For the urbane and handsome PR man, surviving and running such a business in Nigeria requires a lot of innovativeness, identifying a niche market, deploying a cutting edge technology and having the required resources and well trained manpower to deliver top of the mind services to its clientele.
But despite all these, it sounds rather strange to him, because according to him, not so many people and organisations believe in hiring perception managers to manage their image.
“It’s been extremely challenging running a business like ours in this country,” he says. “A lot of people and organisations do not appreciate the role of Public Relations and even those who appreciate it are not ready to pay the required service value, such that could make us excel in what we are doing.
“It’s been a very challenging journey. Sometimes, you ask yourself, why are you in this kind of business? However, we have been able to survive by evolving the strategies that suit the challenges of time.”
CMC Connect, he said, was incorporated in 1992, and by dint of hard work, strategic thinking and planning the multiple award winning agency has been surmounting every challenge that comes his way.
“When you look at where you are and where you want to be, you ask yourself the next question –How can I get there? The company has undergone a lot of metamorphosis since we started in 1992 and the fact that we still exist, means we have adopted different strategies at different times to keep us on board and we are still adopting new strategies because we must take it to the next level.
Radiating a sense of triumph and warmth, he enumerates the high networth organizations which his company had done business with, and those still on their bill. The list include: - Samsung, International Monetary Fund (IMF), ASO Savings & Loans Plc, MasterCard, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Virgin Group, British American Tobacco (BAT), Hewlett Packard (HP), PDP, Guinness Nigeria Plc among others.
Badejo-Okusanya says that he began his career with an advertising company known as C & T Associates, based in Surulere. Having worked there for four years, he decided to take his own destiny in his own hands. Speaking about destiny, the ebullient technocrat believes that “God has deposited what each and everyone needs to survive in life”.
Recounting his starting point, he revealed how he used to move from one office to the other, making presentations, until one day when luck smiled on him. Though he could not recall the first client he had, he believes he got lucky one day because someone gave him a chance.
A graduate of History from the University of Benin, and an indigene of Imodi Imosan, in Odogbolu Local Government area of Ogun State, Badejo-Okusanya also recalls that his late mother, Olasumbo, had it rough when his father, Emmanuel, died in 1972 at the age of 60 years. The tragic incident, he said, occurred two weeks after his mother celebrated her 40th birthday.
He tells our correspondent that prior to that time, his mother was a full time house wife and it was difficult coping after the sudden demise of the bread winner. Yomi, who was just 9 years old then, saw his mother’s life style suddenly dropped and the family had to vacate their family house on Oduduwa Crescent, Government Reserved Area, Ikeja and moved into a rented apartment somewhere in Ilupeju. His mother took that decision so that they could raise enough money to meet their needs.
Though the Badejo-Okusanyas have since got back their GRA Ikeja home and even built two others in the same vicinity, he finds the experience too exacerbating to forget.
“It was a struggle, because when my father died my mum was more of a housewife. She was not working. It was difficult for her to manage some of the businesses he left behind, because she was barely prepared for such an enormous task. He died two weeks after my mum clocked 40 years.
“Our life transited from what one called a very well -provided for life to facing the stark reality.
“We found ourselves in a situation that was quite traumatic and we just had to cope with it. We were really very young; it was a challenge for my mum. I saw my mother struggling to cope, I saw her lifestyle drop.
“We had to relocate from this building though it belongs to us, into a flat in Ilupeju. We stayed in one or two rented apartments and some of the experiences were not pleasant.
“At one point in time, we had to leave when we were issued a quit notice. In another rented apartment the landlord had to get an injunction over us, asking us to leave his house. It was not easy. But the most important thing is that today; we are back in our house here at the GRA Ikeja, and we have two other buildings still in this GRA.”
Describing his father, who was a director in those days at what was known as Phillips Records, as a man of peace. Chief Emmanuel Badejo-Okusanya was an entrepreneur who owned a record company known as Badejo Sounds Studio, which produced the following legends – Victor Olaiya, Dele Ojo, Yusuf Olatunji, Bobby Benson among others.
But the memory of his mother’s death over a month ago at the age of 79, also keeps reverberating in his thoughts, and this is understandable. He noted that the mother was quite a fashionable person and generous to a fault. He disclosed that he took his fashion sense and tendencies from his mother.
Sharing the fond memories of his late mother, Badejo-Okusanya stated that “She taught us, her children the values of a solid education, hard work, good manners and most importantly the fear of God. Our mother was a disciplinarian who did not tolerate any form of rudeness, dishonesty or impropriety.”
Badejo-Okusanya who had his formative years in Lagos says he had a lot of fun with his cousins while they lived at his family GRA, Ikeja home, and attending an Ivy League school like Grange Nursery and Primary School was an icing on the cake.
Talking about his wife, Oyinkansola, who is the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on Justice Sector Reform, he revealed that their relationship developed from being family friends to being husband and wife.
What is so special about Oyinkansola, our correspondent asked? Without batting an eyelid, he enthuses: “She is a go-getter, strong, and a pillar of support. She is pretty, and she’s my friend.”
Badejo-Okusanya has a clear picture of where he is taking CMC Connect and he does not shy away from telling whoever cares to listen. “I want to build an institution out of CMC Connect. What is an institution?
“All things being equal, I would have wished by now I should have retired from CMC Connect. So I could hand over to a younger generation. I see CMC Connect in the future being one of the most notable perception management consulting firms, running on cutting edge technology. I see it solving communication problems of the future, based on the young brilliant minds that will be working here”.
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CMC CONNECT (PERCEPTION MANAGERS) LIMITED is a Public Relations Firm which offer the following services: Corporate & Strategic Communication, Business Event, Media Services, Marketing & Financial PR, Perception Audit etc