Rhona catches up with long-time friend Sarita Stefani, co-founder of Amelis, a platform that makes egg freezing and fertility treatments more accessible and affordable for women. 

They delve into Sarita’s remarkable journey as a female entrepreneur, highlighting her resilience and determination, especially during the challenging fundraising process while pregnant. 

The conversation also explores the societal impact of Amelis, shedding light on the increasing popularity yet lingering stigma around egg freezing, the high costs involved, and how Amelis is championing women’s health by providing transparency and education. 



In This Episode

[00:01:40] – Backstory

[00:04:10] – Working in finance

[00:08:25] – Gender pay gap

[00:14:15] – Female representation

[00:16:55] – Founding Amelis

[00:22:00] – Fertility—personal and social perspectives

[00:30:30] – The male fertility factor

[00:32:55] – Egg freezing and age

[00:36:20] – Personal experience

[00:37:55] – Affordability and accessibility

[00:44:05] – Fundraising and entrepreneurial journey

[00:57:05] – Plans and ambitions

[01:00:20] – Competition and popularity

[01:03:55] – The increasing popularity of egg freezing in recent years

[01:07:15] – Global Dental Collective

[01:09:00] – Dentistry and mental health

[01:11:30] – Finding Amelis online


About Sarita Stefani

Women’s Health Ultimate Role Model winner 2024, Sarita Stefani, is the CEO and founder of Amilis, which supports women through the egg-freezing process. She is also an angel investor in life sciences, healthcare and medtech. 

Sarita Stephanie: It’s a societal problem, you know, like, it’s not that we want women [00:00:05] want to not be taken seriously or don’t ask for a pay rise. It’s a societal problem [00:00:10] that we have in our mind that, okay, I get I get a job, it’s okay enough for [00:00:15] me. You know, like we never brought into the position for centuries now to ask for more [00:00:20] while men do, you know, like we it will take years before we overcome this. [00:00:25] It’s happening, but it will take years. Because before we overcome this, and, you know, [00:00:30] like, now, if I offer a job to somebody, then negotiate with me. I will tell you, like, really? You have [00:00:35] to negotiate with me.

[VOICE]: This [00:00:45] is mind movers. Moving the conversation forward [00:00:50] on mental health and optimisation for dental professionals. Your [00:00:55] hosts Rhona Eskander and Payman Langroudi.

Rhona Eskander: Hi [00:01:00] everyone. Welcome back to another episode [00:01:05] of Mind Movers. Today we have the incredible Syreeta Stephanie, [00:01:10] who I am privileged to call my friend. I originally met her through Doctor Mahi, who I’m sure a lot of [00:01:15] you know who runs global dental Collective. Sweet is my favourite one. Jo King Mahi loves [00:01:20] you. Um, but Syreeta is an absolute force and we connected immediately [00:01:25] when we met because everything that Syreeta is about is something I really stand for within [00:01:30] female empowerment. She is an incredible mother and entrepreneur, [00:01:35] um, and just an absolute star in her own right. So welcome Syreeta.

Sarita Stephanie: Hey thank [00:01:40] you Rona. That’s very kind of you.

Rhona Eskander: I know we had a bond when we first met. Syreeta even said she was just like, Rona’s [00:01:45] my favourite dentist. So here we go.

Payman Langroudi: When did you first meet?

Rhona Eskander: Was it at the. I can’t [00:01:50] remember, maybe. Like. I think it was like a couple of years ago. No, it.

Sarita Stephanie: Was at your Christmas, your [00:01:55] family Christmas party, you know.

Rhona Eskander: Christmas. And obviously everyone was like crushing being like, who is that? Like gorgeous couple, [00:02:00] you know, and mercy and to walk through the door. So anyways, love at first sight. We became closer than [00:02:05] me and Mahi. So it’s all good and the rest is history.

Payman Langroudi: We start this podcast with how did Rona meet the guest? Just [00:02:10] the normal because he.

Rhona Eskander: Thinks I have such an array of friends. Like he’s like, how do you know this [00:02:15] person? No.

Sarita Stephanie: No, you’re just a very good vibe and good energy and people get attracted to you. [00:02:20] Yeah.

Rhona Eskander: Thank you. Okay, so Syreeta, the first thing is, is that I love to [00:02:25] start from the very beginning right now, so that people that are listening know. The reason why I invited [00:02:30] Syreeta is because she runs an incredible female platform [00:02:35] female business for egg freezing, and I was somebody that was an early adopter of egg freezing. [00:02:40] We had my dad on the podcast a few weeks ago talking about this, because he sat me down when I was 32 [00:02:45] and barely anyone was talking about it. He tried to have the conversation and people got really defensive. Some [00:02:50] people even got offended by the conversation. But before we go into your business, [00:02:55] can you tell us a little bit about who you are, how what career [00:03:00] you were doing before and a little bit about your background? Sure.

