Export Awards shortlisted: m2r Education
Shortlisted for the Northern Powerhouse Export Awards Micro Exporter of the Year, m2r's director, Munir Mamujee tells us about his export journey and what being shortlisted means for him and his business.
What does your company do?
We are an international education recruitment company, providing a professional and ethical service across the entire education vertical. We are global, with clients in over 30 countries and expanding all the time.
When was your company launched, who by and why?
I launched it in 2001 as a UK sales recruitment firm. I set it up as I had lost my job and thought I would just do it for six months.
In 2007, we received our first overseas contract, in 2008 our first education contract and then in 2015, we fully rebranded to become m2r Education and have never looked back since.
How long has the company been exporting?
What do you currently export, and where to?
We export recruitment services within the education sector across EMEA and APAC regions.
What motivated you to start selling overseas, and how long did it take?
It was purely by luck. We received an enquiry from New York in 2007 and once this project was completed, I was bitten by the bug and decided to expand overseas, initially into the Middle East and then further afield. Business wins were quite rapid, something I am very thankful for.
What is the easiest part of exporting?
There isn’t an easy part. It is challenging, takes patience and commitment and a lot of motivation. However, staff are empowered, we are learning all the time and it’s fascinating.
What is the export challenge you’re most proud of overcoming? How did you manage this?
Breaking into the Saudi market. In 2008/9 it was still very difficult, especially selling a recruitment service. We succeeded and now have excellent clients there. It took a lot of business trips, trade missions and perseverance.
Did you get any support when you wanted to trade abroad? Who from, and how did it help you?
We used the Department for International Trade (DIT) and went through their Passport to Export scheme, then Gateway to Global Growth.
We went and still go on trade missions (over 30 to date), have used the Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) and Export Marketing Research Scheme (EMRS) too. It has helped massively and this is why we are very proud to have been awarded the title of DIT/NPH Export Champions for the second year running.
What advice would you give to someone just starting to explore overseas markets?
Research, get your pitch right, visit, make sure you are committed and speak to me if you want advice!
Where next? What markets are you looking into and where do you see the company in five years’ time?
We are continuing to explore new markets. I want to expand further into Africa, continue to develop our hold in the Middle East and Asia and if the market allows, move into Latin America and the Caribbean (LATAC) too.
How do you feel about being shortlisted for the Northern Powerhouse Export Awards and what does it mean to your business?
It is a great honour and a testament to our hard work and success to date.