..Biodun Shobanjo: The marketing communications Czar
By Emeka Anaeto
BIODUN Shobanjo, an accomplished broadcaster, entrepreneur, marketing and advertising guru, was overwhelmingly recommended by the Vanguard Editors for a Life Time Achievement Award on the strength of his contributions to Nigeria’s media industry in general and the marketing and advertising segment in particular.
At over 75 years and after retiring from active practice, Shobanjo still commands the aura of an industry chieftain difficult to match on account of the size of his achievements and the impact he made in the advertising and media world in the past five decades.
He created the most successful marketing and advertising group, the Troyka Group, which still retains industry leadership long after he left active practice.
The Troyka Group which is the holding company for Insight Communications, Azzagai, Optimum Exposure, Media Perspectives, MediaCom, The Quadrant Company and Halogen Security, has over seven thousand Nigerians on its payroll.
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Close associates attribute Shobanjo’s success to his determination and can-do spirit. He alluded to this in one of his interviews, stating, “I was young when I left Grant Advertising and young people are very daring, so it didn’t cross my mind that I wouldn’t make it. Again, without meaning to be immodest, I really have never failed in my life. If you’re not used to failing you don’t even contemplate failure.”
His personality attributes revolves round four elements, viz: Professionalism, Honour, Integrity and Passion, all which have been brought to bear in the making of the brand Troyka over the years.
A consummate advertising and marketing communications practitioner, Biodun Shobanjo is a perfect choice for the CEO of The Apprentice Africa because as a believer in people, his business style has favoured a mentoring ambience which has spawned protégés who are leading lights of the advertising and marketing communications industry in Nigeria today.
Key to his choice for Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Awards is that he is easily recognised as the father of modern marketing advertising in Nigeria. Shobanjo, a chartered member of the British Institute of Public Relations and the British Institute of Marketing,
He commenced his career with the former Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, now Federal Radio Corporation, in 1964 as a studio manager. After leaving in 1971, he joined the American-Nigerian agency, Grant Adverting, where he rose to the post of Deputy Managing Director before resigning to co-found Insight Communications (now Insight Grey), the forerunner of his advertising empire.
Biodun Shobanjo, recipient, Vanguard Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrated marketing communications practitioner and Chairman of Troyka Holdings, was born in 1944 in Jebba, Kwara State.
He attended St. George’s Primary School and Odogbolu Grammar School for his primary and secondary education respectively. He was also at the College of Marketing, Cookham, Maidenhead, England where he obtained the College’s Certificate in Marketing.
Shobanjo is a fellow of the Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria, APCON, fellow of the Commonwealth Journalists Association, and a past president of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria.
A quiet philanthropist, Shobanjo was inaugurated in 2010 as the first Ambassador-General of mass medical mission of National Cancer Prevention Programme.