Wednesday, May 18 2022
Mike Adenuga, President, Globacom


Chidiebere Nwobodo

In 2003, when Globacom Limited, the first indigenous mobile telecommunications company, made its debut in Nigeria, many optimists and ICT enthusiasts saw the birth of a promising mobile operator, which would create competition in the telecommunications sector and give more Nigerians the much needed opportunity to own mobile lines. . Except for the pioneer himself, Mike Adenuga, Jr., no one else imagined the unprecedented positive impact the fledgling telecommunications operator would have on the nation’s entertainment industry.

Almost two decades later, the Nigerian telecommunications and entertainment industries have been doing well with Glo’s remarkable achievements in these two strategic sectors of the economy. Upon its inception, when the service provider first announced its mission statement: “To be the largest and most successful entertainment, information and telecommunications solutions provider in Nigeria and Africa”, some cynics have considered it one of the most prominent corporate propaganda.

But after eighteen years of a great journey dubbed the GSM revolution; having Glo as the main catalyst and its ripple effects on the entertainment industry, the grains of optimism had been sharply differentiated from the flakes of pessimism. The vision of quintessential entrepreneur Mike Adenuga, Jr. not only demystified mobile line ownership, but brought the entertainment industry to life. It was a glorious sojourn that uncovered an avalanche of opportunities in the telecommunications and entertainment sectors, respectively, for Nigeria and its neighbours.

With Glo in the circle of competition and its aggressive market strategies, the country’s subscriber base has grown from a paltry 400,000 active lines in 2002 to 180 million, by September 2021. Of that number, Glo counts more than 50 million subscribers. – and still growing rapidly. Beyond dropping the price of the SIM card from N30,000 to N200, Glo’s pioneering Per-Second Billing (PBS) system changed the entire industry and made subscribers to “Glo with Pride ” with cheaper lines, calls and data rates. It’s common knowledge that Glo’s promotions are top-notch, customer-focused, and rewarding.

When Chief Mike Adenuga, Jr., conceived the idea of ​​giving Nigerians – Africans in general, cheaper access to mobile telecommunications services using Globacom as a vehicle, in his mind; he imagined more than a mobile phone entity. The accomplished investor saw a telecommunications company that would serve as a catalyst to propel massive growth in the country’s and region’s entertainment industry. His ultimate goal was to make Nigeria a melting pot of entertainment in Africa.

He has worked passionately and diligently to bring this vision to life over the past 18 years of Glo’s operation. No private sector company in the country, over the past two decades, has consistently invested heavily in Nigeria’s entertainment industry like Globacom Limited. Adenuga’s vision is reflected in Glo’s youth-focused ecosystem. There are no strata of the entertainment industry in Nigeria that you won’t find Glo’s signature on: from music, acting, comedy, sports, etc., the list is long.

Glo is now considered a network of stars. No corporate organization has had the kind of constellation of entertainment heavyweights as Globacom brand ambassadors. Over the years, the country’s top musicians, footballers, literary icons, actors, actresses and comedians have either been recruited as brand ambassadors or featured in company advertisements.

Some celebrities who have graced the Glo Hall of Fame include: King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Osita Osadebe, Oliver d’Coque, Prof Wale Soyinka, Yusuf Maitama Sule, Nelly Uchendu, Onyeka Onwenu, D’Banj, MI Abaga, PSquare. The others are Rita Dominic, Ini Edo, Juliet Ibrahim, Matter Ankomah, Davido, Wizkid, Flavor, Gordons, Basketmouth, I go Dye, Teniola, Brother Shaggi, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Osaze Odemwingie, Joselyn Dumas, Michael Essien, Anthony Joshua, etc.

While advertisements featuring these stars helped market the Glo brand and make it a household name, the partnership benefited these celebrities very well as it served as strategic public relations for their individual brands and the financial gains that resulting. So far, no corporate organization has touched the lives of such celebrities like Glo. The advent of Glo has truly been a blessing for celebrities in the industry and beyond. The most interesting factor is that Glo is still investing in the industry despite the atrocious economic realities in the country.

