Following its relocation to a new premises earlier this year, an exciting new period is now well underway at Dubai-based SLS Production. Sound & Stage caught up with Martin Luiz, managing director, to discover more.
S&S: Tell us more about the origins of SLS and how the company has evolved over the years?
SLS Production was founded in 1997 on the premise that every event should be special and unique. Based on the principles of excellence, price performance, and integrity, SLS has always been committed to achieving success for its clients by applying the full power of communications as an extension of business strategy and execution. Over the years, through hard work and dedication, we have evolved into a company that fully incorporates the principles we have based ourselves on.
S&S: You recently moved to new offices — why was this the right step for SLS?
These past couple of years has seen SLS Production grow rapidly as a company. To accommodate this growth in our business as well as our work force, it seemed only logical that we move to a bigger office space. This has been beneficial in facilitating a better working atmosphere which has resulted in higher work efficiency. It is also easily accessible to not only clients but also our employees. So yes, I can definitely say this move was the right step in a very beneficial direction.
S&S: What do you think of the Middle East events industry as it stands right now?
The Middle East events industry has definitely changed a lot of this past few years. Clients now already possess a good knowledge of what they want for their events and also of all the options available in the market, which wasn’t the case a few years ago. After the initial lull during the recession, the events industry has picked up quite fast once again and shows no sign of quieting down in the near future. Though, along with this increase in business, there has naturally been a steady increase in the competition.
S&S: Do you see any current trends in the industry and, if so, how do you make sure SLS caters to this trend?
The role of technology has, and will continue to play an important role for events and exhibitions as it can add a great value to the event experience itself. At SLS Production, we are early adopters of technology. We are dedicated to bringing in new ideas, insights and global perspective. We are committed to being more conceptual, more creative and more rigorous. We constantly upgrade our equipment so as to keep up with current market trends.
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S&S: How much importance does SLS Production place on safety?
Safety has always been a very important factor during all our events. Earlier this year, we became one of the first production companies in the UAE to achieve both ISO 9001 and OHSAS 2008 certification. Since then we have taken even further measures to ensure the complete safety of our crew and others present on the site by making sure all the safety procedures are incorporated, appropriate gear is being used, and regulations are being followed. Also, H&S training sessions are conducted at regular intervals. Safety gear is regularly checked and updated accordingly. We also have a designated health and safety officer who is present at all our events to oversee all of procedures mentioned above.
S&S: What do you think about the current state of health and safety generally within the Middle East events industry?
Health and safety has always been a priority in the Middle East events industry. Though, of late, the authorities have become stricter in making sure the regulations are being adhered to and those not following procedures are penalised accordingly.
S&S: Tell us about your own personal background — how did you come to be in your position at SLS?
From Kerala, the southern part of India, I came to Dubai in 1979. I started my career at Dubal (Dubai Aluminum) and worked for a couple of other organisations over the years. But the events industry was always my passion and, in 1997, SLS Production was set up. I work tirelessly and dedicate myself to the growth of the company. I have my family in India — my wife is a homemaker and my two children, one daughter and one son, are both currently doing their MBA.
S&S: Does SLS have any plans for further growth or investment in the near future?
Plans for the continuous growth of SLS production are always in the works, hence we are constantly looking to invest in various ways to help further that growth consistently. SLS is poised for continuous growth — organically and laterally. We keep ourselves open to exploring new opportunities, and have made plans to invest heavily in people and gear to optimise our growth plans.