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Congratulations PEMARA – 50 years in print and still going strong

1966 was a very busy year – Protests in the USA against the Vietnam War, the swing scene in London where both women and men wore patterned pants and flowered shirts and the most popular groups included The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

1966 was also was the founding year of Pemara Press.  

So, one of the latest newcomers to the Constantia Flexibles Group is actually not so new – in a very positive sense.  Pemara Labels celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – 50 years of excellent quality, innovation and service to their customers!  Pemara Press was founded by Peter McNamara in Clayton Australia, and grew quickly into a leading innovative printing company.  The labels division was added in the late 70’s, expanding the business focus into the exciting and growing market for pressure sensitive labels in rolls.  The label focus continued and in 1993 Pemara Labels Malaysia opened in Kuala Lumpur. The company then branched out to Saigon, Vietnam (2004), Jakarta, Indonesia (2008) and Manila, Philippines (2014).  Constantia Flexibles acquired the labels specialist in 2015.

“The success behind our business is our staff, many of whom have been with the business long term. They are the driving force behind Pemara's success - as well as our valued customers, who remain the lifeblood of our business. Thank you to everyone who has been part of our journey to date”, says Managing Director Andrew McNamara.

Interview with Andrew McNamara

In business for 50 years – we spoke to Andrew McNamara about heritage and future.

Constantia Flexibles: Tell us something about the beginning…what led to the ‘birth of Pemara’?

In truth this is before my time, but the story goes that Peter McNamara was working for a print company that hit hard times. The boss had a chat with him and said, “Peter, you are the hardest person I have ever tried to manage, I don’t know what to do with you”…  To which Peter replied “Well actually…I have got a bit of an idea…”   and so a 26 year old man with a vision, some courage and a few dollars in his pocket bought a printing press, hung out his shingle and went out to find a few orders; Pemara Press was “born”.

Constantia Flexibles: Can you name a few highlights of the last 50 years?

Pemara, driven by the passion of Peter and the team, have had a number of “firsts”  that we are very proud of.  To start, Pemara pioneered the Labels Industry in Australia. We were the leaders of the industry bringing in some of the first rotary label presses into Australia.  Printing the world’s first pressure sensitive postage stamp in a roll was pretty cool, especially when the rest of the philatelic printing industry said it couldn’t be done.  In the 90’s the expansion into Asia was also a huge step for the business. We were the first Australian label printer to go to Asia (even today, there is only a handful there).  For a relatively small private company to do this was an incredible jump; it took huge courage and commitment from the management and staff to make this successful.  

Today, we have to say we are very proud of our digital leadership and success in our region.  We began the journey 16 years ago when it was unheard of and have been riding the challenges and the successes ever since.

Constantia Flexibles: What would you say about Pemara today? Why Constantia? Why now?

Together the people of Pemara have built a strong team who work well together and together we have managed to build a successful regional business in South East Asia.  Pemara is a strong company in S.E. Asia but the world is changing and the future was becoming less certain with the continuing globalisation of the industry. 

The decision to look for the right international partner was a strong move for Pemara.   Pemara is very pleased to become part of Constantia Flexibles, who are clearly a leading international packaging company.  The great part is that this is a true win-win for all parties – the customers, the management, the staff and the shareholders.  

Constantia Flexibles: What advice would you offer your colleagues and employees for the future?

I say to our teams that we are again at the beginning of a journey.  This is a most exciting time for the business and the people and we will have many opportunities to achieve and challenges to overcome as part of the Constantia Flexibles Group.  Learn, be patient, accept change and focus on the goal – growth and success.

Regarding the industry, we are in a digital world and everything is being driven digitally – even packaging.  Pemara is a leader in digital printing in our region and we must remain clear and focused on developing our leadership and building a strong digital future for our business.  Digital will rule our world in the medium term and we must take advantage of this.