Sarita Stephanie: So I am Italian. [00:03:05] I was born and raised in Venice. I spent all my life [00:03:10] there. Then when I was 18, I moved to Milan. I actually studied history of art, so my [00:03:15] background is very artsy. Then I moved to London so that everybody was making money [00:03:20] in the finance space. So I decided, okay, that’s where I had to be. And I did [00:03:25] a master’s in finance, starting from scratch in English and everything. So it was quite challenging [00:03:30] as I haven’t even completed my master’s at Westminster in Finance, [00:03:35] that I got a job into the biggest brokerage firm in the world, worked [00:03:40] there for three years. He it was horrible, [00:03:45] the worst time of my life, the shittiest job somebody could have probably been a broker in. [00:03:50] Uh. Sorry, guys, but that’s true in a big brokerage firm, especially if you are a girl [00:03:55] in a trading floor with a thousand dudes. It was terrible. But [00:04:00] I always say that from there, I learned to how to be in an arena with lions [00:04:05] so and fight back. So there was a very good training for me. From there, [00:04:10] circumstances took me to work in the healthcare space, so I [00:04:15] started to work for many years after that into the big data [00:04:20] for pharmaceutical companies, biotech life science industry, which [00:04:25] is the biggest love of my life. So um, then from there, I then started Amelis. [00:04:30] I actually did an incubator that helped me a little bit to quit my very high paid job and [00:04:35] decided to do The Founder Life. And then I met my co-founder, [00:04:40] Yasmin on the way, and we started Amelie’s through our personal [00:04:45] fertility journey.

Rhona Eskander: Amazing. So there’s lots to unpack there. Now. First of all, working [00:04:50] in finance as a female, was that very you said it’s like working with a pack of lions. Would [00:04:55] you say that’s because of the way that you were treated, or do you think it’s just because the job entailed [00:05:00] you to come with sort of like a very masculine energy to the job?

Sarita Stephanie: There are [00:05:05] some elements to it, to to it. So I was [00:05:10] very good at my job and it was never enough [00:05:15] because I was because of I was one of the few girls on the trading floor. I had to fight [00:05:20] double and make double to just even being seen against like all of these [00:05:25] guys on the trading floor. So that was like very, very they prompt me to work more, [00:05:30] to do more and stuff. And then I became a bit more aggressive. And also I [00:05:35] would say when you are basically like in a very [00:05:40] male dominated environment, you start to act a bit [00:05:45] like a guy, you know, like like you start to like, okay, so yeah, let’s go out tonight and get [00:05:50] smashed. Okay. Yeah, you go with it because you have to somehow to survive. [00:05:55] So yeah, there were some elements to it that, you know, for survival have to. Be. [00:06:00] Do more. Be more. Be there earlier and everything. But at the same time also I [00:06:05] had to produce more than any other guy that was around me to earn their respect, because otherwise [00:06:10] they would have walked over me. Um.

Payman Langroudi: And you’d imagine in these situations [00:06:15] when you say you’re good at your job, it means you make more money than the next man. So [00:06:20] isn’t that what they’re looking at, how much money you’re making? Yeah, I.

Sarita Stephanie: Was not even making more money than any other [00:06:25] man because, uh, you know, sometimes, you know, it was, um, I had to do double [00:06:30] to be at the same level. So, you know, there’s some, um, something that I’m very big [00:06:35] advocate is that also, like equality at the working space is not the same [00:06:40] also in terms of salaries. Well, this.

Rhona Eskander: Is going to say I was just about to say the gender pay gap, which we’ve discussed [00:06:45] before, is the thing. I recently discovered that in dentistry there’s gender pay gap stuff, which [00:06:50] I thought was weird because I was like, well, associates and self-employed. I don’t know, it was weird. I just saw some [00:06:55] statistics. But I think what people say is like, for example, is that less females are likely [00:07:00] to own a practice. Less females are likely to do. I listen, I’m going off. The stats were shown. [00:07:05] I’m fine. I’m a boss woman. I own my own practice. We know that you know that. But [00:07:10] gender pay gap is a thing in the UK. If it was.

Payman Langroudi: Real, you’d only hire women, [00:07:15] wouldn’t we? And I’ve got 43 employees. 20 of them are men. Why wouldn’t I just hire [00:07:20] women if they’re cheaper?

Sarita Stephanie: No, but it’s real. Like in a big corporation. [00:07:25]

Payman Langroudi: In a women only.

Sarita Stephanie: Women in a big corporations, they don’t even display the salary [00:07:30] like it’s a fact in the in the corporate that was working before, I [00:07:35] was not able to disclose my salary to my colleagues because their salary [00:07:40] was double my salary. A lot of.

Payman Langroudi: Companies say that a lot of companies. No, no.

Sarita Stephanie: It’s it’s like it’s statistical. [00:07:45]

Payman Langroudi: You see what I’m saying? If, if, if, if it’s true that you can pay a woman less to do the same.

Rhona Eskander: Thing she’s saying, so.

Payman Langroudi: Why [00:07:50] wouldn’t they?

Rhona Eskander: Why wouldn’t you just.

Payman Langroudi: Hire women.

Rhona Eskander: And women? Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Why were there so many men there? They should hire [00:07:55] all women.

