Great Measures Media (Gr8 Measures) is a subsidiary of Tunji Olugbodi’s Verdant Zeal. Situated on Ajanaku Street, inside Awuse Estate, in Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos, the Chief Operating Officer of the company, Mr. Charles Imuzeze, weeks back, in their office, explained certain things to YES INTERNATIONAL!’s AZUH ARINZE. The dark skinned gentleman who combines his job with pastoring a branch of The Redeemed Christian Church of God also talked about his family, fancies and more…
How long ago did you people move into this beautiful office. The last time we spoke, you were still in Ikeja GRA…
It’s almost a year now. I think 3rd of December or so, 2012. That’s when we moved in here.
So, why did you move?
We needed that opportunity to brand ourselves, to be different and so that we don’t get covered up by the mother brand. We wanted to reflect who we are and also we wanted to begin to create a niche for ourselves after we had rode on the back of Verdant Zeal for long.
What exactly do you people do at Gr8 Measures?
Our business is media planning, media buying, media activities. Any activity that has to do with media, that’s what we do. We create media platforms that we can give to the client to say work with this. It’s not just about planning, it’s not just about buying, there are other platforms too that might not be ATLM platforms that we think will do justice to our clients. So, we do such recommendations.
When exactly did Gr8 Measures open shop?
Gr8 Measures was a name that was in our mind since 2009. By 2010; I think January 2010, Gr8 Measures started operations from an apartment in Verdant Zeal or from a space in Verdant Zeal. That was how Gr8 Measures started.
Can you tell us some of the clients that you’ve worked for and also some that you still work for?
Resources Nigeria Ltd, makers of So Klin, Good Mama and all the others. They gave us the opportunity to be able to have a niche in the market. At a particular time, they felt okay, we wanted to be dealing with the media arm of Verdant Zeal and that was how we came about. So, that means that our first operational client as Gr8 Measures was Eko Supreme. Then, we’ve been able to work also for Verdant Zeal. Verdant Zeal is also our client (General laughter). Some of the media aspect of Verdant Zeal’s clients, we handle those ones. One of them is Verve; we’ve worked with them on Interswitch, Quick Teller and at this moment, while Interswitch has a different creative agency, we are still working with Interswitch on media. In 2012, we worked with Society For Family Health. But at this moment, they’ve also shifted shop. Which is normal. But we had the opportunity to have worked with them for one full year. We work for Vlisco, we work for Hyundai, we work for KIA. Those are our business partners as it were outside Nigeria.
What would you say distinguishes you in what you are doing?
What stands us out is the ability to provide information, data to the client. What we do here is that we don’t just wait for the client to have issues before we start working or for the client or to tell us what problem he has; what we try to do is to sit down and say this business, we’ve been working on it, can we have this data so we can do a research about this business to know how far this business is doing and what we need to do. We can send it to the client; we don’t expect the client to pay for that. So, those are the kind of added benefits that we do for the client that are not sponsored. We see ourselves as an added value media agency. So, whatever we do, whether we are planning, whether we are buying, a client must be able to see the return on investment as an added value.
For one to make it in your line of business, what must the person do?
If you want to make it in this line of business, you must be able to learn, you must be very patient and from that learning, you might not be a good mathematician, but you must be able to think and have ideas; then what do you do with those ideas? Those are basically the things that drive this business. When I see young people come into this business, what you will first hear me tell them is that you have to be patient, you have to learn and you have to think.
What do you like most about what you are doing?
What I like most about what I’m doing are the challenges the come with what I do; it’s to be able to add value to the client’s business. I like to know that oh, it was when we did this job that we had this. It’s also possible, when we did this, we had some issues. So, I like the challenges that come with the job, because they show that I still need to learn so many things.
What don’t you like about the job?
It’s the way we operate in our environment. In our environment, we don’t have data. No matter how much we think we have data, we still have limited data. I was in a presentation in South Africa and I was ashamed of myself, because when you see South Africans reading some data to you; and these are not what they get because they are going for a pitch; it’s an everyday thing. So, it’s there. That’s one. We don’t seem to have enough data because of that and it is difficult for you to prove something when you don’t have basis for it. In fact, that was the question I was asked. I was asked to prove how you got this; on what basis, on what benchmark and I didn’t have any benchmark, I didn’t have any basis. No. 3 is that I want to operate in a way that we can get money from the client and be able to pay others. Also, if I’m using you for anything, I expect that whatever I use you for, pays first of all for that media element of it. It is the profit that is your own. But what I’ve discovered in this business that we do is that the profit, everything, they just use it and at the end, you’re indebted to the media.
