Mon | Jun 17, 2019

Pulse expands to Africa

Published:Sunday | March 31, 2019 | 12:12 AMNeville Graham - Business Reporter
Safia Cooper and father Kingsley Cooper.

Pulse Investments Limited, which is listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange, is seeking to secure a foothold in the African lifestyle market, and to that end has started running advertisements in its search for models on the continent.

The model search is being conducted in segments covering West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.

Pulse’s foray into Africa is coming out of a joint-venture agreement with Virtual Xchange, the parent company of Fashion One in Lagos, Nigeria. Fashion One is a television and multimedia platform that reaches across Africa on the DStv network, a sub-Saharan African direct broadcast satellite service.

The African franchise of the global Fashion One has close to 50 million viewers and is the largest and main fashion channel in Africa, according to Pulse chairman, Kingsley Cooper.

“Fashion One is the premier television and multimedia platform that reaches across Africa in the fashion space so it is really a no-brainer because it really gives us immediate access across Africa in our core area of operation,” Cooper told the Financial Gleaner. He added that the deal is backed by Nigeria’s largest banking group, Zenith, but declined to say the size of the ­financial support.

Under its agreement with Fashion One, Pulse holds an equal share of the business and will initially undertake programming broadcast in Africa and the Caribbean. These include Pulse’s Caribbean Model Search Reality TV series, which is now being broadcast by the channel in Africa.

Cooper says that with strong ­support from media, financial ­services companies and other partners, Pulse will work from a Lagos base to reach the populous and lucrative African markets.

“If you’re working with the ­number-one television broadcaster and you’re backed by the ­number-one bank in Nigeria, which is also in the top five across Africa, you’re in a strong position. We ­anticipate outstanding results. We can’t say at this time just how it will impact Pulse’s revenues but we anticipate good results,” Cooper said.

Top African designers will attend Pulse’s Caribbean Fashion Week in the summer and Caribbean designers will visit Nigeria for the Style by Zenith event at the end of the year.

Pulse tested the African market at the end of December 2018, working with Fashion One TV on its Style by Zenith lifestyle expo. Pulse supermodel and global ­ambassador Oraine Barrett, represented Jamaica at the multifaceted event staged in Lagos.

“The expo, while it was not the determinant factor, gave us the added boost. We already had a good sense of things but that confirmed what we thought and gave us the added confidence,” Cooper said.

Pulse Investments Limited is an entertainment company engaged in model agency representation, ­multimedia production, marketing, show production and promotion.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com