Professional Systems Co Company Profile

Published: MEA

Professional Systems Co Company Profile

For more than two decades, Professional Systems Co has been providing its services to the broadcast industry in the Middle East. Sticking to a few core principles has been the key to its success...

Founded in 1989, Professional Systems Co (PSC) is a Kuwait-based audio, video and lighting system consultant, system and project integration designer, commissioner and installer of broadcast, and lighting systems. As a company, In its 21-year history it has worked with a number of world-renowned companies for acoustic and system design, and won awards for some of its turnkey studio projects in the Middle East.

‘We were founded to cover, promote and improve the media industry in Kuwait,’ explains Eng. Adnan A Aziz Alowaish, managing director of PSC. Audio is a subject close to Mr Alowaish’s heart. After achieving a master’s degree in electronic engineering from Cal State, much of his early career was involved with live audio as an acoustic engineer.

There are four main areas where PSC focuses, says Mr Alowaish: ‘The first is to present manufacturer brand names focused on broadcast and high-end media. The second department is project management, the third area is acoustic consultation, and the fourth one is the after-sales service, which is support and training.’

PSC also specialises in related fields that are of interest to it and are required in most of its standard projects. These include sound and professional audio systems, Broadcast video systems, lighting, studio furniture, and control systems.

The company’s style of business has always been based on the principle that ‘if you don’t know it, you don’t do it’. As a result, PSC only works with systems that it is competent with and doesn’t get involved with anything unless it has a full technical and engineering knowledge. This strategy has forced it to study and gain an in-depth knowledge of all the systems it works with.

While this may appear to limit the number of companies PSC could potentially work with, the list of manufacturers that it supplies kit from is surprisingly large. For consoles it works with Solid State Logic, Allen & Heath, Lawo and Midas, for mics it uses Sennheiser, sound reinforcement comes from Electro-Voice and Dynacord, broadcast monitors are from Genelec, and it also lists Avid, Digigram, AEQ, Digidesign, Peavey, and JVC Professional for various requirements amongst its suppliers to name but a few. The common feature with its suppliers is that they all specialise in a certain area, ‘we don’t deal with suppliers that make just about everything’.
This idea is taken further when it comes to selecting the projects it works on: ‘The level of project selection has helped us as a company,’ says Mr Alowaish. ‘Selecting who we work for and who we work with has been one of our successes. For the past 20 years more than 99.9 per cent of our projects have been a success.’

When it comes to these projects, PSC likes to take a strong role. It aims to design, supply and install the equipment for all the projects it works on. It believes that it is important for the client to come to one place that can meet all its needs.

On the planning side, PSC covers the design of all or part of a studio, auditorium, conferencing facility or media complex construction. This can include full design and specification for all aspects of the project, including acoustic, architectural, technical, interior design, building regulations and planning, project supervision, health and safety and structural and mechanical engineering.

The company works on the principle that since it designs and supplies integrated systems for specific projects, it would also be the best company to do the installation. It places a real importance on the quality of its installations, as any one of them could be a reference site for a future client. ‘Because clients judge us from what they see at the different sites that we have worked on, it is very important to us to have clean and professional installations,’ says Mr Alowaish.

One way to ensure that this happens is through good after sales-support. For PSC, the involvement with its clients does not end when the company has finished the installation. It provides continuing maintenance and support to ensure that the equipment at its client’s sites is always operating properly. By taking this approach, not only does it keep the client happy, it also makes certain its reference sites are in good condition, thus increasing its chances of new and repeat business.

This focus on quality for products, installation and ongoing support has led to the company receiving international accolades for its work. One such example is a radio broadcast studio suite project from 2008 at Mix FM 98.4 in Kuwait. For this radio station, PSC provided the acoustic and system design, as well as supply of its on air studios as a turnkey project, and Mr Alowaish describes it as ‘a very nice project to work on’. ‘This project was selected by the BBC for an award for the quality of its broadcasting,’ he says. ‘It has since also been the subject of a documentary by the BBC shown around the Middle East as one of the leading broadcasting stations.’

