Sometimes you run into a problem which may trigger in you a spark of genius that would evolve into a successful enterprise. This has been the case for SellAnyCar.com Founder and CEO Saygin Yalchin whose service has become the Middle East’s first and largest of its kind. Yalchin sits down with BTW for an exclusive interview to share some motivation for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I am the Founder and CEO of the Middle East’s (ME) first and largest car buying service, SellAnyCar.com, Founder of the first largest online private shopping club in the ME, Sukar.com, Partner at Jabbar Internet and Souq.com Group, the largest ecommerce company in the Arab world, with 2,500+ employees. I am also Advisory Board Member and Academic Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the Canadian University of Dubai.
How did you come up with the idea of SellAnyCar.com
My personal struggle to sell 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.
How has the enterprise grown since its inception?
In our three years of business since 2013 we have evaluated almost two million cars at a value of AED 40 billion and SellAnyCar.com’s successful business model has made us the largest car buying service in the Middle East. Every minute, a car is being evaluated by SellAnyCar.com, with an evaluation taking place every 15 seconds on our record days. Our vision is to be present within every country in the Middle East as everyone’s premium go to service for selling their cars.
Tell us about the Startup Hero project.
Startup Hero is the latest show in the Middle East to turn business ideas into reality by connecting young entrepreneurs with potential investors, and the UAE being home to the brightest and boldest ideas by entrepreneurs and investors from all corners of the globe makes it the perfect location for the show. Apart from pitching ideas, participants will receive exposure, advice from business professionals and potential investment opportunities from some of the brightest minds in the region eager to support and encourage entrepreneurship, creating long-term social impact in the market.
What have been the major challenges that you have encountered as an entrepreneur?
About the challenges SellAnyCar.com faced since its launch, not surprisingly being a fast-growing startup, we have faced challenges in growing the team as fast as required, we are constantly looking for world-class talent to continue to deliver higher standards of customer satisfaction.
What according to you are the essential qualities a startuper requires in order to ensure the success of his enterprise?
The qualities of an entrepreneur are important, however what is more important for the success of the business is the knowledge and confidence that the entrepreneur has while answering the six questions below:
- Does your idea solve a problem?
- Is the idea profitably scalable?
- How is the monetisation strength?
- Are you passionate about it?
- Any regulatory showstoppers?
- Is it the right timing? If all good, build a numeric plan and go for it.
How would you rate yourself in a scale of 1-10 of your understanding of human psychology? Does this knowledge help you in your business?
Knowing human psychology does help, the more you know the more you realise you don’t know.
Any future projects that you have in mind which you’d like to tell BTW exclusively?
Our committed team is constantly working on additional products within our portfolio which we can’t wait to share with you.
What is your message to the people of Bahrain?
We are coming for you.