Stephen Bond, former owner and founder of Videotel Marine International, and Loulla Mouzouris Bond are a husband and wife team that combine many years of expertise in the field of shipping. The team have returned with their newly established company Marine Media Enterprises.
Originally, Marine Media Enterprises specialised in investment and management for new niche technologies in shipping and related industries. To date, the company’s investment ventures are primarily within the maritime sector. These range from remote medical services, to catering and training programs, to which they are able to offer global contacts and introductions within the industry. Working closely with the companies they help propel them to success.
More recently, Marine Media Enterprises has returned to its roots, producing highly successful maritime training programs in response to requests from the industry, as their absence was keenly felt. Stephen Bond’s wealth of experience and expertise within the Maritime Safety Training Sector spans over 40 years. The original founder and creator of Videotel came from a background of training merchant mariners. Stephen then entered into the media business having been set up by BP in the mid to late 70s.
Due to the economic and time expense that short training courses ashore were costing, Stephen became the first to introduce onboard training videos and later the innovative computer-based training (CBT) as a solution to this problem. “I was drawn to it, they needed training, and you go to where the market is,” Stephen explains of his involvement in maritime media ever since. “It’s in my veins,” he concludes.
His partner, Loulla Bond, originally from a freight forwarding background, joined Videotel as Export & Procedures Manager and occupied a linchpin position within the company for over 25 years as Head of Sales and Marketing. Videotel’s extensive international training catalogue included more than 600 titles in a range of formats and various languages and was used on board around 10,000 vessels worldwide. “With Stephen, we grew the company to what it was when we sold it, with approximately 57 staff and a reputation,” says Loulla.
Their new company, MME, aims to revive what they consider the loss of the personal touch within the industry. Stephen and Loulla are appreciated by loyal clientele because of their traditional and proven one-to-one customer service that they continue to provide today. Trust being the important element that creates good relationships and associations that build over years making companies confident when working with Marine Media Enterprises. “Clients have got to know who you are and trust you. They will tell us what their challenge is and we will develop the training. We built our business on people telling us what their challenges were,” explains Stephen.
“Whatever we do has got to be high quality,” says Stephen of the company’s products. After months of browsing the market, Marine Media Enterprises believes it is essential to focus on the quality of product it is producing. “I don’t think you can sacrifice quality on any medium because in the end you’ll lose out. If people think you can sacrifice quality, you’re assuming that this generation that goes to sea does not need the quality that was there in the past. I believe it is the other way around. I don’t think anyone is going to accept second rate training or second-rate teaching, nor should they,” explains Stephen, critical of what was available on the market. The training programs that Marine Media Enterprises create are based on the input of industry experts and provide inside knowledge of today’s requirements as well as preparation for tomorrow.
Seeing the vital need for onboard training and information during a time of travel restrictions and quarantine, MME stepped up to the challenge. They have created a series of live video productions showcasing the best practice examples essential for the protection of health for our global seafarers.
In the last four to five months, the company has focused on live video production as their preferred method of training program due to its high success rate. The choice of live video was as a result of their belief that animation is not always as relatable as live footage and remains very expensive for good quality production. “We figured out really good techniques that worked out well and we have proven it with our Covid 19 programs. We are making a lot more,” says Stephen.
Marine Maritime Enterprises has its finger on the pulse of the market due to its substantial network of connections. Their history of success can be attributed to the trust that Stephen and Loulla Bond build with their clients who have remained loyal throughout the years. They have been widely accepted by leaders of the industry because of their creation of high quality tools that timely respond to present and future needs.
“MME started on the investment side and then progressed to videos. But, it’s not necessarily videos, it is training programs. They can be computer based or online. The vision is for us to continually improve and make sure that we are always in touch with our customer and continuing with our clients one-on-one,” they explain.
Marine Media Enterprises aims to meet the overall demand from the maritime industry. “It might not be just maritime,” adds Stephen, “it can be port related or on the periphery of the maritime industry”
The partners also look forward to future innovation and its uses within the sector. “Using the medium that is available at that time. It will change as connectivity will get better and we will have all the new technologies of virtual reality and 3D vision. We are progressing rapidly and looking forward to the future.”
“I am a business man but I listen and try to rectify people’s challenges, whatever they may be on any type of ship,” Stephen concludes.