Sarita Stephanie: It’s also statistical proven that when you present a job to [00:08:00] a woman that has, I don’t know, 50 K salary per year, I’m just saying she will accept [00:08:05] it and men will negotiate like, it’s like statistically [00:08:10] proven as is. I don’t know why there’s in the UK government. I [00:08:15] don’t know, it’s just maybe something that we feel like okay, you know, like I, I [00:08:20] don’t deserve more like something in our minds. Okay. I’m content with that. So [00:08:25] now, you know, like I expect we are a female only team if anybody [00:08:30] doesn’t negotiate with me. Yeah. On purpose. Yes. I’m, um. Positively. [00:08:35] What was the word? Positive discriminating. I’m doing positive discrimination and I’m guilty. [00:08:40] Fuck it. I’m not. I don’t care. That’s how it is. I love her, that’s I [00:08:45] love that. That’s how it is. Also, there’s an element that, you know, like for the kind of business we’re doing [00:08:50] at the top of like the team, obviously we need to hire women [00:08:55] because they emphasise more with our mission and journey. Unless, you know, like there are very specific [00:09:00] cases which we haven’t met yet, we haven’t met yet cases of men, [00:09:05] or maybe they’re doing transgender or some changes there that emphasise [00:09:10] with the egg freezing and fertility mission. So it’s on purpose, both.

Payman Langroudi: Of your bosses. [00:09:15] I’m a boss, right. And it’s a sad truth of being a boss that the people who ask [00:09:20] for pay rises get pay rises more than people who don’t ask for pay [00:09:25] rises.

Rhona Eskander: I don’t know, like, listen to me. In my clinic everyone asks me for a pay rise, but I also. And every five [00:09:30] minutes. But like everyone. Yeah, everyone. Everywhere all the time. And the problem is as [00:09:35] well. Because what I have struggled with and unfortunately, like I think this is being a [00:09:40] female founder, which I will talk to, which will go on to Sarita, has been one of the biggest challenges in my [00:09:45] life. And I always thought to myself, naively, being a female founder, [00:09:50] if you assert your value and you are, you [00:09:55] know, you don’t have to go with aggressive work tactics, you can still [00:10:00] gain respect from your colleagues and your peers. But I’m actually wrong because also, like you said, [00:10:05] you have on purpose with the fact, with the business that you’ve built, you [00:10:10] have employed a lot of amazing, empowered females. In my job, I [00:10:15] didn’t do that in my clinic. You know, in any other businesses that I’ve been involved with, I just [00:10:20] kind of like had a team and I was like, oh, this is the way it is. And then I really understood the difficulties and the [00:10:25] power dynamics and the way that I’m spoken to is actually very different from [00:10:30] my previous boss, who was an older man. And the things they [00:10:35] say to me, the things they ask me, the way that they send messages, is completely different [00:10:40] than the way they spoke, because.

Payman Langroudi: You’re a woman.

Rhona Eskander: But I think it’s because but I have also found [00:10:45] it. And Sarita doesn’t have this problem. I’d like to have your input. I want to be liked. And [00:10:50] Jago said to me the other day, he said, get over it like you’re a boss. Like, not everyone’s [00:10:55] going to love you because sometimes I’m too afraid. So when people come and ask for. It’s [00:11:00] a go to Prav. I’m like, they’ve asked. And he goes, you don’t have to say yes. You know that. You don’t have [00:11:05] to say yes. But I find it a very difficult thing to assert my power. But also, have I been conditioned [00:11:10] as a woman to be nice and liked, which I don’t think you struggle with, but it’s certainly a struggle of mine.

Sarita Stephanie: But [00:11:15] I’ll tell you what I think about this. But also, like it’s a societal [00:11:20] problem, you know, like it’s not that we want women want to [00:11:25] not be taken seriously or don’t ask for a pay rise. It’s a societal problem that we have in our mind [00:11:30] that, okay, I get I get a job, it’s okay enough for me. You know, like we never [00:11:35] brought into the position for centuries now to ask for more while men do, you [00:11:40] know, like we it will take years before we overcome this. It’s happening, but it will [00:11:45] take years. Because before we overcome this, and, you know, like, now, if I offer a job [00:11:50] to somebody, then negotiate with me. I will tell you, like, really, you have to negotiate with me. Like, [00:11:55] for example, Dana, that, you know, like at the beginning we were like, okay, this is it. I’m like, no, I want more equities. [00:12:00] I want like a higher salary. I’m like, okay, yes. Like you get it, you know, like like just [00:12:05] because you ask you get it, you know, like and it’s fair, you know, it’s fair. But at [00:12:10] the end of the day, I don’t think it’s like we really want to I think it’s intrinsic [00:12:15] in our societal behaviour that we don’t go for more, we don’t ask for [00:12:20] more. I think it’s very intrinsic in how we behave right now as women. And [00:12:25] we are set back by by this, you know, like if you look at the statistic events that are like women [00:12:30] on the top of like big corporates, it’s increasing. Yes, but it’s still [00:12:35] very low. The numbers compared to men, which is, you know, we have a lot of work to do, but that’s how [00:12:40] it is.

Payman Langroudi: I’m not sure in my experience I’m not sure it’s a man woman issue. We have women who [00:12:45] ask and are very aggressive financially and we have men who don’t. Yeah. It’s [00:12:50] it’s it’s something that is I think it’s a character trait. And what I’m saying, as I [00:12:55] think as a teacher spawned that problem to go away in a way, somehow. Yeah. So you just think, oh, am I going [00:13:00] to lose this person? Yeah. Yeah. All of those things come into it. Um, but also.

