Zaz Khan: Printing Success
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
UNION CITY — After coming to the United States from the Fiji Islands in 2000, Zaz Khan worked in a number of industries before finding his true calling as a professional printer. “When you come to a new country, you basically have to start from scratch, so I took any work I could get,” he recounts. “At one point, I was working four different jobs just so I could feed my family. I did janitorial, catering and even became a professional butcher. Eventually, I got an opportunity to work with a friend who owned a print shop in Berkeley. I soon grew to enjoy the printing business, especially the technology and artistry it involved. In 2014, after gaining a few years of experience, I went out on my own and opened a print shop in Union City.”
Today, as owner of Fast Banners and Signs, Zaz says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. “I’m a people person, so I enjoy talking with customers and helping them find the best options for their printing needs. I give them advice on how they can save money and get the most value for their printing projects. Basically, I view my customers as friends, so I try to treat them as such.”
A resident of Hayward, Zaz expresses his appreciation for life and work in the Bay Area. “This is a very happening place—even people who don’t live here come here to work, because that’s where the jobs are,” he says. “As such, there’s a large demand for printing services, so I like the fact that it keeps me busy.”
Outside of work, Zaz likes to spend his free time with family and friends. “I enjoy doing things with my wife, Shanaz, and our kids, Musarrat and Mohammed,” he says. “My parents live with us, too, so family is a big part of our lives. I also have a couple of close friends in Sacramento that I enjoy visiting, and sometimes we travel to Hawaii to visit my sister or back to the Fiji Islands to see family and friends.”
In his life and career, Zaz espouses a simple ethos. “My philosophy in life is, ‘Less stress, more fun,’” he explains. “When you’re overstressed, it affects your attitude, your decisions and the way you relate to others. You’re not mentally fit to interact with your customers and give them good guidance. That’s why you have to be mindful about balancing work and life. I think it helps if you’re doing something you enjoy for work. I enjoy printing all day long, so instead of stress, I have positive energy, which takes everything to the next level.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Zaz says he would do some extensive traveling. “I would plan a trip with my wife. I’ve always wanted to visit London, England, so maybe we’d go there first. After that, I’m not sure. If my son happens to take over the business, I would probably help him—that way, I won’t get bored.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first job?
A: I worked as a receiving officer for an island resort back home. When shipments came in, it was my job to mark everything that was received and get all the paperwork signed and sent off to the billing department.
Q: Coffee or tea?
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: In basketball, it’s the Golden State Warriors, and in soccer, it’s Manchester United.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Have a nice cup of tea and watch a movie with my family.
Q: What’s your favorite family tradition?
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A: Eating dinner together.