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Present time re-enforces technology as backbone of businesses, economy -Phyllion CEO

Temi Ophylia Ibekwe is the founder of  Phyllion and Partners Limited, a fast-growing PR and marketing consulting firm based in Lagos, Nigeria. With various certificates in marketing from Nigeria, UK and USA, Temi has worked in key Public Relations firms in Nigeria in strategy and account manager capacities, facilitating pitch wins and project leads. In this interview, the strategic communication professional said the Tech Online conference scheduled this week  seeks to bring exposure to technology breakthroughs in Africa, its impact, possibilities and support it provides as a driver in other sectors.

 What is the rationale behind your forthcoming Online conference with the theme: “Embracing Technology Transformation in Africa, What Next?

The technology sector is undoubtedly the driving force of global economies, Nigeria inclusive and the times we live in now more than ever, re-enforces technology as backbone of the economy. Almost every other sector; finance, agriculture, entertainment and even government thrive on technology and we have seen huge changes, growth, acceptance and adoption of tech solutions amongst businesses and consumers everywhere. The impact of this support however is lightly shared, and this is what communications, and, in the case, Public Relations brings to bear in this sector. At Phyllion, we want to bring exposure to technology breakthroughs in Africa, its impact, possibilities and support it provides as a driver in other sectors.

Who are your targets as big organizations are already conscious of using technology to drive transformation?

The conversation around embracing technology transformation in Africa, really affects organizations of various sizes. While it’s true that the larger organizations are already conscious of transformation through tech, there is still a lot to be done. This is why you hear about Digital Business Transformation which is still an ongoing process for many businesses in Nigeria and Africa. This transformation will take time; however, we will agree that the recent pandemic has given rise to a quick adoption of technological processes that companies had been slow to implement such as process automation, digital business operations and Artificial Intelligence. We have particularly seen changes in social interpersonal relations, customer solutions using chat bots and apps to enable communication and enquiries. We’ve come to the point where stakeholders should begin to champion developments that chart the course of African Tech solutions and that’s why you see the later part of the theme, “what’s next”? The conversations at our upcoming conference will chart a cause for the immediate future, how we should begin to approach transformation through technology and what role PR has to play in that journey.

Who are the speakers expected at the online conference?

I am very delighted to share that we will be having a thrilling and thought driven time with brilliant minds like Yomi-Badejo-Okunsaya, GMD, CMC Connect and President African Public Relations Association (APRA) who will give the Keynote address; Ayeni Adekunle, Group CEO, Black House Media Group and myself from the Communications sector and the Tech space. We will have  Emmanuel Asika, Channel Head, Hewlett Packard Africa; Tomiwa Aladekomo of Techcabal; Tosin Faniro-Dada, Head, Startups (Lagos Innovates) – ‎Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF); Funmi Eniolorunda, the COO of Venture Garden Group and Segun Iffie, Global Service Delivery, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, operated by Selectium Nigeria. We will also be having a start-up pitch panel comprising Managing Director, HP Central Africa, Ify Afe CEO Edgebase Technologies, Joel Egbai, US based Digital Business Transformation Strategist, Ogechi Chidebell and Mo Durosinmi-Etti, Program Manager at the Bulb Africa.

Why is the conference coming at this time that COVID 19 pandemic has laid prostrate many businesses?

Honestly, there is no “better time” businesses have tried to navigate and are still navigating the pandemic and majority have had to re-structure or resize. The pandemic has taken a toll on businesses in ways we cannot imagine which is why the conversation is coming at a time when we need envision and lead the near future before it comes upon us. It is a proactive approach to the realities still yet to come. However, business and people can instead better position for this future.

You integrated a business pitching process where those with business ideas can present their ideas to investors; could you tell us more about this concept?

Nigeria our country, has millions of ‘innovatives’ as I will like to describe them and there are several tech enthusiasts. Pitching a business to an investor is serious business, perhaps often the most daunting moment in an entrepreneur’s journey. And we were able to secure a few investors looking for impact driven tech solutions to support. The pitch process presents the opportunity for start-ups in the introductory to growth stage to win an investor on board if they meet the set expectations. It is just our way of using public relations to generate mutually beneficial relations for stakeholders. Terms and conditions do apply.

Phyllion & Partners is a Tech PR company in Nigeria and it s the host of this Tech Conference which is first of its kind in the PR sector, tell us, what is Tech PR and is this conference going to be done annually going forward?

I am glad you asked, one key purpose of hosting this conference in a way that we have done it; using technology, creating web and mobile applications to enhance user experiences, is really to shed light on the role PR plays in enabling technology. Tech PR seeks to build lasting relationships and reputation for technology businesses using their impact stories to drive beneficial results for the stakeholders within the sector. It also helps give exposure to the technology solutions within the space to better position them to achieve their goals. Yes, the Phyllion Tech Conference will be done annually going forward. So, we are glad to be championing the first Tech PR conference in Nigeria as we look forward to more conversations within the sector.


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