Published on November 4th, 2015 | by SayginYalcin


How to be an entrepreneur in the GCC

Saygin Yalcin, CEO and founder of online car trading platform

Saygin Yalcin - - Edgar Daily magazine

What are the main qualities needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Over the past decades of my life, I have met thousands of different people, hundreds of different characters, tens of different cultures and nationalities, but only two different mindsets; one mindset that leads to success, the other one that doesn’t.

It really boils down to a value-driven mindset of confidence and execution.

What are the main things that can go wrong when you have your own business?

Obviously, there are many. However, the most common I have encountered are lack of preparation and research prior to starting a business.

What are the main benefits of having your own business?

Every entrepreneur has his/her own benefits. For me, it is self-realisation and independence.

Can you tell us about an especially challenging situation you faced and how you overcame it?

Technically, challenging situations happen on a daily basis. At one point in time you become immune to bad news and start looking for solutions, rather than consequences of worst-case scenarios. A can-do approach is key to overcoming any challenge… and hey – if you tried your best and it still didn’t work, then so be it.

Can someone be taught how to be an entrepreneur?

Yes. Actually, I am an Advisory Board Member and Academic Lecturer at the Canadian University of Dubai, teaching Entrepreneurship and Ecommerce to young bright minds, trying to awaken their entrepreneurial spirit. It is important to learn how to bridge an idea into reality. There are concrete steps.

I love to identify talent in people and extensively empower these individuals. Forty per cent of my time every day I spend on identifying these personalities and helping them become more successful.

What should an entrepreneur never do?

Overstep the line of ethics.

What is your advice to someone looking to start up a business in the GCC?

Preparation is the key. Before you start, answer the following six questions: Does your idea solve a problem? Is the idea profitably scalable? How strong is the monetisation? Are you passionate about it? Are there any regulatory showstoppers? Is it the right timing?

Source: Edgar Daily,

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About the Author

Saygin is the Founder & CEO of the Middle East's (ME) first & largest car buying service, and Founder of the first & largest online private shopping club in the ME,, which has been acquired by, making him Partner at the and Jabbar Internet Group, becoming the largest ecommerce company in the Arab world, with 3000+ employees. In its largest acquisition outside the US to date, has acquired Group. He has been selected as a UBS Industry Leader, a network of Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals. He was also Advisory Board Member & Academic Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the Canadian University of Dubai. He was referred to as "the region's online business guru" by the National newspaper in the UAE, while Arabian Business named him as "one of the region's finest young entrepreneurs and a major part of the entrepreneurial scene in recent years". Fortune magazine (mag) named him in the 40 under 40 list, as one of the most influential young people in business, Entrepreneur mag ME awarded, with Saygin at its helm, as the "Fastest Growing Company in the ME", while the National newspaper sees it among a handful of tech companies to "have the potential to break the $1bn barrier". In a cover story, Entrepreneur mag ME titled him as "undoubtedly one of the youngest & most successful internet entrepreneurs in the ME”, awarded as "Technology Innovator of the Year”, while Khaleej Times awarded him as the Technology Leader. Gulf Business selected him as 1 of the Top 10 Entrepreneurs in ME. In a cover story, Arabian Business counts him as 1 of the most successful entrepreneurs to call Dubai home. During the World Government Summit, HH Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed, Minister of Interior of the UAE, presented Saygin as an inspiring story for the country, in the presence of world leaders, incl. HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

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