Busola Tejumola, the content strategist par excellence
As the Executive Head of Content & West Africa Channels at MultiChoice Nigeria Limited, Busola has led the content strategy, planning, resource allocation, and execution to drive the organisation’s top-line and bottom-line growth. Content strategy has firmly secured MultiChoice Nigeria’s growing market share and continues to reinforce the brand as Africa’s most loved storyteller. She is passionate about creating, identifying and maximising opportunities in shaping the future of content creation, distribution and television. She understands and has devised new models that work, with proven results in converting insights into strategy and communicating complex ideas clearly and logically to stakeholders’ on varying levels.
In her current role, she has mastered building and managing relationships with senior-level leaders and content providers, establishing key genres that directly increase customer value management, acquisitions and customer experience that contribute significantly to the bottom line of the organisation. Prior to her current role, Busola grew from Head of Strategy and Insights in 2014 to GM Production in 2017 where she led the team that re-birthed Big Brother Naija, the award winning AMVCA’s, along with original productions from the Africa Magic stables like Battleground, Jemeji and Ajoche. She holds a Masters’ degree in Management Information Systems, and a Ph.D in Management Information Systems & Computing from the University of Surrey and Brunel University respectively. Her passion, strategic track record of leading effective teams and drive for results, has translated into the success of key projects at MultiChoice. She is very passionate about child education, especially the girl child and her future role in the society. She currently volunteers at a charity organisation that facilitates the education of under-privileged kids. She mentors a few University/secondary school ladies, in the hopes that they will remain focused and pursue mutually rewarding careers.
What are your memories of childhood?
Education was very important, growing up. My parents felt it was the first real investment in their children. They were intentional about learning, both formally and informally. So aside from the formal education, we also participated in sports, dance groups, choir, karate, cooking and so on.
My educational journey has been an interesting one. I attended Fountain Primary School, FGGC Akure, then moved on to Queen’s College in Senior School. I got a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Ibadan, M.Sc. in Management Information Systems from the University of Surrey UK, and a PhD in Management Information Systems, with a specific focus on User Adoption and Change Management, from Brunel University, UK. Going through this journey certainly sharpens your analytical and critical thinking skills, develops resilience and a solution-oriented mind-set. This firmly has shaped me into the adult that I am today and influenced my career journey.
When did you join MultiChoice and why?
I joined MultiChoice in 2014 as Head of Strategy and Insights because the values of the organisation closely align with mine. The principles of mutual respect, integrity, innovation, teamwork, ownership and accountability are strong values that MultiChoice lives by and these values are some of my personal values as well.
In the course of my career, I have observed that it works out better to work in organisations where there is an alignment in values because values shape culture and culture is a significant aspect of an organisation. Let me give an example, the value of innovation is what has driven MultiChoice to evolve successfully in the last 28 years. This value shaped the open-door culture we have, where any anyone can walk into the office of a Senior Manager and have a chat without undue protocols, because we know that winning ideas sometimes spring from regular conversations.
What has been your experience as Executive Head of Content at MultiChoice?
As the Executive Head of Content, I drove strategy, planning and execution around key content acquisitions and expansions that have been instrumental to MultiChoice’s top and bottom-line growth. This strategy grows our market share and continues to reinforce the MultiChoice brand as Nigeria’s most loved storyteller.
Share on growing from Head of Strategy and Insights in 2014 to GM Production in 2017
As Head of Strategy and Insights, I focused on identifying and maximising opportunities in shaping the future of content creation, distribution and television. To achieve this, my team was heavy on research and this helped us devise new models that converted the insights gleaned from research into strategy that enabled us maximise and even create new opportunities for the business.
As GM Production, I led the team that re-birthed Big Brother Naija, the award winning AMVCA’s, along with original productions from the Africa Magic stables like Battleground, Jemeji and Ajoche.
Generally, what has your experience been in the TV and film industry?
TV and film is such a fast paced and vibrant industry and I have enjoyed every bit of my journey through it. As a player on the content creator side, I particularly enjoy studying consumer behaviour and using the insights gained to create or acquire content that resonate with them. Thankfully, we have a feedback system in MultiChoice that helps us know how customers feel about the content on our platform, making it easy to tweak on the go.
Nigerians are very creative. How are you able to sieve through various programmes proposed to you?
First, I attest to the fact that Nigerians are very creative. Our creativity spans diverse areas of our human and national life. As a video entertainment company that has been in business for over 28 years, we have developed a process that helps us sieve through proposals easily. For one, we listen to our customers and also anticipate their needs. We do this through a variety of methods as well as from direct customer feedback.
What advice would you give to anyone/company proposing content for MultiChoice?
Do your research. What does the market want? What genre has captured the hearts of the market?
Be creative. Over time, people have come to believe that Nigerian content is predictable, that is, they can tell the end from the beginning. Be unpredictable and creative. Produce a well-told and well-thought-out story, infusing the element of surprise.
Be innovative. Many genres of content have not been explored yet. Do an in-depth research into these areas and adapt the story angles to appeal to the market. We always want fresh ideas that are adaptable to our customers.
How has your track record of leading effective teams translated into the success of key projects at MultiChoice?
I am a results-driven person. I love to see that whatever I do brings measurable and tangible value and at MultiChoice, I have clearly seen how the projects I have led have successfully grown the business. It is very fulfilling. Teamwork is one of our core values as a business and in executing key projects, this value shines through so beautifully because every member of the team understands the vision of success and brings their ‘A’ game and winning mind-set to work. From Big Brother Naija, to the AMVCA’s, from Ultimate Love to many Africa Magic original productions like Battleground, Jemeji and Ajoche, teamwork is what has ensured its success. Therefore, I am always thankful for my teams because every successful project has required our collective effort.
What is your view on women inclusion, even in Nigeria?
The rise of women in Nigeria to prominent positions is wonderful. I am particularly happy because of the positive impact it has on other women, the dreams it has awoken in them, the vision of a desired future it has helped them catch. Mirroring is an important feature in success and this rise is helping many women see who they can be. For women who desire success, I advise the following:
Have an excellence mind-set. She must choose to be the best at what she does. Excellence is not negotiable.
Cultivate relationships with the right people. She must surround herself with people who desire success because energy is contagious, so she must tap into the frequency of her desire by being intentional about the people in her circle.
Be visible. She must embrace visibility. To borrow a leaf from the Bible, no one lights a candle and hides it under a bushel. She must embrace platforms that spread the impact of the work she does so she can grow faster.
How is gender balance/equality structure at MultiChoice Nigeria?
It is interesting that long before the advocacy for gender balance became strong in Nigeria, we have practiced the principles of gender balance and equality in MultiChoice Nigeria. We currently have a 50-50 gender split at our management level and at the general workforce, a 60:40 split where 60% are female and 40% are male. This is not because we are trying to align to the now popular narrative of the future being female but it is because the principle of inclusivity and equality is a foundational value at MultiChoice. So, if you can do the job, you get it. No bias whatsoever. Having the blend of both genders has helped us grow as an organisation because we have harnessed the strengths of both worlds.