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Award-winning enterprise becomes business model despite Covid crisis

The Education Printing Enterprise State Company has become the first state-owned printing enterprise to receive the national accolade ‘Top LNCCI Business Leader for Year 2021 Covid-19 Response Award’.
The award was granted in recognition of the enterprise’s outstanding performance and contributions to the public during the pandemic.
The enterprise was one of 106 companies from 13 sectors across Laos to receive the award on December 29, and was praised by Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh.

Mr Khambone Bounnalat.

“I’m so proud to receive this award and would like to express my gratitude, on behalf of the enterprise, to the government for placing great importance on assisting the business sector to overcome challenges amid the-Covid 19 pandemic,” enterprise director Mr Khambone Bounnalat said.
Mr Khambone observed that the economic sector had been hit hard by the pandemic, resulting in factory closures and job losses. However, the Education Printing Enterprise State Company had fulfilled the mission assigned by the government and maintained the strength of its business operations.
“During the pandemic, we dedicated all our efforts to fulfilling the request of the Ministry of Education and Sports to print books and other educational materials and promptly deliver them to schools in all provinces so that teaching and learning could proceed as planned,” he said.
The Education Printing Enterprise State Company has been financially self-sufficient since 1988, meaning that it has not placed a financial burden on the government. The enterprise has been making a profit for several decades and has paid all the fees owed to the government.
 Of particular interest is the fact that the enterprise did not set out to make a large profit but aimed to satisfy public need, with many people saying they were content with the quality of the materials produced and the prices charged by the enterprise, Mr Khambone said.
The enterprise has grown from a lowly operation in 1982 to become the leading printing enterprise and now serves as a model for both state-owned and private printing companies in Laos.
 The Education Printing Enterprise State Company has set an example for other printing companies in terms of machine maintenance, product quality, good governance, management, and staff development, despite the fact that many state-owned enterprises are operating at a loss.
The enterprise staff have undergone training both in Laos and other countries, notably Vietnam, in order to further improve product quality.

Mr Khambone Bounnalat receives an award from Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Khampheng Saysompheng. The enterprise staff are on duty to produce quality products in response to public needs.

Mr Khambone acknowledged that the demand for printed products had seen changes. With many people going online to get the information they need, there has been a significant impact on printing houses and newspapers.
However, the demand for printed products in Laos has remained high, especially in relation to books and other educational materials.
 Mr Khambone said that learning from actual books through physical contact was more effective than reading texts online. Books will not disappear from Lao society anytime soon, he added, because many people in rural areas still need books and other educational materials in order to learn.
Nonetheless, he admitted that printing houses needed to make changes to improve the quality of their products in response to public needs.     

The office of the Education Printing Enterprise State Company.

“Our enterprise will work in collaboration with other partners, not only to produce quality textbooks and educational materials, but also to ensure that all our products are promptly delivered to facilitate school activities,” he said.
The Education Printing Enterprise State Company is also strengthening cooperation with donor companies and international organisations, especially UNICEF.
From 2006 to 2016, the Lao Brewery Co., Ltd. sponsored the printing of textbooks for use in 47 poor districts with a total value of 3 billion kip.
In 2007-08, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) financed the printing of books for secondary school students across the country at a cost of US$2 million and in 2010 donated US$699,000 to pay the cost of printing books for secondary school students.
In 2014, UNICEF supported the printing of books for primary schools around the country at a cost of more than 2.4 billion kip.
In addition, the Education Printing Enterprise State Company has been entrusted to print books for the government as well as for a variety of customers who want to print books and other materials.
“On behalf of the enterprise, I’d like to express my sincere thanks to our partners and sponsors for using our services, enabling us to maintain our business operations, continue to serve the public, and sustain our business despite the Covid-19 outbreak,” Mr Khambone said.

By Advertorial Desk 
(Latest Update January 10, 2021)


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