini is focussing on ‘linking a piece of paper with the digital world’.

He added: “It’s a chip embedded in the piece of paper so it can automatically link on to what your online message is.”

Staff have recently installed a specialist Heidelberg printing press, which will allow them to print 15,000 copies an hour.

Steve said he joined Gemini 30 years ago.

He started as a van driver and worked his way up to where he is now.

He said: “I think a good example of what sheer hard work, commitment and willingness to learn can actually achieve.”

Steve said the company believes in training young people who might not think university is the path for them, and encouraged people to get in touch.

“Quite a lot of staff here have been brought through the ranks and we try to promote within.”

But despite all the successes the company has had in the 40 plus years of its existence, Steve thinks many in the local area may not know who they are.

He said: “So many people across Sussex do not realise that they have one of the UK’s biggest printers here.”