CSi Media– A story of four lawyers who actively left the bar…
to focus on causing a bang in the red carpet and event industry.
My first encounter with the team was at an AkureTechUp meeting. Joel Ogunsola( Co-Convener AkureTechUp) introduced them as Lawyers turned red carpet gods. It was a grand entrance of well-dressed guys, confident gait, sleek poise and killer smiles. Interesting features to bang an event.
In the last few months, a lot of high profile parties have happened in Nigeria- Weddings, corporate events etc. One common factor you will find in the set is the #CSiExperience. Zumalo visited the CSi HQ in Akure to unravel the wands behind the party magic.
Let me tell you a story, the story of the #CSiHumans.
A few years ago, four lawyers at the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba (AAUA) decided to do something different. Toyosi Ayeleso, Tomiwa Adaran, Olaleke Oni and Busayo Ojewale started a company to add spice to the party experience. From the comfort of a three bedroom flat in Akungba- a city lit by the presence of the University and surrounded by hills to offices in Akure, Lagos and Abuja.
Events Media was not really the first strike, the team started out as a charity focused brand to give back to the society. Business came in as an offshoot to sustain the momentum of impact. It is a story of friends who stayed together, created a business out of their bond and have maintained the momentum that you see today.
“For me, the connection in terms of the history is – Clique turned friends and an awesome business was born – Emmanuel Akintubosun (Head of Projects and Clientele)”
“Someday, some friends came together and the rest is history”
– Olaleke Oni (Chief Operating Officer, CSi Media)
Inspiringly, Toyosi, Brand Strategy Manager/Partner CSiMedia explained that a sizable percentage of the profit of the company still goes back to charity.Arguably the first commercial red carpet company in Nigeria; a visit to the company will give you an insight to why they have stayed on track since the launch of the company in November 2012. The list of clientele ranges from the crème de la crème in the society to the upwardly mobile millennials.
The team has also evolved to cater for other niches of the market – Communications/PR consulting, Instant Drivers, PartyGamesNG(Buy props and any of the available games), Life of Mufasir(Photography), Sapphire(Clothing), BurstmybrainNG etc.
“We are taking over the arrival process right now. We are coming over with a limo (Instant Drivers), we have done your outfits to taking pictures (Life of Mufasir), down to colourful branding and then the red carpet etc”
– Toyosi Ayeleso
From my chat with the team, I learnt that CSI works on the principle of 4 E’s- Elegance, Excitement, Engagement and Experience. The team aims to bring excitement to your event – Joy, happiness, fun and grace. Elegance – from the colour of the brand–purple–the team creates the royal feel. From just doing elegance, they have carved a niche in creating experience and engagement in events.
Have you been at a CSi event? You will see the class, red carpet joy, colour, touch of royalty and the feel of ceremonial pomp. You doubt it? Look out for an experience.
Toyosi added that the history of the red carpet in itself was to show elegance, demonstrate royalty…show class; and that they try to make sure this theme is reflected in every event they host. Engagement for the team is a must- keep the people at the events happy and the clients extremely happy. And yes, all actions, reactions, planning, dressing, activities on the red carpet etc. are aimed towards achieving the best of long lasting experience- one they will never forget in a hurry.
The Joy at the CSi HQ was evident– smiles into gists, enjoyable conversations and an atmosphere for blissful creativity. Now I know why they effortlessly share it with the world.
In the team, I saw massive positive energy and as a brand, the knack for excellence was conspicuous.
The CSi HQ gives you a glimpse of the excellence you should expect. You slide into the building with doors, laced with evidence of the experience they create- pictures of events and props they bring into play. Then the lights and dominant purple. Soft playing music welcomes you to the building as the board that shows the signatures of visitors screams ” see me too”!
Most importantly, I met the CSi Humans; the soul of the brand. Flanked by the Teams relationship Manager, Haleemah Olatunji, Patricia Okopi(People and Project Manager),Emmanuel Akintunbosun (Head of Projects and Clientele), Adeyinka Igbataya ( Chief in Charge of creative contents), Daniel Oluwapese, Mayowa Shitta( Graphics designer), Shane Carter Olatunji,Toyosi Ayeleso( Brand Strategy Manager/Partner) and Olaleke Oni( Chief Operations Officer); I met the experience officers.
The biggest asset in the CSi story/experience is the team – Toyosi Ayeleso
I got talking with the team and there was a common theme in their thoughts: Teamwork, participatory leadership and the confidence that they are part of a brand that is about to go viral.
As a team, Toyosi explained that the expansion of the company has been inspired by impact and value. He added that the biggest break came when the company decided to venture into the wedding industry. When I asked him how that happened, he happily answered, “we brought in the historical psychological value associated with royalty and elegance to the wedding industry and it changed everything! There was a boom, a big bang and a new world was created”.
Give more value and let the world see your relevance- forced value – NuelCSi
At Zumalo, we are inspired by how technology is transforming the business environment in the African ecosystem. We love to share stories of how amazing innovators use technology to cause a rift in different industries on the continent, for CSi, it was no different. The team does live stream of events to make sure loved ones, who cannot make it to the venue of the wedding (in and out of the country to be a part of your event) and clients can also book CSiMedia via an app(CSi App). And ehm, there is a big one in the wraps, when that clicks, I know Zumalo will be here to share the story again. Just know you heard it from us first, a Digital truck is coming! What will it do? Wait to find out.
“Our Tech story at CSi is amazing. We understand that technology helps to solve speed and ease and we leverage this in all of our processes. About 70% of our bookings come from Instagram” – Toyosi Ayeleso( Partner, CSi)
COO of the Company, Leke adds that technology has been a saving grace. “We have actively explored the Internet in our activities- research and all. The opportunities are so limitless that the plan is to continue to explore”, he added.
“Honestly, it really isn’t just about the red carpet. By implementing the way we do business, by following our dreams and creating the lives we want to live, we are inspiring others and that is powerful.By being open, building an exceptional experience team, sharing our exciting hearts and making others feel special we are creating remarkable experiences. It’s about a lot more than just the red carpet” –Team CSi
In the next 5 years, the team wants to take the culture of excellent events to all parts of the world. Nigeria, Africa and the rest of the world should feel the CSiExperience…from what I have seen and the team that is in the work, this will happen sooner than later.
CSiMedia doesn’t paint parties red, they make it purple. Royal.
Have you had the CSi experience?