Five years after the establishment of X3M Ideas, with the brand promise to redefine the creatives industry, its promoters have leveraged on innovation and corporate social responsibility to make a mark, Raheem Akingbolu reports
â€œA business that makes nothing but money is a poor businessâ€. This classic quote of all times by the foremost engineer and inventor, Henry Ford is true and applies to businesses in the country and Africa in general today as it has always been.
It implies that a business that benefits so much from the society and clients who transact business with it and refuses to impact lives in the society and the society itself, has failed in its responsibilities.
The Chief Marketing Officer, Dangote Group, Oare Ojeikere, while making a presentation recently at the Civic Centre, Lagos with focus on Creating meaningful experiences to bring the brand to life, discarded the norm and generally accepted belief that businesses are set up to make profit. According to him, quoting Harvard Professor, Theodore Levitt, said profit is actually the reward an organisation gets from serving the customers (and other stakeholders) right. He goes further to confirm to his audience, â€œour future depends on how we can work togetherâ€. You create the most meaningful experiences when your actions consistently impact lives.
The government and the civil society have often come out to say the government cannot do it alone. This alludes to providing services pro-bono, sponsoring infrastructure for common use and lending a helping hand to the indigent students, youth, schools and the community in general among others.
This is certainly beyond profits and far better according to Henry Ford and whatsoever company manages to touch lives and impacts on the fortune of people build equity for its brand that will last beyond financial gains or profits.
No wonder, the American oil magnate and wealthy businessman of all times, John D Rockefeller 1839 -1937, is mostly talked about today not in connection with his enormous wealth but his good deeds and unmatched philanthropic gestures. Similarly, coming back home, the UACN Plc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) theme campaign, â€œDoing good is good Businessâ€ resonates with companies which have stood the test of time in consistently putting their money where their mouths belong, notwithstanding harsh economic realities and the global recession which has taken hostage of most companies.
X3M Ideas example
For X3M Ideas, a creative agency established by Mr. Steve Babaeko, a former Creative Director, at 141 Worldwide, the story has been about innovation and giving back to the society. While creating good material at one hand, the agency has contributed more than any of its pairs to social development in the last five years through various interventions.
â€œConsistency is the name of the game, when you are convinced and you pursue a â€œgood causeâ€ said Steve Babaeko in a recent interview with THISDAY.
â€˜â€™As long as we are X3M Ideas we have chosen the path to affect the society especially the youth in the area of education and we will consistently contribute our widowâ€™s mite as our intervention to affect the lives of young children in schools.
According to Babaeko, offering a major intervention on an annual basis is the agencyâ€™s self imposed way of life. X3M Ideas CSR ingrained in its DNA from the birth. â€œWe have never failed to carry out this â€œobligationâ€ on our anniversary and we do not hope to stop it. It beats me to see Nigeria future leaders being wasted away due to no fault of theirs. This is what fires us and also determines where next we go and what intervention we offer. However, we are always guided by the desire to see young people educated in the proper sense of it and rekindle their hope for a brighter tomorrow as leaders of the countryâ€, he said.
Fifth anniversary project
For five years we have been running the project as one of the companyâ€™s top priorities not because we have excess cash but because it has become expedient for us to affect lives and God has been helping us, Steve explained revealing that X3M Ideasâ€™ CSR project for 2017 marking the agencyâ€™s 5th anniversary has been challenging, inspiring and fulfilling.
Delving into the project, he explained that every Nigerian knows what has happened in GGSS Chibok and how difficult the terrain is but beyond that Nigerians need to give the students (girls) hope and rebuild their confidence to face life and this can only be through proper education. Leading that crusade, the government relocated the school to another school to share facilities. We understand that the Chibok School got the shorter end of the stick in the arrangement as its students were placed on afternoon/evening school because seats could not go round in the morning session.
From the agencyâ€™s analysis of the situation, it was discovered that the students were facing waning confidence and likely to lose self esteem and focus because of the second best treatment.
Hence, as part of its impactful annual CSR intervention, X3M Ideas chose to go to the extreme, difficult terrain as it were to deliever hope to the Chibok girls to mark the 5th anniversary of the Lagos based advertising agency.
According to Sunkanmi Atolagbe, Head, HR, X3M Ideas, who midwife the project, the agency funded and built 317 units of desks and chairs for the students and as well as table and chairs for the teachers. â€œWith this intervention, difficult as it was, to secure the necessary clearances from the government and security agencies, we are happy that the Chibok school students now attend classes in the morning as normal students should with bolster confidence and renewed hope for a better tomorrowâ€, said Steve.
This is the first time X3M Ideas will be moving out of Lagos for its annual social intervention projects. â€œChibok is not only national but a global issue that affects all. We are extremely delighted to have been able to impact on this crop of future leadersâ€ Steve said urging other like-minded Nigerians and corporate organisations to lend a helping hand by supporting the government efforts. â€œThere is nowhere in the world where the government alone can do everythingâ€.
Five years back-to-back, X3M Ideas has consistently delievered impactful social intervention projects. On its first year anniversary in 2013, it renovated a block of 5 classrooms at Opebi Senior High School, Opebi where the agencyâ€™s office is based while the following year (2014), it donated some Computers, UPSes, air-conditioners for use in the Tech Labs in two schools within Ikeja.
In 2015 X3M Ideas touched lives at the Lagos State Boys Reform home where it donated brand new toilets and bath facilities with complete lighting system while in last year, Ikeja Senior High School got a brand new library courtesy X3M Ideasâ€™ CSR project 2016.
Itâ€™s been impactful and inspiring all the way wish we could do more, the X3M Ideasâ€™ CEO disclosed, claiming that the joy is that everyone can be a part of it by making a conscious decision to positively impact the environment and people around you.