Sarita Stephanie: Now there are some [00:13:05] rules around how, when you hire, I mean, maybe, you know, it’s, um, I’m not talking [00:13:10] in specific cases, but in a corporate, let’s say, for example, at [00:13:15] the brokerage firm I was working at, you have to when you interview [00:13:20] and you need new hires, you have to at least interview half women, half men, you [00:13:25] know, like, so like now some rules are coming up to it. You need [00:13:30] at least to interview half women, men, and then you offer the job to the most qualified candidate. [00:13:35] But you have to. So, you know, like so you offer to redress it a little. They’re trying to [00:13:40] redress this industry.

Payman Langroudi: Women women don’t don’t put themselves up as lecturers. [00:13:45]

Sarita Stephanie: Yeah.

Rhona Eskander: But let me talk about this because I am somebody that has lived through this within [00:13:50] the Dental arena. So I don’t know if you know this. The majority of dentists are actually female. Like it’s marginal [00:13:55] difference, but I think 55% are females, right. So there’s a lot more females. [00:14:00] You look at some of the biggest institutions and academies within the dental arena, and [00:14:05] you never see women at the forefront. I spend my life challenging people and [00:14:10] big people, and I say to them, this is great. Why don’t you have a female on your panel? Why don’t you have a lecturer on your [00:14:15] panel? Why haven’t you had a female president? Do da da da da da da da. And I asked them all the time. I always ask them [00:14:20] and they get a little bit miffed. I’ve told the story before about [00:14:25] Christian Coachman. Didn’t I tell you this many years ago? So there was [00:14:30] something called like the Instagram Dental stars or something like that, and it had like some of the most [00:14:35] prominent dentists on it, and they sent me a message saying, oh, do you want to sign [00:14:40] up? And I said, this is really great, but you don’t have. It’s sad that in this day and age, you don’t have a single female on your panel. [00:14:45] And apparently my message got sent in the like, WhatsApp group of the male panellists, and [00:14:50] they were kind of like laughing at me.

Rhona Eskander: Christian turned around and he said, Keep Christian. Christian is like [00:14:55] one of the most respected dentists in the world. He turned around and goes, I know Rhona and she’s [00:15:00] got 100% a point. And they were like, yeah, well, we might put like a female lecturer next year. He goes, [00:15:05] no, no, no, you’re going to do it now and you’re going to put her on the panel with all of us. And I got it. Now [00:15:10] in terms of what you said you were, you don’t ask, you don’t get. So people are asked, do you see what I mean? [00:15:15] I made the point. But I think that it is really challenging because people don’t do [00:15:20] enough. And you might say, well, you know, you’ve just got to put yourself out there. But it’s the same way that we’ve got to create the opportunities. [00:15:25] I think you make it to black and white, like when Black Lives Matters happened. A people [00:15:30] then really, really positively integrated black people [00:15:35] into so many different things campaigns, workplaces, etc. and I think that was a really positive movement. [00:15:40] And yes, we should shine a spotlight on those people because for so many years [00:15:45] they weren’t given opportunities. And I think that that’s still to come in some elements for women across [00:15:50] the board. It’s my view. Yeah.

Sarita Stephanie: I mean, for sure there’s a lot of work to [00:15:55] do. And you know, like again, I think I’m positive biased, like. The one we have [00:16:00] that we hire like top, top of our executive team will be only [00:16:05] women. And it’s decided if people hate me for this, I don’t give a fuck. [00:16:10] Like, seriously, whatever. Like, you know, like on on your point. You know, like, [00:16:15] do you like me or don’t like me, I don’t care. It’s okay. You know, like, we keep head up. We’re going. [00:16:20] We we have very clear what’s our mission. If some people get offended by talking [00:16:25] about egg freezing, why you’re getting offended. Seriously? Like, why are you getting offended? [00:16:30] It’s creating options for women. It’s not for you. Okay, maybe it’s for the next one where we keep [00:16:35] closing doors to people that maybe, for example, I’m talking about, like freezing this case or fertility [00:16:40] preservation or other fertility treatments or fertility testing. Why [00:16:45] are we closing down options to other people? That is, maybe it’s not your problem, [00:16:50] but maybe it’s a problem of somebody else. It’s all about creating options nowadays. So. [00:16:55]

Rhona Eskander: So let’s take a step back. So tell us about I always struggle. Say, Amelia. [00:17:00] Amelia. Amelia. So first tell us about the name, how you came up with the name. And I want us to I [00:17:05] want you to tell us what the platform does.

Sarita Stephanie: Yes. So Emily’s, um, [00:17:10] means a meal. Sorry. A meal means mother in Elvish. And [00:17:15] at the beginning, you know, when we were trying to come up with a name, we we were trying to make [00:17:20] an association with the word mother in different languages. And, you know, obviously in the fertility space, [00:17:25] it was widely used. So we tried to be a little bit, uh, [00:17:30] more creative, but also, you know, like we wanted to add a touch of magic to it [00:17:35] to be more female sounding like so. And then we came up with families, [00:17:40] and what we do is we cover the fertility [00:17:45] preservation journey from the beginning to the end for women, from exploring [00:17:50] your options, understanding where you are at, testing with one [00:17:55] of our partner facilities across the UK to holding hands of [00:18:00] women that wants to start the treatment and then they get on board. And in one of our partner clinics across [00:18:05] the country, we’re building a lot of services around the egg freezing and [00:18:10] fertility testing options. So stay tuned. We have something new that will come up that will [00:18:15] open up the market a lot and make the treatment more affordable for women out [00:18:20] there that wants to test, simply understand their fertility or go [00:18:25] through the entire treatment. And uh, also, we are, uh, [00:18:30] doing a lot of work in the awareness space because just, you know, with a simple £50 [00:18:35] test that you can do with one of our partner facility around [00:18:40] the country, you can discover if you have underlying condition and you can take [00:18:45] very conscious decision and you can basically women out there, they can take empowered [00:18:50] decision. And everything around Emily’s is free for the patients. So every patient [00:18:55] can go on Emily’s, browse their options understanding through our [00:19:00] blogs what’s the treatment, what are the costs and so on. So everything is very transparent. [00:19:05]