One area that Glo has been remarkably successful in is its sponsorship of talent-hunting shows. Nigeria is a reservoir of talent when it comes to entertainment. Having potential talents and exploiting them are two totally different things. Like treasures buried in the ground, it takes resources and skills to mine and hone talents. Chef Mike Adenuga, having successfully excelled in the world of crude oil explorations through ConOil Producing Limited, understands the finer points of uncovering talent and uncovering hidden treasures, especially when it comes to our young people.

This explains Glo’s colossal investments in talent hunt shows over the past eighteen years. Examples include Rock ‘n’ Rule, GloNaiga Sings, Laffta Fest, and the world’s number one musical singing talent reality show, X Factor, which first aired in Africa in 2013. others are the Slide and Bounce concert, an entertainment tour that has toured all geopolitical areas of the country as well as Glo Mega Music Show; another platform through which Globacom develops the music industry and entertains Nigerians.

Youth unemployment is one of the social malaises plaguing the country. Nigeria is the most populous black nation on the planet. There is this school of thought that black people are naturally gifted when it comes to entertainment, but due to years of alarmingly low investment in it, the talents of our young people are deteriorating with its unemployment, poverty and general despondency in the country.

Nigeria’s unemployment rate is worrying at 33.3%. Among these unemployment statistics are young people whose talents are set aside for lack of opportunities. Africa has not really taken investment in music seriously compared to the entertainment industry. The US economy earns an average of $19 billion a year from revenue generated by the music industry alone. Its film industry, Hollywood, is estimated at nearly $150 billion. The market size, measured by revenue, of the arts, entertainment and recreation industry in the United States is $275 billion in 2021.

How can we hope to solve the challenges of insecurity and limited economic opportunities when many young people are still wallowing in the desert of ignorance and lack of opportunities for talent development. Globacom is redefining the norm and bringing hope to forgotten youth demographics. The mobile number operator recently opened the floodgates of opportunities for young people in the music industry, especially those who can dance.

Globacom, through its sponsorship of the world’s biggest dance reality show, “Battle of the Year” presented in Nigeria, like a skilled explorer, is about to discover great talents again, giving the young people the opportunity to show their dance skills to the world. According to Globacom Director of Communications, Andre Beyers, who recently spoke at the unveiling ceremony, said:

“In line with our commitment to promoting the Nigerian entertainment industry and the development of young talent across the country, we are thrilled to unleash the limitless potential of Nigerian dancers and provide them with the platform to showcase their abilities on the world stage”. He added that an N84 million prize awaits the winners of Glo Battle of the Year and an opportunity for the winners to represent Nigeria and showcase their skills in the global dance competition.

The Battle of the Year competition started in Hannover, Germany 20 years ago. This is an annual international competition widely regarded as the “Breakdance World Cup”. Glo has shown keen interest in the growth of the country’s entertainment industry. As part of the activities to mark his 18th birthday, he launched a new online streaming app called GloTV. It is an innovative TV streaming service on Android, IOS apps and web to watch live linear TV, video on demand and catch up with premium content.

Despite its massive investment in the entertainment industry, Globacom’s insightful vision to “Build Africa’s Biggest and Best Telecommunications Network” is still unfolding. In order to continue giving its subscribers the best value for money through improved Quality of Service (QoS) and to reach Nigerians in the remotest corners of the country, Glo has recently entered into a strategic partnership with Eutelsat Communications.

This partnership aims to deliver high-speed broadband voice services via satellite to businesses and communities in unconnected and underserved areas of the country. In short, Globacom is not only building the largest telecommunications company on the continent, but driving the rapid growth of the country’s entertainment industry. I urge other companies to emulate this paradigm.

Chidiebere Nwobodo writes from Abuja via [email protected]


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