On February 25, 2012, I posted a story on Kimoha Entrepreneurs Ltd. lead by Indian entrepreneurs Vinesh Bhimani and Kiran Asher. The amazing path traversed by them and their commitment to grow the company with support of an inspired team has made me update their story to current level and post it yet again.
Under the patronage and in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, the DubaiChamber of Commerce and Industry successfully concluded the eighth cycle of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, by honouring 20 companies during an award ceremony held at the Madinat Jumeirah Arena in Dubai on 27th of July 2015. One of the two awards in the Manufacturing category was presented to the leading label printing company in Middle East Asia; Kimoha Entrepreneurs Ltd. lead by Vinesh Bhimani and Kiran Asher of Indian origin.
Vinesh Bhimani’s Kimoha Entrepreneurs Limited, Dubai, UAE is a shining star amongst label
printing companies run by Indians in Middle East Asia or for that matter by anyone outside their homeland. His persistence and commitment to succeed has enabled him to bounce back to success from extremely adverse circumstances. With over two decades of relentless effort and dedication, he created his label brand “Xel-lent”. He achieved perfection by creating labels and print packaging products that would stand out in the market place. During my visit to his facility, I was overwhelmed by the way he accorded a welcome (which I gathered is a customary practice whenever any of the company’s stakeholders or important guests visited); All the TV monitors in the company (there were quite a few), had a welcome message for me apart from announcing various awards received by them. Chairman Kiran Asher has been honoured by the President of India at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (A day for Indians living abroad) at Jaipur in January 2012.  Carrying the hospitality further, my picture (commemorating my visit) was taken and gifted to me in an elegant folder along with customized gifts. He has experienced success and rejoices the fruits of bringing excellence to “Xel-lent” and also to all the businesses and operations at Kimoha.
Whilst Vinesh Bhimani’s  grandfather lived in Africa working for a private bank in Zanzibar,
The very first telex roll machine
 his  father preferred to return to India and set up shop in a free and independent India in 1947-48.  Nizamabad in (AP) India became the family’s base and in partnership with his uncle bought a rice mill.  They did not meet with success and lost all that they invested, in a year’s time. However they were persistent and restarted a small floor mill (Atta Chakki, as they call it in India). This venture, by virtue of their hard work prospered to become a successful rice mill! In 1962 Sanjiva Reddy, the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and later the President of India, conferred upon this mill an award for safety. 1970-71 saw Vinesh’s father parting ways with his uncle and in conjunction with his own brothers (whose responsibility became his after the demise of Vinesh’s grandfather) taking over the management of the rice mill. Vinesh then still young and attending school during the day would spend his evening and nights in the rice mill.
Vinesh graduated in Commerce from Nizamabad, and his father crafted different plans for him. He did not want him to join the rice mill, instead wished that he would take up the offer of RRL Jorhat, (Regional Research Laboratory) to use their technology to manufacture carbonless paper.  The seed for his involvement with Paper was sown and necessary equipments ordered from Kolkotta by the family.  Meanwhile Vinesh was sent to Mumbai for a one month management course. He was to stay with his uncle (mother’s brother). The uncle was the fifth generation from a family that was heading the 146 year old large and respected trading firm Khimji Ramdas, based in Oman. Vinesh’s uncle made him an offer to come to Oman but his family was ready to start the carbonless paper unit in Nizamabad. Unfortunately the equipment failed to perform and they lost all the money they invested into this project.
At this point of time Vinesh was sent to Oman to get a “feel” of things before returning to Nizamabad
and start something else there. That was 40 years ago and he never returned to settle down in India. Vinesh had joined Khimji Ramdas as a trainee and left at the post of a General Manager in 1988. From Oman he came to Dubai and with the experience gained in Oman he, with his brother in law Kiran Asher, started a trading company. They made their first deal of importing Turmeric from Hyderabad, India and exporting to an Iranian customer against a post dated cheque. The cheque bounced and they lost most of the money invested! Whatever stock of turmeric was left with them was brought by them and stored in a Jebel Ali warehouse. As luck would have it, that night, a water pipe in the shed burst and they lost all that remained. Vinesh Bhimani was a devastated and embarrassed man. He blamed himself for his brother in law and partner Kiran having lost money. He offered to sell his house in Mumbai to repay Kiran. Perhaps God had other plans for Vinesh. Kiran asked him to stay on and wait to let things settle down, they decided to stay together. It was now time to start “Kimoha”.  Briefly they started packing food items but soon shifted to manufacturing telex and fax rolls.  It was a humble beginning with a machine made by his uncle in Nizamabad. Nostalgically Vinesh reminiscences that they participated in an exhibition and Sheikh Mohamed, the current ruler of Dubai, visited their stand and asked them if they manufactured these rolls in Dubai. He then advised a big stationer accompanying him to buy from them. For many years this stationer remained one of Kimoha’s biggest customers. Business began to grow with exports to many countries and Vinesh started to travel extensively.  During his travels he would be fascinated by the baggage tags, each time he would check in at the airlines counter. He would study the tag at length and vowed to produce it one day. He went to Japan to visit suppliers of thermal paper as also to learn about the product. It was a matter of time now, his mind was made, “he would manufacture the baggage tags and self adhesive labels”.
Mike Fairley and Vinesh Bhimani
Vinesh Bhimani went to the first Labelexpo that was held in Brussels and also attended the presentation made by the international label guru Mike Fairley. All this effort was made to learn about the products that he intended to produce one day. He had a voracious appetite to acquire knowledge about the products that he intended to indulge in. At Labelexpo, machine suppliers were wondering who this man from UAE was and what all he was talking about. He was a new entrant and wanted a label press to have features that were not for beginners. He wanted a 24 inch repeat and three die stations, etc. Little did they realize how focused this man was. Before the show ended he was decided on the configuration of the press, it had almost everything on it, the repeat he wanted, print stations, turnbar, sprocket hole punching, fanfold, etc. It looked expensive but when he called his partner Kiran Asher, the answer was in the affirmative. Kimoha was on way to success.