Rhona Eskander: I love that.

Payman Langroudi: Explain what it is exactly.

Sarita Stephanie: The so when you go on Emily’s for [00:19:10] example, you can book one of our one of the fertility tests, which is called AMH. [00:19:15] That gives you an indication of where you are, you know, your burn reserve. That’s [00:19:20] much more to it, but it gives you essentially an idea on where you are [00:19:25] on your on your ovarian reserve. It’s not an indicator if you are [00:19:30] getting pregnant or not. It just gives you an idea of how long you have. Essentially, [00:19:35] once you do the test, what you can do through Emily’s is that you have 20 [00:19:40] minutes free chats with one of our partner clinics. We partner with Lister [00:19:45] Great Portland Equal Area. We are taking numbers also like a new clinic in [00:19:50] Manchester. And then we have another clinic coming on board in centre of London. [00:19:55] You can chat for free with one of their doctors. Let’s [00:20:00] say for example, you want you are looking at Lister or IB. Well, if [00:20:05] you want more boutique experience, you go in the platform, you book a free consultation [00:20:10] with a doctor or an embryologist of one of the first specialists that this clinic offers [00:20:15] for free to our Emily’s user.

Sarita Stephanie: And then you chat with them. You [00:20:20] can ask any question you want and then from there we onboard you. We just launch [00:20:25] our app. You will be able to track your your journey, your medication, your [00:20:30] ovulation times like period. Literally everything through the Emily’s app. [00:20:35] And this app was designed from women to women. Uh, my co-founder [00:20:40] Yasmin, is a software engineer from from Imperial with great knowledge [00:20:45] of health care products. So she’s the one that built it. We have an in-house designer, [00:20:50] too, another woman that designed the entire app. So it’s very, very, [00:20:55] very patient, friendly, user friendly build from women to women. And this [00:21:00] app is free also. So any patient even doing treatments in other hospitals [00:21:05] or clinics can use this app. We’re launching it at the end of this month, so [00:21:10] like this week or next week. And from there, you will also be [00:21:15] able soon to be able to track where you’re at, where your eggs are frozen, [00:21:20] if you want to use them, what you have to do and basically like the post process [00:21:25] of egg freezing.

Payman Langroudi: What led you to actually coming to this business? Did you have [00:21:30] fertility issues yourself or was that the reason?

Sarita Stephanie: So it’s an [00:21:35] interesting question because as soon as I turned 30, I started to be a bit of heart attacks [00:21:40] for, uh, not joking wise, not hearted real heart attacks. But I started to like anxiety. [00:21:45] Anxiety about what I’m going to do now. Like, seriously, I don’t want to have any kids soon. [00:21:50] Uh, I mean, a long terme relationship, but probably soon. I was getting married and, [00:21:55] you know, I was like, oh, he’s younger than me. And what I’m going to do and all [00:22:00] of these kind of things. So I was asking myself a lot of questions on really, when am I actually [00:22:05] going to have a kid? Am I going to have a kid? So I basically [00:22:10] had this conversation with my husband now that at the time maybe we were not even engaged or something, [00:22:15] and we decided that I should we should have looked at fertility preservation [00:22:20] option. You have to consider that May. His father, uh, is [00:22:25] a fertility expert. He has a clinic. He’s a gynaecologist and has a clinic in Spain. [00:22:30] So as soon as he met me, the first meeting with [00:22:35] my father in law, he was like, I think you should freeze your eggs. Literally.

Rhona Eskander: That’s such a middle eastern thing. Like Payman [00:22:40] met my dad. My dad sat me down at 31 and was like, time to freeze [00:22:45] the eggs. I was like, today, like literally.

Sarita Stephanie: Same, same. He was like, he met me. [00:22:50] He was like. Like we were talking a month in New Zealand, a month here, mom. There. I was like, sorry, [00:22:55] um, I think we should freeze your eggs. I’m like, why are you even talking to me about this? Seriously? [00:23:00] Like, I’m 28, 29, whatever. I’m so young, like, uh uh, you’re not that young, like, [00:23:05] whatever. And from that process to actually, when I froze my eggs, I was like 32. [00:23:10] So I froze my eggs at 32 years old, [00:23:15] just turned 32. And, um, that really had a lot of anxiety from me and [00:23:20] considered that, again, I was like in a long terme relationship, you know, so I was [00:23:25] kind of like, okay, this guy for sure is going to be the father of my kid one day. And yeah, [00:23:30] I froze my eggs. I saw that the process was unnecessarily difficult. [00:23:35] And then even if I had a lot of support and I was surrounded by [00:23:40] gynaecologists, I was still alone, injecting myself, you know, like [00:23:45] trying to feel like what’s going on with my body, I feel bloated. Am I about to [00:23:50] am I about to die? Am I surviving? What’s going on? I feel like this. I feel like that I’m having [00:23:55] discharge and this is this normal? Is this not normal? You know, like, so like you’re basically go through [00:24:00] the process and it’s still very much unknown.

