Michael Sender is a Sweden-based entrepreneur, publicist and blogger. His publications mainly focus on European geopolitics, information warfare and Russian influence.
I was born in the city of Grodno, a provincial city in the Western borderlands of the Soviet Union, to a family of Russian-speaking Belarusians, but we moved shortly after to Minsk to live with my father’s parents. My grandfather was a top official in the Communist party, the ruling body in the country, which added an interesting flavour to my upbringing. Following my father’s job assignment in 1987, we moved to a small place outside Makurdi in mainland Nigeria, where I spent almost 3 years of my childhood. Returning back to Minsk during the collapse of the Soviet Union I found myself in a new country, the newly proclaimed independent Belarus entangled in the struggle between the past and the present. Eventually the past won, which was bad news for the future. In 1997 me and my mother emigrated to Sweden, where I spent the rest of my youth, learned some programming and web design at IT-Gymnasiet and got my business degree at Stockholm School of Economics. In parallel I was involved as singer, songwriter and producer in a number of music projects, most notably the gothic pop act Dreamgale and the satirical mock-pop act UltraVozyk.
I started my corporate career at the leading employer branding company Universum, where I initially worked with their research panel, but soon became the product manager of a product line of career websites helping young professionals excel in their careers. Later I went into the TV business to work for what was then one of the leading TV content production groups, Zodiak Media (now Banijay). There I built what was their first in-house music publishing company, capturing revenue streams from film and TV show music royalties. In 2010 I moved to Moscow, Russia, to help Zodiak build up a new TV production company there called Mastiff. We managed to successfully break into the very saturated and heavily relationship-based Russian TV market, launching Russian versions of top rating shows like Fort Boyard, That’s my kid! and Paradise Hotel. In 2013 I returned to Belarus under the flag of Schibsted, one of Europe’s largest media corporations, to head what was soon to become the largest online marketplace in Belarus. By the end of 2017 Kufar enjoyed a Top of Mind over 68%, had over half a million daily active users who listed almost 60,000 new classified ads every day. In 2018 I moved back to Sweden to head the online comparison marketplace Comprado. In 2020 I launched Tendelin – a procurement platform for offshore tech assets.
In parallel with my professional life I run the Russian-language blog Antimif that focuses on dismantling political myths and nurturing sensible response against fake news and government propaganda. Since 2018 I also run the satirical social profile Aliens About Humans.