Glo at 19: Celebrating an African indigenous brand

BY LANRE ALFRED

Much has changed in the telecommunications industry since the birth of Globacom in 2003. As its 19th anniversary approaches in a few days, the company and its founder, Dr. Mike Adenuga (Jnr) can look back on their eventful and rich journey. into stories and give each other a vigorous pat on the back.

Indeed, few tycoons hone the commodity tropes of effort like Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. Through his courage and hard work, he built his octopus conglomerate that employs thousands of Nigerians, even Africans, in profitable futuristic projects. If Adenuga’s story reads like business legend, it’s probably because he was always a corporate stylist.

Skilled at combining courage and desire, her life marries crucial entrepreneurial anecdotes through its metaphor-rich manifestations of her hard work.

At work and play, Adenuga shifts gears seamlessly between the whimsical and the serious, time and time again demonstrating his ability to tame challenges and ride out storms – without falling prey to Scylla and Charybdis of cynicism and greed. ‘failure. All in search of glory.

It symbolizes the African enterprising spirit of passion, unmitigated commitment, resilience and hard work. Thus, he is today one of the most recognizable names on the African continent; sitting atop what is arguably one of the continent’s greatest trading empires.

When it all started

Turning 19 is not a milestone birthday that calls for a spirited celebration. It is, however, for Globacom, Nigeria’s first indigenous telecommunications network, a resounding testimony and poignant reminder of its survival skills, tenacity, innovative spirit and resilience in Nigeria’s treacherous economy. . The company and its founder, Adenuga, have weathered several storms and hardships – a hostile economy, harsh government policies and a deliberate witch hunt, among others – to remain a formidable telecommunications provider.

At first, MTN and Econet Wireless (now known as Airtel) were owned by South African and Zimbabwean businessmen respectively, with large capital bases. They had been operating for two years prior to the launch of Globacom, meaning they had a head start and had presumably already consolidated their hold on the Nigerian market. Then it was prestigious and elitist to own a mobile phone because a SIM card cost up to N40,000 while calls were charged at N50 per minute regardless of how many seconds the call lasted. The incidence of dropped calls was also very high.

The Nigerians were at the mercy of the operators. Even the government could not come to the aid of its people. To compound the predicament of phone users, promoters of MTN and Econet told Nigerians with ruthless relentlessness that per-second billing, which was the norm in other countries around the world, was not possible. in Nigeria. They had a great time milking the Nigerians. More so, there was no competition. What might have passed as competition was the federally owned MTEL, which would soon gurgle and belch to its demise.

Innovate in mobile telephony

Adenuga said then that Globacom’s vision was to build the biggest and best network in Africa. The company was launched with all guns blazing. Soon, Globacom brought down the price of SIM cards – selling at N500. Nigerians were amazed; unaware that there was more where this came from. Then he introduced per-second billing, which MTN and Econet said was impossible for the Nigerian market. This decision by Globacom would force other telecom operators to introduce PSB. Hence, this started the revolution that made mobile phones not just a preserve of the privileged and the have-nots, but a necessity for Nigerians of all ages from north to south and everywhere in between. Globacom, a proudly Nigerian company with the welfare of Nigerians at the heart of its business principle, had come to stay.

Ever since its inception, Globacom has always defied market odds to delight Nigerians. The company has launched a host of futuristic products and services, such as being the first to offer 2.5G while others were 2G, MMS, international SMS connectivity to over 804 networks in 174 countries, BlackBerry solutions, prepaid international roaming, voice SMS, personal ringback melodies and Magicplus.

In 2010, the company stunned Africa by launching the Glo 1 submarine cable, a 9,800km cable that stretches from the UK across West Africa with landing points in Nigeria, London and Lisbon, and linking different countries to the rest of the world. It was launched to deliver tons of terabytes of data per second to West Africa and many European cities. In addition to boosting the provision of services to telecommunications end users, the facility is currently providing much needed connectivity to vital sectors of the economy such as oil and gas, manufacturing, banking, commerce, education and health, among others.

In recent years, Globacom has played a major role in the country’s march towards a digital future by introducing a range of customized, community-driven voice and data connectivity solutions that help manage complex network systems. Globacom also provides secure and virtualized computing solutions such as e-health, smart cognitive learning, smart energy, industrial IoT and cloud applications.