Sarita Stephanie: Like you walk blindly into a [00:24:05] treatment that you’re like, okay, uh, why I never knew about my fertility. [00:24:10] And to be fair, before that moment, I didn’t even know if I could have a child. [00:24:15] I never tested my fertility. I didn’t absolutely anything like I could be like, [00:24:20] maybe I infertile. Don’t know, maybe my window was already closed. I don’t know, you know, because [00:24:25] we don’t talk about this. You know, we always think, oh, I’m healthy. I could have a child. No, it’s not exactly. [00:24:30] It doesn’t really work like this. Or even my periods, you know, like I had good periods. But actually, [00:24:35] uh, for a period of my life, I was anorexic, and I didn’t have my period, you [00:24:40] know, so maybe that could have affected my fertility. So, you know, there’s there’s [00:24:45] a lot of factors that we don’t really talk about it with women at schools or even, [00:24:50] you know, like your mom doesn’t know about it. My mom is old style. You know, like, for my mom, [00:24:55] I could have 15 kids and will be fine, you know, like, so, like, actually my mom was like, [00:25:00] super against it. And at the end, like, I went, I walked into it and I’m very chill about [00:25:05] it.

Payman Langroudi: Why are people against it?

Rhona Eskander: I mean, look, I want to interject there because I can completely relate. And I think [00:25:10] like, because now I’m 37, like there’s a huge, huge like kind of pressure. But [00:25:15] I feel now I’m like, I keep thinking to myself, I’m so happy I froze my eggs [00:25:20] because if I have any problems now, I got such a great amount of eggs in 1 in [00:25:25] 1 go. I have a lot of people because when I came out and spoke about it five years ago, so [00:25:30] many people were like, thank you so much. Lots of people found it really brave. There was like this whole [00:25:35] stigma because it was like, oh, whoops, objection. The objection is, is that people think you’re going against nature. [00:25:40] And again, a societal problem. The problem is, is that people perceive women as baby making [00:25:45] machines. Think of Handmaid’s Tale if you’ve never seen it, you know the irony. You know we’re here to produce. We’re put on this earth to [00:25:50] produce and we’re given like fertility window. Now, realistically, you [00:25:55] know, having spoken to my father growing up, of course women do have a window for fertility and. Sadly, I’ve [00:26:00] even met women that said to me, I wish I froze my eggs because I got menopause at 33. It’s [00:26:05] really rare, but it can happen. And then she had like one egg and luckily she got pregnant with [00:26:10] that okay.

Rhona Eskander: But she went through a horrific period and she could only have that one child and super anxious. [00:26:15] Yeah. And and and these things happen. I think the reality is, is that [00:26:20] there is a little bit of a disconnect. And I think the disconnect is, is that where we are mentally [00:26:25] and our minds? To have a children is so different from where our bodies are physically. Right? Because you have to think even [00:26:30] cavemen times or Victorian times, people having children at like 15, right. You get your period at like 1112 [00:26:35] and then you expected to like push out children. Now women are like really wanting to invest in their career, [00:26:40] who they are before they can provide for a child. And I think that the economic situation [00:26:45] and the environment that we live in demands so much more for us to bring up a child like you [00:26:50] want to give your child a good life, like you know how expensive children are, you know you’ve got your own. So I think that there’s like that disconnect. [00:26:55] But I think ultimately a lot of people say, especially the old school women, well, [00:27:00] you left it this long, so it’s your fault. You left it this. You made the choice to leave it [00:27:05] this long. You didn’t pick a husband.

Payman Langroudi: Follow your career. Don’t.

Rhona Eskander: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. [00:27:10] You chose not to marry that person. You chose not to have this, etc. not recognising [00:27:15] that there are so many other factors. Because now having a child isn’t just about being fertile, it’s [00:27:20] about your socioeconomic status. It’s about, you know, the ability to give it [00:27:25] emotionally and love to be yourself. Like the best version of who you are, you know? And like, we [00:27:30] don’t talk about other issues, like women suffer from prenatal depression, postnatal depression, like there’s so [00:27:35] many other things. You know, we had Amy on this podcast, she suffered from hyper can [00:27:40] never say the name hyper something gravidarum. And basically she almost and some women [00:27:45] terminate the child because they get a type of sickness way worse than morning sickness the whole way through the [00:27:50] pregnancy. So she lost, I don’t know, like ten kilos, and she’s already tiny because [00:27:55] she was vomiting from start to finish, but the baby still gets all the nutrients and apparently [00:28:00] was in hospital the whole pregnancy, the whole nine months. And some women have to terminate because it gets [00:28:05] that bad, and because some of them even are so depleted from their own stuff. So there’s a lot of things [00:28:10] around it that I think that have so many stigmas. We expect women to just be okay. And I think the fact that we’re not having [00:28:15] conversations about the complexity around fertility makes things much harder. [00:28:20]

