IS DECORATOR PROFILE 22 images MAY 2020 Manjit Rana and Heera Mattu talk to Mark Ludmon about setting up Benchmark Print & Embroidery and their plans for the future L ike many other businesses in the industry, Benchmark Print & Embroidery had to shut its operations in March due to the Covid-19 outbreak. But even a global pandemic is not enough to dampen the drive and ambition of the team that set up the business two years ago. “We are very positive we will come out stronger,” says co-founder and production manager Manjit Rana. Benchmark entered 2020 ready to capitalise on its significant early investment and the extensive experience of its team. Moving into its current premises in the centre of Leicester in April 2018, the business was founded by a small, tight-knit team that has worked together in the industry for about 17 years. Manjit came from heading up operations at RunSmart and Fanela, Benchmark of quality while Sheana Rana, sales manager and Manjit’s wife, had also worked at RunSmart and Fanela, as well as Reflex. Together, they joined forces with Benchmark’s managing director Heera Mattu, whose specialism was garment re-labelling and other finishing services. “I have known Heera and his family for 30-odd years,” Manjit says. “My expertise was in printing, embroidery and transfer so Heera approached me and said, ‘Let’s put our heads together’. When you look at the industry, there are a lot of people concerned just with the promotional side or some who concentrate just on retail. Those that roll the two together are few and far between.” As trade-only suppliers of decorated garments to the retail and promotional markets, Benchmark offers screen printing, embroidery, transfer printing Heera Mattu and Manjit Rana One of Benchmark’s MHM S-Type Xtreme autos in action