These solutions are particularly useful for collaborations, device management, workgroup storage and information security, among others. Its fixed connectivity and voice products such as Boost and Next Generation Bandwidth-on-Demand connectivity, SIP-based voice trunk and telephony, further enhance the company’s ability to deliver advanced connectivity and voice solutions fixed to medium and large enterprises, large wholesale operators, and ISPs in Nigeria and Africa.

Over the past two years, Globacom has aggressively deployed network equipment and upgraded its sites to 4G-LTE. This is intended to provide high speed and quality data experience to millions of Nigerians on the Glo network. The process covers the full scope of telecommunications infrastructure upgrade, from core network to access network, transmission and IP network, to metro access to fiber network and backbone infrastructure and to the expansion of passive equipment such as power and environment.

It also involves the deployment of new sites to increase network coverage of areas to be improved, but also to densify and relieve congestion in areas that are already congested. This ultimately improves network experience and customer satisfaction in terms of service delivery, network quality and coverage.

Upon completion of these projects, Globacom will have increased capacity to continue to provide world-class, high-quality voice, data and VAS services to its many customers in Nigeria as well as its many roaming customers to the Nigeria and outgoing in Nigeria. other countries.

How Glo Shapes Lives With Powerful, Anecdotal Ads

Globacom not only produces television commercials to promote its brand and services; the telecom giant ensures to produce inspiring and resourceful TVCs that portray and project Nigerians and Africans in a good light and inspire them to achieve their dreams. This he did, again with four new advertisements.

Like Mozart’s unparalleled genius in classical music, Globacom is a leader in the streets setting the pace in producing the inspiring and ingenious advertisements that have become the benchmark by which other telecommunications operators are measured. Over the years, Globacom has, indeed, perfected the art of projecting the image of Nigeria and Africa, stoking the patriotic fire of citizens and motivating its burgeoning youth to reach beyond the stratosphere.

Globacom’s investment in the arts

The President’s love for the arts is intrinsic and priceless. Perhaps after his passion for business, making money, and philanthropy, appreciation for the arts comes next. The entertainment industry has featured prominently in Globacom’s Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives due to Adenuga’s passion for the industry.

In addition to direct financial commitments, including massive sponsorships, Globacom currently retains the most key players in the entertainment industry as brand ambassadors while claiming that by actively engaging these key entertainment drivers , they can in turn contribute to the growth of the sector and the economy. . Many artists, established and unannounced, have been immeasurably blessed by this love and patronage.

The Alliance Française, committed to promoting French culture and teaching French as a second language around the world, now has a more dignified building in a prime area of ​​Lagos thanks to the boss of Globacom. Since being declared open to the public in April 2018, the centre, aptly named the Mike Adenuga Centre, has received accolades from far and near; of art lovers and artists and eminent Nigerians.

Adenuga loves a good laugh and he likes to share happiness that is why he has supported and sponsored many comedy shows ranging from Glo Lafta Fest which is considered the biggest music, dance and comedy event in Nigeria, which brings together leading African actors. like Bovi, Salvador from Uganda, Basket Mouth, Gordons, I Go Dye, 2Cantok, Seyi Law and others gathered in one place for an evening of unlimited fun and laughter; Glo Slide and Bounce, a traveling music and dance show; and the Bovi man on Fire Lagos and Warri editions, among others.

Since commencing operations in 2003, Globacom has made local stars of the entertainment industry the faces (ambassadors) of its brand while promoting their popularity for wealth and influence. At a time when artists were paid peanuts for their artistry, Globacom upped the ante, doling out millions of naira to their ambassadors and helping them live the life they only see in movies or on MTV.

It had also provided massive platforms for Nigerian and African artists to ply their craft through direct sponsorship of concerts such as Glo Campus Storm, Glo Rock ‘n’ Rule’; Glo Slide ‘n’ Bounce; Glo Laffta Fest; Glo Mega Music Nationwide Tour, Dance with Peter, Glo X-Factor, Glo Naija Sings and the popular sit-com Professor Johnbull. The Glo Battle of the Year Nigeria, the world’s biggest dance reality show brought to Nigeria by Globacom.

Like entertainment, like sport

Like entertainment, sports also figure prominently in Globacom’s corporate social responsibility activities and investments. More than a decade ago, he took over full sponsorship of the CAF African Footballer of the Year awards.

Around the same time, the telecom giant signed a sponsorship deal with the Nigerian Football Federation, becoming the official telecom partner and main sponsor of the Nigerian national teams. Along with this, it sponsors the Supporters’ Club in any part of the world where any of the Nigeria national teams are competing.

Opinions expressed by contributors are strictly personal and do not belong to TheCable.

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