Sarita Stephanie: Yeah. And also, I tell you that this is like from our statistics, women [00:28:25] that use amylase, 80% of our patients users are single. [00:28:30] So it’s not even you just want to delay motherhood for career purposes [00:28:35] or stuff, like you just haven’t met the partner that you want to have a child from, [00:28:40] you know, like so. And I was recently looking at some stats, data [00:28:45] on medical studies, mostly more like the highest number of [00:28:50] women that were single when they froze their eggs. So, you know, like you do it just to give yourself [00:28:55] some option. Maybe in the future if you met your partner to to be [00:29:00] able to become a parent. But also like in terms of fertility, we [00:29:05] always talk about the woman. But 50% of the equation is also the men. And [00:29:10] you know, like it’s I was looking at another study. This firm [00:29:15] quality has declined of 50% in the past 50 years.

Rhona Eskander: My dad gave [00:29:20] us a statistic that, you know, after the millions of spum, they get rejected. Remember, 4% [00:29:25] are only good quality where they like, you know, the tail and the head and everything is all like, fine, it’s [00:29:30] only 4%. I was blown away, you know, by that.

Payman Langroudi: Is it half and half and. No.

Rhona Eskander: What she [00:29:35] means she’s saying there’s another person. Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: Statistically. What is it like she said.

Rhona Eskander: Like almost. [00:29:40]

Sarita Stephanie: 50 over 50. Yeah. It’s like always like a there’s a 50% [00:29:45] male in the equation. No, I know that.

Payman Langroudi: But most of the issues due to the man or the.

Sarita Stephanie: Woman, 50% [00:29:50] of IVF cases fail because of the men. So it’s like [00:29:55] we can say it’s 5050, okay, essentially. So it’s like we have to [00:30:00] look at like now they started to look at the sperme quality, mobility numbers, [00:30:05] etc., etc. but before it was like just perception that the woman was infertile, [00:30:10] you know, because families.

Payman Langroudi: Have a male section as well.

Sarita Stephanie: Not yet. We will we will start [00:30:15] hiring.

Rhona Eskander: I think that needs to be talked about because in the same, in the same way that [00:30:20] society blames the woman. I think that also for men, they can find it really [00:30:25] like Damascus dating to be like it’s my firm. That’s the issue. And I think that conversation. [00:30:30] Yeah. Look, don’t give me that scowl look like it’s like all the.

Payman Langroudi: Conversations that you say are a problem. I [00:30:35] just can’t believe they’re a problem.

Rhona Eskander: Oh, of course.

Payman Langroudi: Even even even.

Rhona Eskander: The woman will be okay with you being [00:30:40] like, it’s your problem. I don’t think a lot of men will have an issue with that or wouldn’t even want to get tested.

Sarita Stephanie: Yeah, [00:30:45] but there is. A lot of men don’t want to address that and they don’t want to get tested. And also [00:30:50] we’ve seen that usually if the man gets tested is because of the woman [00:30:55] pushing the men to test.

Payman Langroudi: But maybe he doesn’t want kids. Maybe that’s what it is. No.

Rhona Eskander: You’re making a black mark. [00:31:00] Again?

Sarita Stephanie: It’s personal reason, [00:31:05] but at the end of the day, like 50% of the equation is the men. You know, like, [00:31:10] so like of people going through IVF treatment and 1 in 6 couples as fertility problems [00:31:15] for the man or the woman, 1 in 6. So it’s a big number.

Payman Langroudi: The people who go [00:31:20] for IVF treatment, what percentage of them are successful in having a kid?

Sarita Stephanie: It really depends. Is it.

Payman Langroudi: Low? [00:31:25]

Sarita Stephanie: It depends on the age, uh, of like, uh, both of the couples [00:31:30] independence from a lot of factors. I can tell you that regarding egg [00:31:35] freezing, the success rate is widely dependent on the age of the [00:31:40] woman. So, like, egg freezing is just a woman freezing their eggs. So we have built, actually in [00:31:45] America, a fertility calculator for for the woman. And for example, [00:31:50] like if we take Kim, Kourtney Kardashian, she froze her eggs at 39 and [00:31:55] she had seven eggs.

Rhona Eskander: Can I just interject then? This is what I always say. I froze my eggs at 32 [00:32:00] and I got 19 healthy eggs in one go. Got 18 when my friend. Exactly. [00:32:05] So look. And our age was then when my friends freeze at 3839. Bumped [00:32:10] into someone the other day. Dentist. She’s 38 and she said to me, I just froze my eggs because it was horrific [00:32:15] and I only got six eggs. So the younger you do it, the younger freeze the quality and [00:32:20] the quantity is better when you do it younger. Sad truth. But tell me about.

Payman Langroudi: The actual process, [00:32:25] the treatment.

Rhona Eskander: Well, let’s just finish. Yeah, yeah.

Sarita Stephanie: So like if we take, we build [00:32:30] this in in families, you find this calculator that we built based on [00:32:35] historical data from one of the clinic we work with. So like this is like, backed [00:32:40] by 2000 cycles, even more than a thousand cycles of egg freezing. So [00:32:45] like if, for example, Kourtney Kardashian has mentioned she froze her eggs [00:32:50] of 39 and she got seven eggs and she was not able [00:32:55] to have a live birth after her exam, fortunately.

