The big boss
Mr Vrajlal Harry (better know as Vrij, or affectionately called Mr V by staff) was born in East London on 3 November 1952. He is part of an extended family with 3 siblings and 5 cousins who grew up as one family.
Vrij attended John Bissiker and completed his schooling at St John’s College. He went on to complete his B.Com at the University of Durban, Westville.
Vrij joined his father’s printing business after completing his studies. The business was started by Vrij’s father who started with the printing of his father’s religious writings. Vrij took over from his father and has grown the business to be the largest commercial printer in the Eastern Cape. Harry’s Printers now has branches in East London, Port Elizabeth, King Williams Town and Pretoria.
Vrij has an insatiable hunger to learn. To go with his B.Com, he has also completed a MBA at Henley College in the UK and numerous short courses at Harvard Business School and MIT. Vrij is also very well read and has his own personal library!
Vrij has lectured at Rhodes University and Fort Hare University.
Vrij is well travelled and has spoken at a number of international conferences in Tel-Aviv, Beijing, New York, Chicago and more; speaking on leadership, business development and mind-set (to name a few). He has lectured internationally for the International Printers Network and Imaging Network Group. Vrij has also been a Keynote speaker at Quadient International Leaders Conference in Burgenstock, Lucerne, Switzerland.
Described as a loving husband, a proud father and an even prouder grandfather, Vrij is married to Karuna, and they have 4 children as well as 3 adopted children. He is also a proud grandfather to 7 grandchildren.
Vrij is also a community man, and is a member of numerous boards. He serves on the board of St Bernard’s Hospice, SAKM Educational Trust and is on the Council of the University of Fort Hare. He is a trustee of the EL Hindu Society and Phoenix Settlement (once home to Mahatma Ghandi).
Some awards and honours Vrij has achieved over the years are:
- Marketing Man of the Year Border – Institute of Marketing Management – 1985
- Africa Leader Programme – United States Government – 1985
- President of Gately Rotary Club – Rotary International – 1994
- Paul Harris Saphire Fellow – Rotary International – 2017
Harry’s Printers is ably run by the following management team: