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Hurdles of our 30 years operations in Nigeria, by CMC chief

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One of Nigeria’s top perception management firms CMC Connect Limited has kicked off activities for the celebration of its 30th anniversary at its corporate headquarters in Lagos.

The firm gathered clients, media, former and present directors as well as well-wishers to its GRA Ikeja office to relive its 30 years of sustainable progress. The event was kicked off with a media conference that had cross-section of the nation’s media.

Others in attendance were its pioneer board members, investors, management and staff of the company.

Founder/Group Managing Director of the company, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, took the guests through the historic trajectory and the many phases and hurdles the firm have had to cross in the past three decades.

With the theme: We are still flying, Badejo-Okusanya expressed gratitude to God, his wife, staff and to those that supported his dream from inception. He identified some iconic personalities whom he described as his mentors and who invested in his dreams in 1997. These individuals include Sir Steve Omojafor, Chairman STB McCain; Mr Biodun Shobanjo, Chairman Troyka Groups; and Mr Billy Lawson, founder LTC Advertising.

Badejo-Okusanya, a two-term President, African Public Relations Association (APRA), giving the background of CMC Connect, noted that the dream was birth in a three-bedroom flat around Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos in the early 1990s.

“It all started with a dream in a three-bedroom flat off Toyin Street, Ikeja in 1992”. His dream was to build a public relations practice that will offer incisive solutions-driven services to a growing clientele in the then-emerging Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) sector.

“And barely five years into our existence, Capital Marketing Communication (CMC) had to make a hard-strategic decision when the opportunity came to be a part of the Lawson Thomas and Colleagues (LTC) Group, which held the J. Walter Thompson affiliation in Nigeria at the time.”

According to Badejo-Okusanya, while many advised against this move, he saw a great opportunity to be mentored by one of the firsts in Nigeria’s fast growing marketing communication industry.

“Not just that LTC had such an enviable global partnership with JWT, it was indeed a great period of mentoring, management, development, accountability and corporate governance.

”This worked so well that the local affiliate of McCain Erikson, STB McCain also bought into the business, further diluting the initial ownership,” he said.

Following the partnership, the firm which was known at that time as Capital Marketing Communication (CMC) was renamed CMC Connect to reflect the capital investment of STB McCain; a relationship that lasted till the year 2014 when they parted ways amicably.

The firm’s GMD also commended some friends, who he admitted, he owes a debt of gratitude. Some of these friends, he noted, invested in the CMC dream.

”Our firm owes a debt of appreciation to the leaders of the various businesses who believed enough to invest in our dreams. I will like to mention the likes of Mr. Billy Kolawole Lawson, Mr. Babatunde Dabiri, Mrs. Bola Thomas, Mr. Victor Edegbe, Sir Steve Bamidele Omojafor, and of course my indefatigable friend and brother, Mr. Rufai Gbolagade Ladipo.

”Let me use this opportunity to acknowledge our current chairman Mr. Akinmolu Opeodu and another Director, Mr. Olaolu Akinkugbe,” he added.

Following the end of the partnership with LTC and STB, the business transformed into a group giving birth to subsidiaries, namely: CMC Connect BCW, Reignite Public Affairs Limited, i-Octane Digital Interactive, and Tangalo Africa (an agro-focused media company).

Prior to that, the firm had entered into a relationship with Arcay Network of South Africa, which ultimately culminated in its flagship business becoming affiliated with BCW, the third-largest global network.

To kick-off the 30 years anniversary celebration, the organisation hosted guests to a live mega screen viewing of the Liverpool versus Real Madrid UEFA Champions League final match. The company gave out lot of goodies to all their invited guests, including football lovers at the sponsored UEFA final public viewing.

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