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M Square Media, or more fondly known in the industry as MSM, is a success story like no other. Bootstrapped right from the beginning, MSM’s growth emanated from an innovative idea whose time had come. And at exactly the right time.
In 2012, Sanjay Laul was already a successful entrepreneur. He had founded an overseas education consultancy based in India in 2005, specializing in international student recruitment and English language training.
He had a good thing going but he felt there was more he could do. Sanjay saw a need in the market, particularly in Canada where his business idea would eventually take root. With their limited resources, educational institutions in the country were having trouble increasing their international student enrollment.
He introduced an innovative business model that aimed to simplify student recruitment. This model was based on many years of experience navigating the many bumps and hurdles he experienced working with educational institutions along the way. It was a new idea, so it was risky, but he was confident it was going to work.
A Fateful Dinner
One evening in New Delhi, India, Sanjay had dinner with a visiting college official, Shelley Nickel of Northern Lights College (NLC) in British Columbia. He told Shelley about the business model he had in mind and proposed, “Appoint us as your country office and we will manage all the on-ground promotions. A dedicated team is ready.”
Suneetha Qureshi, who was with Sanjay in the overseas education venture for 5 years (and who is currently the Vice President for Global Operations for MSM), initiated the talks between Sanjay and Shelley. Suneetha was very familiar with Sanjay’s way of doing things, which encouraged Shelley to have faith in the idea. Upon her return to Canada, Shelley pitched it to her executives. Thus, after that fateful evening, the MSM journey began and Suneetha was the first manager on board, representing NLC.
MSM is a marketing and business development company for colleges and universities seeking to increase their international enrollment for online and on-campus programming. It is a leading platform supporting the international education sector.
“We are known for establishing global and in-country offices that brand, promote, and recruit students for our client institutions in Canada, the US, the UK, and Europe,” explained Suneetha. “However, we offer many more services including professional development, international education consultancy, networking events, and customized business solutions.”
The MSM headquarters is in Kelowna, British Columbia in Canada, but currently has offices in 17 countries. On January 4, 2016, MSM was officially incorporated under the laws of the Province of British Columbia as M Square Business Solutions Inc.
Canada came first
Sanjay took the successful acquisition of Northern Lights College as a client as an invitation to begin MSM’s journey. A year after that fateful dinner, MSM took on a second client, Selkirk College, which is the first regional community college in British Columbia. They offered marketing support for the institution.
The period between 2014 and 2016 seemed relatively quiet, but it was far from such. Behind the scenes, Sanjay and Suneetha were working hard to bring MSM even further down the international education management road, going beyond making international student recruitment simple, efficient, and effective.
In 2016, MSM signed up Yukon College, now Yukon University. By 2017, MSM was so far ahead of the competition that it was able to form a public-private partnership (PPP) and tri-party agreement with St. Lawrence College and Canadian College.
In 2019, MSM became the largest player in the Canadian international education space, managing global and country offices of 20 public and not-for-profit institutions. The same year, MSM launched its International Advisory Body to serve as a body of mentors and guides for global endeavors, growth roadmap, and compliance.
While Canada continues to be a favorite destination for international students, even amid the pandemic, it is not the only market for MSM. Expansion was definitely on the menu.
The year 2019 proved to be a banner year as MSM successfully signed up the Community Colleges of Spokane, effectively expanding its reach into the United States market. MSM launched its USA Advisory Board in the same year as well as its new campus management division MSM Higher Ed to demonstrate its strength in PPPs and articulation agreements.
Around the same time, MSM was setting its sights on the European market. It landed a landmark deal with the London South Bank University in the United Kingdom. In 2020, MSM opened its UK division with the appointment of its two Vice Presidents for the UK, Andrew Disbury and Jo Nesbitt. By this time, MSM was fielding partnership and articulation agreements with higher education institutions in Canada, the US, UK, Europe, and other key markets.
User :- Diana Galleno