A sign of a good project is that it generates repeat business, and this has been the case with the installation at Mix FM. ‘In 2009 we did a similar project for a sister station in the same group, Marina FM 88.8,’ says Mr Alowaish. ‘It was a full turnkey project covering all aspects of the broadcast studios.’ Mr Alowaish is rightly proud of both projects and cites them as an example of the quality of installation the company is capable of.

Radio studios have been an important market for PSC, but of equal stature has been projects at TV studios. In this area the company has worked with Al Anwar, Al RAI, Kuwait TV and Al Watan (Kuwait’s first HD television channel – see Pro Audio Middle East, January-February 2008) where it supplied digital audio equipment from Junger, Shure and telex. ‘Radio, TV and OB van supply have been very important for us. There is a big market for that here,’ explains Mr Alowaish. ‘The business comes through government TV and radio stations.’ In fact, government projects have been a good source for PSC, to date it has racked up 20 reference projects from multiple government ministries.

The broadcast industry in Kuwait has been a good place to be in recent times, as the country moves towards a digital environment. The Ministry of Information has been releasing rounds of tenders to upgrade its various TV and radio facilities as it looked to speed up the country’s transition to fully digital broadcasting. These sorts of projects generate a lot of interest for companies that have a focus on broadcast studios, and PSC’s experience in this sector has stood them in good stead.

It is not only with broadcast studios that PSC has been busy, it has also worked on a number of recording and postproduction studios. In Kuwait it has worked on Awtar Music Recording Studio (Pro Audio Middle East, May-June 2005), Al Hajri Studio for Islamic Recording, Al Carawan Post Production Studio, Tarban Studio owned by famous Kuwaiti Singer Nabil Shoail, Sada Al Kuwait Islamic Studio, Al Nazaer Master Studio, Five Lives Post Production Co, Seima Phone Recording Studio, Ultimate Vision Postproduction, Universal Audio Duplication System, and Boubyan Club theatre. For these projects, PSC uses a system whereby the production of subsystems is carried out off-site prior to the installation. This reduces the time the company needs to spend on-site and helps with the testing of the final system.

While studio design and installation are clearly a specialty for PSC, the company also undertakes installation projects outside of the broadcast field. It has been involved with a diverse range of projects, covering universities, stadia, Mosques, theatres, car showrooms and hotels. Mr Alowaish is keen to stress that every project is different from a design perspective and each throws up its own challenges: ‘It differs from case to case, and this is the part which makes designing a system very interesting. In most cases, we have to tailor make the design to serve the entire client’s needs.’

While a lot of its business to date has been in its home country, PSC does not exclusively work in Kuwait. The distribution side takes it across the region for some of the brands it represents. ‘We are a distributor not only for Kuwait but for certain areas where we have committed ourselves,’ says Mr Alowaish. ‘We operate in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar.’ Indeed, the international side to the business is a key factor for PSC’s continuing growth.

While distribution into other countries in the Middle East is clearly important, installations are where the company can make a real impression. And here it has also achieved some notable successes with projects in other countries around the region. In Bahrain is has had projects at Radio and TV Broadcast and Al Kobaisi Co. In Qatar it has worked with Finon Al Doha Studios, the Islamic Heritage Animation Society Education, the Ministry of Education, and the National Media Services. Perhaps the most fruitful country for PSC outside Kuwait has been Saudi Arabia. Here it has completed projects at Sout Al Jazeera Production Firm, Finon Al Jazeera Studios, and Roots Musical Production, all in Jeddah as well as Rawasen for Media Production and Awtar ALZahbyah Recording Duplication Co, and both in Riyadh. The international set of projects is completed with the National Council for Culture and Arts in the UAE and Zaker Zikri Production House in Yemen.

It looks to be a bright future for PSC. Sound financial backing has seen it through the recent financial crisis and put it in a good position to win more deals in the months ahead. When you add in the move towards digital broadcasting across the region and the number of studio upgrades this will involve, its potential market looks promising.

Sticking to some core values and staying with high-end products have been major benefits for PSC that have helped to enhance its reputation. It now has the pedigree and experience in all aspects of studio design and installation to position itself towards the top of this sector in the region.

 Published in PAME May June  2010