We expand the fundamentals of ethics, professionalism, integrity, says Ogunmefun



Bluebird Communication is celebrating 20 years of successful business. Its Executive Vice Chairman, Mr. Kunle Ogunmefun, in this chat with Gbenga Salau narrated the company’s journey, what makes it stand out from the pack among other issues

What is the story of Bluebird Communication 20 years on?
Bluebird Communications Ltd commenced business on July 7, 1995 in a seemingly distressing era. We started off from very humble beginnings – a small room in Ikoyi and two members of staff. Our expansion from then onwards was rapid given the differentiated service our company delivered to bridge the service gap observed in the industry at the time. At its 8th year in business, Bluebird Communications moved into its own property in Maryland, Lagos and has further expanded its operations to incorporate other companies.

The fundamentals of our business operations are hinged on ethics, professionalism and integrity. We don’t compromise on these values. It’s who we are and who we would always be.

We established a well-structured organisation from commencement. Our objectives were clear from the onset – to design a lean business model. We are project and result-oriented. We are driven by integrity and operate a non-conventional marketing communications company.

It is rare to hear that business is growing in very challenging environment, what is the secret?
Every situation presents huge opportunities. We see opportunities and not challenges in managing our business. This philosophy has impacted our approach to delivering value to our clients. It has also kept us going especially during the lean times. We focus on a lot of investments – investment in our people, processes, technology, real estate, capital market and the money market which we fall back on in lean times.

Success comes with challenges. What are those challenges you faced?
Quite honestly, there have been a few challenges. However, our business model has mitigated some of the major challenges. Our lean business model has minimised our risk exposure. Well, we have been graciously favoured and we give God the glory. In the last 10 years, the lean business model approach has enabled me take a back seat in day-to-day operations. With this model, Bluebird Communications has grown stronger over the years.

In concrete terms, what are the major achievements of Bluebird Communications in the last 20 years?
In the last years, we have scaled up the business. Our approach to service delivery has evolved over the past 15 years. Our processes are extremely swift. Our staff numbers have increased and our client profile has grown. We employ members of staff on the basis of skills, attitude and integrity. Bluebird Communications expanded operations to incorporate four other businesses – Intenciti Media (a media independent agency), Ribbons World- a reputations management company, Pro-Vision (an outdoor company) and DigiEngage (a digital marketing company) all members of the Bluebird Group.

Not to mention; our balance sheet figures have also grown tremendously.

No Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) business in Nigeria is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Will Bluebird be the first?
It is not impossible, depending on the turn of events. On the other hand, our business structure is not large yet it is very efficient, providing superior service and giving adequate return on investment.

You did not join the trend to affiliate your organization to any foreign agency. Why not?
I am of the opinion that affiliation is not required to be successful. Affiliation has often been required in the industry for business alignment, technology and knowledge transfer. Knowledge can be harnessed independently. We invest in training our people locally and offshore.

How do you approach recruitment considering the dearth of knowledge observed in the industry?
Amazingly, we still recruit locally. We believe in people and we lay emphasis on attitude and the passion to excel. Delivering optimally on the job is not so much a function of the school attended but a blend of the right attitude, open mindedness towards learning, exposure and focus. We employ happy people. Happy people make happy clients; happy clients ensure happy businesses.

Who are your clients?
We operate more in the financial service sector. We handle a lot of retail products for several banks and insurance companies. We run projects for international organizations and we also manage five successful automobile brands. We have also worked for airlines and cement companies.

You are playing strongly in IMC. What are your score cards for the industry?
The industry is on a strong growth path. Technology and service delivery have improved. Industry players have improved on business processes. Improvement has also been observed in post-productio, as offshore production has scaled down. We are now able to shoot nice commercials here in Nigeria. There is still room for improvement. Every industry has its own challenges and we are dealing with ours.

With aggregated focus, the industry will definitely get better.

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