Basak Sen Sasal is a Cass alumna with her own business, Snapsights, which connects parents and their babies via remote monitoring, and via The White Stork, brings the extended family into a newborn’s world in UAE’s major hospitals. She’s also married to a Cass alumnus!
What was your time like at Cass?
I studied an MSc in Management with a specialism in Strategic Management in London, and I actually met my husband whilst we were studying. He was studying for his MBA in Dubai, and we’d interacted on LinkedIn, and finally met when he came to London for an elective and the rest is history. I moved to Dubai after graduating, and he’s been here for eight years and I’ve been here for three and a half years.
What are you doing now?
I am the co-founder and manager of Snapsights, a remote monitoring system for busy parents to keep in touch with their children. We are first in the world to provide such remote in-home monitoring services. Once installed, you get your own operations centre on your laptop, tablet or phone. We also offer a weekly “Happy Moments” compilation email where all the major events of the week are distilled for you.
Where did this idea come from?
It came from my own experiences, particularly my mother, who was a successful businesswoman with a multinational company, but she missed many of my first milestones like my first step, and found that success doesn’t mean as much when you miss out on these days that never come back. In the past, they weren’t even recorded very often.
Plus, one day, on the National Gulf News there was an unfortunate story about a nanny and a baby – putting yourself in the mother’s shoes, I felt so bad that evening! My husband asked, how can technology help here? And the idea was born.
What is your top tip for anyone wanting to start their own business?
The first thing is that you need a good idea that gives value to society. It’s good to be entrepreneurial, but adding value is the most important part. Snapsights gives peace of mind to parents, its corporate users, and recently the hospitals’ patients through our newly launched the White Stork concept where we bring the newborns to the screens of the family and friends living abroad.
The second thing is that you really need determination. There are lots of ups and downs and you need to find a way to keep going despite setbacks. You really need the passion to continue as without this you’ll go nowhere – you’ve got to convince yourself first.
What is next for you?
Snapsights next step is the White Stork concept where we facilitate ‘virtual’ hospital visits to the families and friends of the patients that are all around the World. We use our high-end surveillance system to bring the newborns to the screens of families. It’s received wide coverage in Gulf News, 7Days, Time Out Dubai and more. With 90% of UAE residents actually expats, and today’s globalised world, family ties are much longer and it’s not easy or practical to visit.
For example, my grandmother is 84 years old, and when I have my first child it will be her first great grandchild, and she’s too old to travel from Istanbul, but she would love to see that child. Parents initiate and facilitate the White Stork service through the systems we set at the hospitals and then can be left alone for bonding time, resting time both for mummy and the baby and to keep the germs away as the immune system of the little ones are so weak during the first couple of days. Plans are to expand into GCC, Europe, then the USA, and we’ve already secured some funding for SnapSights. We are part of region’s biggest Investment firm, Al Tamimi Investments.
And finally, the quick fire question round:
Favourite place in London? Kensington Gardens
Favourite holiday destination? Having been in Dubai for three and a half years, and my husband for eight, we miss nature, so our last holiday to Boracay island was just what we needed.
Must-check website? Facebook for social news and LinkedIn for business news
Dream travel destination? I just watched The Martian, and with Elon Musk and his SpaceX corporation being the inspirational leader in this field, I think it’s got to be Mars.
Cheese or Chocolate? Chocolate – absolutely, and without hesitation!
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