by Nicole Tomassi, Marketing & Conference Manager
When you select a vendor to handle typesetting services for your projects, you need to have a strong degree of confidence that the firm you choose has people with the skills required to get the job done correctly. How can you assess their capabilities to ensure that the quality of the work is in line with your expectations?
Meet Dilip Chacko, Managing Director of Westchester’s wholly-owned composition subsidiary, based in Chennai, India. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Dilip to learn more about his career in the typesetting business, and how he came to be a part of the Westchester Publishing Services team.
Dilip joined the typesetting profession in 1998 after spending 15 years with advertising firm J. Walter Thompson, where he rose to the position of Senior Vice President. Advertising and typesetting may not seem similar, however, Dilip points out there is a design aspect that is prominent in each profession.
Dilip invested four years into learning the composition trade at a Chennai-based firm that handled journals for a major publisher, and in 2002 made the move to owner-operator when he started Antares Publishing Services. Dilip’s primary objective was that the company earn and maintain a reputation for providing excellent service to its customers. One key way to ensure this is by handling all aspects of a composition job including quality control in-house. This is an important distinction because many overseas typesetting firms will send work to unvetted third parties who may not possess the necessary qualifications to complete the job, negatively impacting the quality of the finished product. This attention to quality impressed us, and in 2008, Westchester acquired Dilip’s firm to provide typesetting services exclusively for Westchester publisher clients.
From the beginning, Dilip understood the importance of assessing the capabilities of every applicant who wanted to work for his company, even if they had worked for other typesetters. Every person that applies must take a screening test, with only 1 in 10 applicants able to pass the rigorous skills assessment. New employees then undergo a comprehensive training program, spending several weeks learning the proper way to perform all aspects of the job and passing additional skill assessments before being allowed to work on client projects. The training doesn’t end there either, as employees continually learn additional skills that allow them to step into other roles throughout the business to provide seamless coverage wherever it’s needed. Many employees from the company’s earliest days are still here today because of their knowledge and attention to detail.
Dilip thinks of his role like that of a medical professional, making sure all parts of the typesetting operation are functioning in a healthy way. He ensures staff members gain the right experience through regular and refresher training, and by learning each client’s preferred procedures and requirements so that their projects can be delivered in a timely manner and to a standard of quality that won’t be found anywhere else. Dilip’s team possesses the wide variety of skills needed to understand the unique print and digital requirements of our clients, from writing hundreds of scripts specific to typesetting, understanding complex LaTeX content and developing templates to help our clients, and countless other transformations and applications, including the underlying technology that is used in our secure Client Portal.
Now that you know more about Dilip and his leadership of the skilled team members at our India-based composition services operation, it’s easy to understand why Westchester wanted to form a partnership. In the next blog post, we’ll explain how this mutually beneficial arrangement began.