What is the greatest thing that this business has done for you?
The greatest thing it has done for me is that it has given me the opportunity to grow and know that I still have to learn. I was telling myself recently that I still have to go back to school to learn and learn more. And it has given me the opportunity to meet people who know better than I do and then I’ve been able to learn from them also.
What has this business not done for you?
Is there anything it has not done for me? That’s a tough question any way (General laughter). Well, I will take what I don’t like about this business as what it hasn’t done for me. But you actually don’t have a resting time. Because when you even go on holiday, you are still working. I travel and I’m still answering questions, handling briefs. So, there’s no resting time. You can be called at any time and you will run back to your work.
What got you interested in this line of business? Where did the interest come from?
Maybe because I was a numeric person. I read Computer Science, I was a 2:1 graduate of the University of Benin. I was given an opportunity when Mediacom started as a Business Resource Executive. The whole work is that you collate invoices, you use media monitoring to look at the invoices; does it match, is the amount stated on the invoice the same thing with your LPO, with the discounts? Those were the things I was doing. After sometime, I was given the opportunity to work on some brands and I found out that okay; I made mistakes, I corrected them and I had the opportunity to grow.
Let’s talk about the man, Charles Imuzeze. Tell us about yourself.
Charles Imuzeze is just like every other person; I am like every other person opportuned to be given an opportunity by Tunji Olugbodi to run the media arm of Verdant Zeal. Charles Imuzeze is an easy going person, but he knows where he’s going. He’s focused, he’s ambitious, he wants to make sure that whatever is given to him is well done and well delivered. He might not shout so much, but he is calculative.
Tell us when you were born, the schools you attended and so on.
I was born sometime in 1974; 28th of January, 1974. I attended Esigie Demonstration School in Abudu, Orionwhon local government, Edo State; I did my secondary school in Egba Grammar School, also in Benin; outskirt of Benin. Then, UNIBEN. I read Computer Science. I wanted to read Medicine, but my dad told me, I’m getting to my retirement; if you read Medicine, where will I get money to sponsor you and then you have younger ones and everything? It was on the last day in my school that I decided that okay, let me go and read Computer Science and I have no regret about that.
Your career, how did it start?
My career started with Mediacom. Like I said, I was a Business Resources/Management Trainee. Then, Mediacom was situated at Elizade Plaza. From there I moved to Peapco Media Shop. Peapco Media Shop was the agency handled by Dr. Osa Emokpae and Emeka Ohadugha. I think that was where I got challenged in my career. Then, I moved to LTC, where I was the one responsible for their media activities. After sometime, LTC came back with its media agency, which was existing before. They wanted to reinvigorate it and then Media Super Mart came; I was also moved to Media Super Mart. I was the second person in charge there and then when I left Media Super Mart, I came to Verdant Zeal. I worked for Verdant Zeal and I am the brain behind what Gr8 Measure is, with the support of the Group Managing Director. That’s my story.
Tell us about your family…
My wife’s name is Lizzy Imuzeze. She’s an insurance practitioner with WAPIC Insurance. We got married in 2004 and we are blessed with two kids; a boy, 8 years and a girl, 6 years. The boy is Treasure and the girl is Abigail.
Away from work, what do you do for relaxation?
When I’m not working, I’m thinking of ministration because I also pastor a church…
(Interruption) What’s your church called?
Redeemed Christian Church of God, Spring of Living Water. It’s at Oke-Ira, Ogba, Lagos. So, I combine this with church activities and it’s not easy.
Which singular individual has affected your life the most and why?
One singular individual that has affected my life the most is Tunji Olugbodi. The reason is that he gives everybody an opportunity to succeed. So, it is left for you to utilize that opportunity very well or not. Again, he tells you I won’t send you on an errand that I know I cannot do. And when somebody tells you that, it means that whatever he sends you, he can also do it. So, it’s left for you to make sure that you do it better than him.
NB: First published December 2013