Another year has come and gone. The years fly by so fast we often don’t take the time to look back and reflect upon how far we’ve come. For my first article of this year, I decided to catch up with a few ambitious students and see how they were doing with their budding businesses.
Mogul Media Group (MMG) is a youth marketing company founded by Shaheen Yazdani and Andrew Au, two university students studying at York University’s Schulich School of Business. MMG develops media and activation strategies for clients looking to target the core 18-to-24-year-old consumer and offers clients exposure to the post-secondary market through their magazine, website, and a national network of campus representatives.
MMG publishes Campus Life Magazine, a student lifestyle publication serving campuses across Ontario. Editorial content is determined by students.
Last year, MMG entered into a joint venture with The Jetstar Group to form Campus Intercept, a national direct-to-campus marketing agency. The JetStar Group is Toronto-based marketing agency specializing in custom entertainment solutions designed to drive consumer engagement. Current clients include PepsiCo, Nissan Canada, Trojan, and PMA among others.
“I think our journey thus far has been paved with unexpected ups and downs. A joint venture early in the business wasn’t something that we planned for; however, it turned out to be one of the greatest unexpected occurrences,” says Yazdani. “This was the right partner and the right timing for us. Both Mogul Media and Jetstar will be able to offer added value to our collective network of clients.”
Looking back on the year, these driven students have a lot to be proud of. In 2007, Au was named one of the top five competitors in Ontario for the Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship’s National Student Entrepreneur Of The Year.
“Being featured multiple times in Schulich’s community e-mails, which are written by the dean himself, was another unexpected source of recognition,” says Au.
However, success doesn’t come easy. Au advises being prepared for hiccups as they are part of any business. He says addressing issues with a solution-based attitude is extremely important, but this can be difficult to do when running your own business because emotions come into play.
“As one of our mentors told us, ‘The best businesses are those in which business is business and all emotions are put aside.’ A strong business requires objective decisions that keep the best interest of the entity in mind,” says Yazdani.
Today, through their passion and perseverance, Yazdani and Au are able to see the fruits of their labour.
“When we started the business, we made a public statement that Campus Life Magazine would be a national media property by 2008,” says Yazdani. “Now, with Campus Intercept launched and a national distribution strategy in place, we have delivered on this very promise.”
Kavita Gosyne, 26, is a vibrant young journalist. She writes about her transition from student to employee and the issues she faces such as office politics.