Dilawar Syed (CEO of Yonja Media Group)

Sep 24, 2013, 3:00 – 6:00 PM

Dilawar was brought by Tiger Global in 2009 to drive a turn around of the Yonja Media Group business; after Yonja, the company's flagship Turkish social network, had to face off none other than Facebook as a competitor. Over the last four years shuttling between Istanbul and San Francisco, Dilawar has steered YMG into a diversified social media business with multiple verticals beyond the original social networking core with investments and products in local commerce (FirsatBuFirsat), social jobs (IsteSosyal), mobile apps and, even a Facebook apps platform play.

In-person event

About this event

Dilawar is CEO of Yonja Media Group, a leading emerging markets social media company. Founded in 2003, Silicon Valley and Istanbul based Yonja Media operates major social networking, recruiting, mobile and local commerce brands. The company is backed by Tiger Global. Prior to joining Yonja Media, Dilawar was at Yahoo! where he was head of strategy and operations for Yahoo’s Platform Division. Earlier, Dilawar spent several years in leadership roles in enterprise software. At SAP Dilawar helped launched the company’s CRM solution; and at Siebel he grew Siebel’s integration platform to a multimillion dollar business. Dilawar started his career at Deloitte Consulting and Ernst & Young in financial services, energy and telco practices. Dilawar has played a leadership role in a broad range of civic efforts globally. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Dilawar to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The Commission advises the President on public policy including education, entrepreneurship, healthcare, immigration and civil rights. Dilawar chairs the Commission’s Economic Growth Committee and drives engagement with AAPI entrepreneurs across the country. In his role as Commissioner, Dilawar has engaged small businesses on initiatives including access to capital, patent reform, open data and Health IT, skilled workers immigration and public-private partnerships. In 2008, Gov. Dean appointed Dilawar, National Co-Chair of the DNC’s South Asian Leadership Council. Dilawar is board member and past president of entrepreneurship non-profit OPEN Silicon Valley; advisor to eTohum, Turkey’s top incubator; and member of H2, Silicon Valley’s leading network of digital executives. Dilawar has participated in the U.S. State Department’s entrepreneurship delegations to Turkey and U.A.E. Dilawar holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Check out what happened


  • Dilawar Syed

    Freshworks (formerly Freshdesk)




Tuesday, September 24, 2013
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM UTC


3:00 PMNetworking and Food
4:00 PMFireside Chat
5:00 PMNetworking


  • Ahmad Fahim Didar

    Startup Grind

    Community Manager

  • Can Kagitcibasi


    Chapter Director

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