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Interview with Nowshir Engineer, Co-Founder of EMDI academy and CEO of SM Productions and Events

Expert Speak on the changing landscape…a plethora of opportunities  is the third installment of the team.i instagram live series. Through this series we aimed at providing a common platform for all those interested in understanding and contributing to the future of the Events and Entertainment Industry after this entire pandemic situation. As we all know that the economy has been hit hard due to the pandemic and its effect can be felt strongly in various industries especially the Events and Entertainment Industry.

Thus, through our live series we look to answer some key questions and queries of concern related to this dynamic industry that are being constantly asked by freshers, students and employees of this industry.

On a lovely Tuesday evening, 11th of August at 6pm, we had Mr.Nowshir Engineer, Co-Founder of EMDI academy and CEO of SM Productions and Events, join Mr. Arvind, CEO of team.i on our Instagram live series  Expert Speak on the changing landscape…a plethora of opportunities.

With over 18 years of experience, Nowshir Engineer established the global event academy EMDI in 2002 and in 2009 was appointed Managing Director of Greycells Education Ltd. Nowshir is currently the CEO of SM Productions & Events, a boutique experiential agency based in Dubai. 

About Yourself:

Nowhshir’s journey in the events industry started off quite early, as early as right after his MBA at the age of 22. “I started off the events in 2002”. He joined events and worked with the marketing stream for a while. That’s when he realized that there’s a huge demand for events and there’s a huge supply of workforce too to match that demand.

But there wasn’t any place for this workforce to train them for events, or to specialize them with skills related to events. This is when this wild idea struck him to open an institute that would teach skills related to event management.

So along with two of his colleagues he set up an event management school in Mumbai and that’s how EMDI was born. “We were pioneers of events education”. They wanted the events industry experts to teach the students, make them work in their firm and give them real time work experience. This way it would help the kinds learn and help them grow further. Slowly they started to grow as they started to collaborate with 200+ events organizations.

This initiative became a great hit, and slowly they opened up their centers in Pune, and Bangalore the very next year in 2003. 

18 years later, EMDI has set up their branches in various cities such as Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Kochi, and now has even set up outside India too in Dubai and Uganda – both the places have received positive feedback.

As for Mr. Nowshir, he’s in Dubai for quite some years now and recently has joined the firm SN productions as their CEO.

Difference between Indian events study and foreign events study.

According to Mr. Nowshir, in India the events school covers the syllabus quite rigorously and in a quite disciplined way. This means that the book knowledge is being taught really well, and the syllabus is covered quite efficiently.

This aspect of Indian schools are way better than that of Dubai’s. But what it lacks is exposure, professionalism and creativity, something that Dubai offers. In Dubai, they take the presentation and the experience of an event quite seriously. “In terms of work, their government will push and spend money towards making their events look grand and magnificent”.

This way the students get exposed to professionalism and creative ways of working. The other thing about Dubai’s study experience is that Dubai serves as a hub for many cultures, and thus students get a lot of exposure to various cultures, for example getting exposure to different culture’s weddings. But what Dubai lacks is the basic root and that is the bookish knowledge.

Situation of event industry due to Covid-19?

“The market has gone low, because people are spending less.”. According to Mr. Nowshir, the spending has gone down because either there’s a salary cut or people have been pink slipped from their job.

But unlike most nations, Dubai has recovered quite quickly and the events industry is slowly coming back to normal. Recently they hosted a Sonu Nigam concert – while maintaining the safety measures.

With many events going virtual too, there’s a huge scope for events that will witness a fusion between both virtual and on ground feels Mr. Nowshir strongly.

The sky’s the limit as long as technology is used creatively and efficiently. People say that covid affected the industry. It only helped us think differently.

Anything for the people who lost their job due to the pandemic?

Mr. Nowshir advises the people who lost their jobs that firstly they should keep a strong mind and secondly, they should try seeing this as an opportunity to upskill and reinvent themselves. He feels that they should use this time to learn new skills and reinvent themselves. Try doing a lot of research about the market and finding out about skills that haven’t been capitalized yet properly in the market.

Then the next thing is to try focusing on new and innovative ideas, and try selling these ideas. For Mr. Nowshir, this period is a time that should be utilized properly. He feels to do that, one needs to survive and stay mentally strong, and take only the positives out of this.

“People say I have lost my job, what can I do? No rethink of your skills, Think of how you can be unique. Can I do something different? “

What is your advice to students who want to join the events?

“Events industry is facing the same crisis as other industries. Even pilots aren’t working right now.” Say Mr. Nowshir as he tries to debunk the myth of event industries being hit the most.

Like many others who have come in our show, Mr. Nowshir feels that this is the right time for students to graduate. He advised them to learn new skills that will be helpful for them to get placed easily in a more dynamic job role in any events firm.

The other thing that he advises is about collaboration. Mr. Nowshir feels that owing to the current situation, collaboration in the events industry will help in lifting each other up, be it on an individual level or organizational level.

That’s why Mr. Nowshir urges students who are going to pass out or have passed out recently to collaborate with others. Use each other’s knowledge and boost each other’s skills.

When the going is good it’s tough to make an impression. When the going is tough, it’s easy to impress.

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