When Sony Entertainment, one of the world’s largest record labels, decided to start operations in West Africa, the company turned to Michael Ugwu to be its General Manager.
“Sony brought me on because I am an entrepreneur. As they said, they needed to come to the market in startup mode,” says Ugwu. “It was like validation. The hardwork wasn’t in vain. That we were doing something that big corporations were now looking [at].”
What’s happening in Nigeria is a music industry revolution.
Ugwu’s first big move at Sony has been signing Davido, one of Nigeria’s top independent artists. “Davido now signing to Sony, especially it being a global deal, gives him that opportunity to penetrate other markets,” says Ugwu. More exposure for Davido and his ever-growing audience able to stream content will lead to a boom in Africa’s music industry, Ugwu adds.
Recommended: How Davido Became African Pop Music’s Fortunate Son
Prior to joining Sony in September 2014, Ugwu helped launch iROKING, a division of Nigeria’s iROKO Partners, the country’s largest distributor of digital media. He was the CEO of iROKING from August 2012 to October 2013. Ugwu was also Executive Vice President of iROKO Partners from September 2011 to October 2013.
Before entering Nigeria’s entertainment industry, Ugwu worked in a number of financial services companies in Lagos and London, including CBO Capital, Futureview Financial Services and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Michael Ugwu holds a Master of Science degree in Economic Development from University College London (UCL).
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