Co-founder of Turkish technology company ‘reeder’, Sezen Saral is the woman who brought the first e-book reader to Turkey. Her company also launched the first local android tablet brand. Last year 35-year-old Sezen was titled Turkey’s top female entrepreneur, eight years after founding the brand.
It all started when Sezen was attempting to sell her old e-book reader online. She was surprised by the enormous interest her once-broken and repaired reader attracted. In those years, e-book readers were not available in Turkey.
Together with her husband, computer engineer Uygar Saral, they sold family property and launched their company ‘reeder’ in 2010. They were inspired by the idea of making a difference in people’s reading habits in Turkey.
“In the first six months, we sold 10,000 readers – that’s really something for a country that is known not to read books,” she recalled in an interview with FemaleOneZero.
The couple’s areas of knowledge blended well: Sezen had studied international business at Istanbul’s Bogazici University.
“As a woman, you always need to push harder to get past the predetermined gender roles of the society. But being a very ambitious and a resilient person, I have overcome that.”
Today, the brand encompasses a wide range of products, including laptops, tablets and smart phones. Their first product, e-book reader, is being developed to be relaunched in the future, as the world has moved from e-readers to reading books from tablets and to audio books.
Sezen is no stranger to prejudice she faces sometimes as a woman in technology.
“As a woman, you always need to push harder to get past the predetermined gender roles of the society. But being a very ambitious and a resilient person, I have overcome that,” she says.
Realising not everyone has similar self-confidence, she takes part in projects to promote other women entrepreneurs as an active member the Women’s Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey, Kagider.