Advertising titan, Biodun Shobanjo, bags 2015 Zik Leadership Award

CHAIRMAN of Troyka Group and founding Chief Executive Officer, Insight Communications, Mr Biodun Shobanjo, has bagged the 2015 Zik Prize for Professional Leadership at an award ceremony organised by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC).

Set up in 1994, the Zik Leadership Award is in honour of Nigeria’s first civilian president, Nnamdi Azikiwe and honours those in positions of authority who had distinguished themselves as exemplary leaders in Africa.

Received by his sons, Tunde and Olufemi Shobanjo, the award is in recognition of his outstanding achievements and immense contributions to the development and growth of the Marketing Communications Industry and indeed, the Nigerian economy.

Delivering the welcome address, chairman on the occasion, Major-General Ike Nwachukwu (retd), described the late Azikiwe as a selfless leader, who gave everything for the development of Nigeria and the African continent.

He enjoined all present to draw inspiration from the country’s founding fathers in order to reposition Nigeria for greater heights.

Born over 70 years ago, Mr Shobanjo is one of Nigeria’s finest marketing communications practitioners, who has made phenomenal contributions to the Marketing Communications Industry in Nigeria over the last four decades.

He is reputed to be one of those who changed the face of advertising in Nigeria.

Mr Shobanjo’s advertising career started at the then American-owned Grant Advertising, which he joined as an Account Executive Trainee in November 1971.

He rose rapidly to become its Deputy Managing Director in 1976, a position he occupied until December 1979 when he left to co-found Insight Communications in January 1980.

He was the Chief Executive Officer of the company for 25 years, a position from which he stood down at the end of December 2004.

Today, he is the chairman of Troyka Holdings, Nigeria’s largest and most innovative Integrated Marketing Communications group in sub-Sahara Africa, with businesses in marketing communications, resource management and asset protection. Some of these companies include Insight Communications, All Seasons Media and Media Perspectives (both Media Independents); Optimum Exposures (Nigeria’s leading out-of-home ad company); The Quadrant Company ( PR Consultancy), Hot Sauce (Digital Marketing);Black Onyx Properties (Real Estate), and Halogen Security (Asset Protection and Resource Management).

Mr Shobanjo holds the Certificate of the British Institute of Public Relations, London, as well as the Certificate of the British Institute of Marketing.

He is a  Chartered Member of the British Institute of Public Relations (CMIPR); Chartered Member of the British Institute of Marketing (CM Inst. M); Member, International Advertising Association; Fellow, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON); Fellow, Commonwealth Journalists Association, and past President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN).

Over the years, Mr Shobanjo has won numerous awards for integrity and professional excellence, as an outstanding entrepreneur, a notable corporate leader, role model and an inspiring Nigerian.

A quiet philanthropist and public-spirited business leader, Mr Shobanjo in February 2010, was inaugurated as the First Ambassador-General of mass medical mission (mmm) of National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP) and in 2008.

He was the CEO of the first and only edition of The Apprentice Africa, which aired in six African countries. In October 2013, he was awarded Advertising Man of All Time by The Sun Publishing Limited.

He was awarded Most Influential Personality in Advertising in Africa at the 2014 African Development Magazine (ADM) Award of Excellence in Development which held on 14th November 2014 in Accra, Ghana.

In April 2015, Europe Business Assembly (EBA), based in Oxford, UK, honoured him with Manager of the Year Award in recognition of his significant input to the success of Troyka Group, which was also awarded Best Regional Enterprise by EBA.

On 18th December 2015, Mr Shobanjo’s dream of turning Troyka into a global player was fulfilled, when an equity partnership agreement was signed between Troyka and Publicis Groupe – the third largest communications group in the world. By this agreement, Publicis Groupe are now equity partners in the communications arm of Troyka Holdings.