Initial hiccups were normal. There were no operators so Vinesh had to go to India for recruitment. In 1995 Kimoha got their first contract for baggage tags from Emirates Airlines but with a rider attached. They were warned that if they do not deliver they would have to quit UAE! All appeared to be going smoothly when a nightmare struck, the die got damaged on line and all hell broke loose. They rushed a person to UK by the next flight and return immediately after collecting the die. They delivered and kept their commitment. Kimoha has not looked back thereafter.  At three Labelexpos thereafter, they kept buying new presses one after the other. With just two employees in 1988 in an 18 square mtr office, Kimoha has come a long way. They now operate out of a 20,000 square mtr brand new facility at Jebel Ali, Dubai. The factory is immaculately clean and systemized. They operate with 13 flexo label presses and one digital press alongwith a host of other finishing and converting equipments having capabilities for hot-foiling, Embossing, online numbering and applying registered holograms. The total workforce at Kimoha is in excess of 300 employees. Kimoha offers a range of baggage tags, label products, flexible packaging and stationery. With a sales turnover of multi million Dirhams, their products have presence in more than 35 countries. Their presence in the baggage tags segment is very strong with supplies going to over 100 international airlines, airports and ground handling providers over the world.
Purnima Bhimani married Vinesh in 1978, she was by his side in business that day and she is still there in office daily supporting him actively. She takes care of finance and planning of the interiors at Kimoha. She has given her best to the growth of this enterprise. Their only son Jay is 21 years old and studying. Jay may join the family business one day but the parents feel it is too soon to say as young people are quite unpredictable. He may want to do something else. After all the family has a history of drifting in diverse fields. The great grandfather was a banker and the following generations drifted to Rice mill, Floor mill, International trading, Food packaging and on to Labels, Printing and Packagings. Kiran Asher, Vinesh’s brother in law and partner who has been his staunch support, is the Chairman of Kimoha. Vinesh’s brother Rajesh has also been with Kimoha for almost two decades. He is responsible for besides other things the house keeping at Kimoha. His work shows! The facility is amazingly clean. Vinesh Bhimani works hard and his team is like his family. He tirelessly communicates with them to instill family values. His staff sometime receives emails from him that were written at 3am in the morning. He took 267 people one day to visit Burj Khalifa, in an effort to deliver his message of aiming high and having higher virtues in life and to understand how one feels when one “At The Top”. Each day starts with the entire Kimoha family (the workforce) joining in morning prayers. At lunch they are served a high-end restaurant catered meal and are allowed some extra time to play indoor games before returning to production. Education of employee’s children, medical expenses, insurance, etc., is areas where the company supports its employees.
Kimoha has been honoured as one of the top 100 SMEs in Dubai in the first ever ranking initiative in 2011 and then again in 2013. 

In 2011;
  • They were in 38th rank in the overall top 100 SME companies in Dubai
  • 3rd in the top 10 SME in the INNOVATION category
  • 10th in the top 10 SME in the GLOBAL ORIENTATION (EXPORT)
  • 6th in human capital development
In 2013,
  • They were in 27th overall rank
  • 5th in innovation
  • 4th in human capital development
  • 15th in growth performance
  • 26th in international orientation
  • 34th in corporate governance
Kimoha has also been fortunate enough to be conferred with:
  • CSR Label from Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (3 consecutive years)
  • Leed Gold Certification from United States Green Building Council for Kimoha’s new state of the art office-cum-factory-cum-warehouse building.
  • Many international awards for printing excellence from FINAT, FTA (FlexographicTechnical Association, USA) etc.
Additionally they have the following attributes;
  • They are an ISO 9001 – 2008 certified company
  • 24 / 7 Air Conditioned Factory and Warehouse 
  • In-house Flexo and Digital Pre-press Facility – CTP
  • Laser labels produced from recycled label stock and packed in recyclable boxes when demanded so by buyers.
  • Converting photopolymer plates from 1.7mm to 1.14mm, thus reducing Carbon footprint by 17%
  • Ensuring that the new Premises meets the rigid green standards set by USGBA and EHS, viz. among other things, Over 900 tons Air Conditioning with aid of 410 A Refrigerant.  Minimal CFC emissions
  • Occupation and Movement sensors
  • Recycling 95% of plate-making solvent
  • Installation of LED light in office and factory
  • Ongoing project to install solar to run factory and office using 100% solar energy
When asked about his vision on what his venture will be in future, Vinesh Bhimani is pensive in his thoughts. He firmly believes that whatsoever is done and will be done in future, will only be according to the “Will of God”. He says, “We are like robots operated by this Master sitting above all of us with controls”. 
Vinesh Bhimani is non-committal on what Kimoha will be. He firmly believes that he has to be doing something different and specialized. Kimoha will continue to expand and diversify. He wishes that his entire Kimoha family remains bonded together and involved in creating something special. Size is not what matters. The goal is, to be unique and achieve a status where the entire team has contributed, to bring excellence to Xel-lent and beyond and be the part of a global network!  “This is what we pray in a morning-prayer that we make with all our employees at our premises on all working days”, Bhimani concluded.
Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi exclusively for Label and Narrow Web Magazine USA (LNW) in July 2016.
Printing magazines may reproduce the story by giving credit to the author and to Label and Narrow Web USA.