Rex Rozario, Part 4: A 10,000-ft. view of his Business Ventures, the Industry, and Life


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graphicplc_QC.jpgMatties: They all know about your sales and profits and all.

Rozario: If they made the targets then they get a bonus on top as well, but they’ve got to make it. From that point it's worked for us, especially when you consider that we are in a rural place, not a major city, and everybody here has been trained by the people here. We have very strict training set up here.

Most of our engineers and designers come locally from school. Not everyone has a degree, but these guys have the top skills and they're here because they have the attitude and the idea that they can do it.

Matties: What sort of revenues do you have here?

Rozario: We're about $27 million here, and then if you take us collectively with China, DSG, and also Hong Kong, which is a trading company and a separate production company, our annual total, including the States, is about $90 million. That's fine, but again, it's about the profitability.

Matties: What sort of percentage profitability do you get?

graphicplc_shop1.jpgRozario: Gone are the days when we used to get about 16% profit; I think we possibly range about 9–10%. In these difficult times that's very good. This year we are planning for China, without any further investment, to have the capacity there alone to do about $75–80 million. It's not that difficult. It’s a possibility.

Also as you know, the world situation has slowed down a little bit. We're now looking at global sales in places like the U.S. to get more agencies and more people linked in, so I think that will make a difference.

Matties: What's the business climate like here? Is it robust at the moment? Where are you at?

Rozario: I think generally worldwide, because we are in the U.S. and Europe, it's slowed down quite a bit, but we are steady. It hasn't slowed down the situation.

Matties: Have you seen a decline year over year? Is that what you're saying?

Rozario: When I say slow down I don’t mean a decline itself, because most of our customers are still developing things. For instance, they'll only order what they require, because these days we can deliver just-in-time. There's no future looking for large orders over a long period. Some months it's very good, some months it slows up, but on average it’s been keeping steady.

Matties: Congratulations, you've done a great job. It's been an exciting career for you.

Rozario: Thank you very much for finding the time to come by. It's very important and I think you guys are doing a grand job, because not many new people in the business even realize the PCB is a European thing. Paul Eisler escaped the Nazis to come to England. It was developed here and then it went to the States, then Taiwan, it flipped into Hong Kong and then off across the borders to China. If you really think about that first circuit in the world, Paul Eisler never dreamt that what he put together would someday become China's biggest economy.

Matties: That must have been exciting for you to be a part of it and to look back on it, like when you walked into the managing director's office for that first meeting and they said, "We're putting together this group."

Rozario: I felt like I was shivering, I didn't know what the guy was going to say and of course he didn't know what he was talking about. That made it even worse, because I didn't understand what he was trying to say. It was later on we realized that we got to start something from nothing, and it was a lot of fun as well, to send a board to a customer and if there was a break you would just say, “What's the matter? Just solder a link across it.” Today, the slightest little blemish of a mark and it comes back. Those were the good old days. It was like working in a dark room looking for a black cat.

The whole company was like a family business. I have a good team here and about ten years ago when it was just Graphic, I decide to part off about 20% of the business amongst the top senior guys. So they're also shareholders. Of course then we acquired Denmark, and we acquired China and the USA and they're still involved with all of that.

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