Q&A: Andre Herbert, sales executive, Kingfisher Press

By Jo Francis, Monday 25 September 2017

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Andre Herbert is retiring at the ripe old age of 73 having spent all his working life (57 years) within the print industry. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and two children. In his spare time he enjoys watching rugby at both local and international levels and goes sailing, fishing and plays golf, when time permits.


What is your nickname? 

I’m known by some as Super Mario (they say I bear some resemblance to the fictional character but I don’t see it myself!), but most commonly I’m called Herbie

Why did you get into printing? 

I didn’t know what I wanted to do so my mother found me a job as an appretice letterpress minder in Brixton and so my career in the print industry begun

What would be your dream job? 

In another life I would’ve liked to have followed my father and been an officer in the Royal Navy. I like the sea and the uniform and who wouldn’t love to travel the world?

Who would play you in a movie about your life? 

I think probably Peter Sellers because we look a bit alike and I’m clumsy like Inspector Clouseau!

What is your dream bit of kit?

My classic Mercedes SL320 is my current dream bit of kit. Not least because I had to work hard to persuade my wife that it was a good investment

What would you most like to print? 

No surpises here - next week’s winning lottery ticket

Who or what do you hate the most?

I hate people who are intolerant of those of a different race or religion

Who do you admire most in print?

My mentor back in the early 90s was Bill Butler, group managing director of Ancient House Press, who, when I took over as MD of Acolourtone the repro arm of the group, gave me a great insight and commercial understanding of the complexities of running a business. More recently I admire my current directors, Paul Tomlin and Jon Doidge at Kingfisher Press for taking on a then 68-year-old computer illiterate salesman and for allowing me to enjoy my last few years within the industry

What is your favourite book?

I’m currently reading Two Sides of the Moon by David Scott about the Cold War space race. I’d recommend it

What is your greatest ambition? 

I’d like to play a half-decent round of golf (or at least have a handicap!). Something to work on now I’m retired

Who or what makes you laugh? 

I like old-school comedy so it has to be Tommy Cooper and Tony Hancock

What is the worst kind of print? 

I still have nightmares about a hand-fed platten press – if you weren’t vigilant it was likely to trap your fingers when you fed in the paper

What was the best business deal that you’ve pulled off? 

The order that I always remember with fondness was worth £114,000 for 18 million drop cards from Anglian Windows. At the time my sales target was £500,000 so this was a big deal

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Always be loyal, truthful and honest but above all hold on to your integrity

How would you like to be remembered? 

I’ve had a lot of support from my colleagues during my time in the industry, particularly in the early years, and I hope in my latter years I’ve helped others and given something back along the way. I will remember my career with fondness and have made many true friends. I hope I will be remembered for the work I have done rather than the numerous company car accidents I’ve had along the way!

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