Marq Sikyor Set To Help Brands Fight Counterfeiting, Infringement In Africa

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From L-R: Mark Williams, Chief Evangelist Southern Africa, Bamijoko Okupe, Group Chief Evangelist, and David Malonza, Chief Evangelist, East Africa; all of Marq Sikyor Africa during the media Presentation of Marq Sikyor Africa in Lagos. Photo Akeem Salau

Marq Sikyor Africa, a pioneer Brand Protection and Anti-Counterfeiting firm providing services to local, international and global companies, institutions, and organisations, is set to help brands fight off counterfeiters and other forms of infringement in Africa.

The firm’s operations cover key markets in the continent. Its Eastern Africa market is covered through its Nairobi operations in Kenya; in West Africa, it is covered through its Lagos office in Nigeria; and Southern Africa, through its Johannesburg operations in South Africa.

The company during a media presentation to journalists at Radisson Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, reiterated the need for brands to protect their intellectual properties and trademarks.

The event attracted dignitaries including business owners, business executives, marketing directors, brand custodians, corporate affairs directors, regulatory agencies, security operatives, and the brand marketing and technology media community.

The Founder and Group Evangelist of the company, Mr. Joko Okupe, while speaking at the event said since the company began operation in 2013, it has built a track record of success in helping clients protect their brands through the combined experience of skilled investigators, specialized legal support framework and strong working relationship with regulatory authorities.

“The repertoire of expertise and experience available to Marq Sikyor Africa, its in-depth understanding of the market terrains, and a good grasp of the workings of Law Enforcement and Regulatory Agencies make us surefooted to deliver results in infringement investigations and enforcement matters. Our brand protection investigations cover Anti-Counterfeiting, Anti-Piracy, Parallel Imports, Product Diversion, Trademark Infringement, and Product Tampering/Adulteration among others.”

Okupe stressed the firm’s ‘massive capacity to fight against all forms of infringements, and safeguard all brand assets and intellectual property in its kitty.

From L-R : David Malonza, Chief Evangelist, East Africa; Bamijoko Okupe, Group Chief Evangelist and Mark Williams, Chief Evangelist Southern Africa all of Marq Sikyor Africa during the media Presentation of Marq Sikyor Africa in Lagos. Photo: Akeem Salau

“Currently, we are in a globalised world where the brand building has become a strong fundamental for businesses, institutions, and governments – as it propels business growth and countries’ economic growth. In today’s world, where all frontiers and boundaries are broken, brands across geographic and cultural borders in trade relationships involving exports for the purpose of earning foreign exchange, and even in organizing cultural events anchored on brand sponsorship”.

According to him, “Of the top 10 most valuable brands in the world, 7 are of American origin and are great wealth earners for the businesses and the country. It’s no wonder the USA is at the forefront of championing the Anticounterfeiting drive globally. There is a new awakening to the understanding that brands are intangible but incredibly effective assets to a nation’s growth and development.

“It is noted that developed economies appear to be over-investing in branding compared to developing economies to increase their competitiveness. For this reason, developing countries, particularly African countries, are encouraged to ignite their passion for building strong brands, if they must compete favourably in the global marketplace.”

He said that strong brands don’t just happen but are outcomes of great visions powered by strong strategies and backed by great investments and commitment.

He added that the global market is in a constant state of flux, and Nigeria is part of that market, which most often is accelerated through technological change, and brands help markets to adapt most appropriately and responsively.

According to him, brands contribute to the nations’ economic growth and adaptation to global competition through the creation of products and services, and also the production and reproduction of social goods that benefit the society, as they participate in increasing a nation’s GDP and supporting peoples’ overall livelihood and wellbeing.

“Brands with strong recognition and global reach are an enormous asset to their home countries. Therefore, these brands need to be protected,” he said.

Mr. Okupe added that strong brands cost fortunes to create, nurture and grow.

According to him, “When brands become strong, they garner loyalty and possess the potential of guaranteed future earnings and good returns to the owners.”

He reminded brand owners of the need to think up and implement cutting-edge strategies to protect their most valuable assets from infringement and theft to ensure they reap the dividends of their sweat and investments.

He called for stronger collaboration between brand owners, brand custodians, security operatives, and other stakeholders with Marq Sikyor Africa to secure and safeguard Nigerian brands, and indeed brands across Africa.

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