Saygin Yalcin, founder and CEO,

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Saygin is the founder and CEO of the Middle East’s first and largest car buying service,; founder of the first and largest online private shopping club in the ME,; partner at Jabbar Internet and Group, the largest ecommerce company in the Arab world, with 2,500+ employees. He is also Advisory Board Member and Academic Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the Canadian University of Dubai and has been selected as a UBS Industry Leader, a network of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals. has acquired in Apr’12 to form the Group with Tiger Global, Naspers (MIH) and Jabbar Internet Group.

What prompted you to launch

My personal struggle to see my car in Dubai. It took me six weeks to sell my car, and 19 appointments with strangers. I had to take time off work every time, and people wouldn’t even show up for appointments. What really triggered it was when I figured out how much time I had wasted, and I calculated that if I had just sold within half an hour, it would have saved me time, risk and paperwork.

What is your key message to an entrepreneur starting a business venture in the Middle East?

Before any entrepreneur starts a business, they need to have a solid idea that they believe will result in a large amount of customers. After all an impressive idea will get the attention of potential investors who can support them in early stages. Before putting the idea through a set of questions to assess its feasibility, one should ask whether the idea solves a real problem? Are you launching a product or a service that people have longed for? Many entrepreneurs fall in the trap of creating a solution for an imagined problem, therefore it’s important to run a case study, or even give out simple questionnaires to analyse the needs of your customers.

For entrepreneurs to assess how ready they are to start their own venture they need to think of five other main questions: Are you passionate about your idea?

Is it the right timing? Are there any regulatory showstoppers? Is it profitably scalable? How is the monetisation strength?


This is part of the cover feature that appeared in the April 2017 issue of Gulf Marketing Review. To subscribe please call: +971 4 369 7573