Rhona Eskander: So Kourtney Kardashian froze her [00:33:00] eggs at 39, but she didn’t end up using her frozen eggs. It wasn’t successful. [00:33:05] Did it have anything to do with her age?

Sarita Stephanie: Yes it did, and her chances of success [00:33:10] were 29% if she had frozen or eggs. At 32 years old, [00:33:15] her chances of success were 60%. At 30 years old, 80%. [00:33:20] So age is a massive factor for live births. How do you.

Payman Langroudi: Know [00:33:25] about Kourtney Kardashian’s numbers of actors?

Rhona Eskander: Well, I think according I think their website does have [00:33:30] a fertility calculator. Do you want to tell us a little bit about the fertility calculator and how you created it? Yes. [00:33:35]

Sarita Stephanie: So we created this fertility calculator based on thousands of cycle with one of our [00:33:40] partner clinic. So based on the age you should freeze [00:33:45] a minimum of 15 eggs. For example, on average women freeze [00:33:50] 9.5 eggs, which is not enough to have a successful [00:33:55] live birth depending on your age.

Rhona Eskander: So let’s talk about this, right? Because even my dad said to me, he [00:34:00] was like, if you’re not going to have children soon, we need to do another cycle. And I was like, listen, we don’t need to [00:34:05] do another cycle. So with my 19 eggs, in theory, how many [00:34:10] rounds could I have? Now you have.

Sarita Stephanie: A live birth out of your eggs at 32 for sure. Yeah, you have [00:34:15] like 80%.

Rhona Eskander: So now let’s say I have problems. Let’s just say like I’m a use by date.

Payman Langroudi: Like do [00:34:20] they.

Rhona Eskander: Hilarious. Did you hear that? Is there an expiry date on the eggs.

Sarita Stephanie: That you can store [00:34:25] them for 55 years? Storage?

Payman Langroudi: Five years?

Rhona Eskander: I have to pay storage just by, you know, like [00:34:30] every year. But my question for you is this. So if now let’s say I have a problem conceiving, [00:34:35] which could happen, it’s the reality. I’m 37 and I decide to use the eggs. [00:34:40] What’s the what would be like the chances? I know you’re saying you’ll definitely get alive, [00:34:45] but what would the statistics show? Like how many eggs should be stored to [00:34:50] ensure that you have a good chance of one live birth?

Sarita Stephanie: We start at 32 [00:34:55] with 19 eggs. You have 95% chance of a live birth. If you want [00:35:00] two kids, 81% chance of having two kids, two live births. Okay, [00:35:05] so if you if you’re 32 and you have only five eggs, you will still have 50% [00:35:10] chance of success. Based on our fertility calculator, which is show [00:35:15] the biggest impact on age when you go and freeze your eggs.

Rhona Eskander: So my other question for you is is [00:35:20] there a difference in quality?

Sarita Stephanie: Of course, when you’re younger you call the quality of the egg is higher. [00:35:25] When you get over 35, the quality deteriorates.

Rhona Eskander: I think also [00:35:30] what I find quite difficult is there’s also and again, I’m making a judgement that a lot of [00:35:35] women struggle with the concept of freezing their eggs at like 30 because they’re like, I’m going to meet someone [00:35:40] in the next five years, of course I’m going to meet someone. And they almost and they almost, [00:35:45] they almost don’t want to put a like stigma on themselves, do you know what I mean? And [00:35:50] then they reach 38 and they’re like, I still haven’t met that person. And then that’s when it becomes [00:35:55] more challenging and then it pushes them to freeze, and it’s almost like it’s not too late. Some people do it and they’re [00:36:00] fine. But your chances? It’s an insurance policy, and your chances of getting healthier [00:36:05] eggs and a better quantity and quality is better when you’re younger. Yeah, that’s [00:36:10] for sure.

Sarita Stephanie: Like age is a is a big factor. You have to consider. Another thing we talk about before [00:36:15] a lot about the stress of freezing the eggs and the journey that it can, I.

Rhona Eskander: Hate it, [00:36:20] I was so sick afterwards. Here we go.

Sarita Stephanie: For me was the same. Actually, I didn’t feel too [00:36:25] sick during the journey, but afterwards it was not cool. Like I was not feeling [00:36:30] fantastic, you know? Like it was like more the week after. I was like very heavy, [00:36:35] very tired, bloated. It was not fun at all. But, you know, still it there. [00:36:40] It could obviously, you know. Yeah.

Rhona Eskander: So I like you was already in a committed [00:36:45] relationship, but I was very focussed on my career and I was just felt that I wasn’t ready. Went on the recommendation [00:36:50] of my dad. I found it very empowering going for the scans and looking at my hormones. My [00:36:55] AMH was 12, so I was like on the very low end of healthy. So not like awful because I’ve [00:37:00] met friends of mine. Today I bumped into a friend of mine that’s been doing IVF for like three years, and her AMH [00:37:05] was like 0.7 or something. So it’s super, super low. And we looked [00:37:10] at like the different sides of the ovaries, etc.. And I found it really empowering knowing my numbers, [00:37:15] because I just feel like you’ve got the knowledge to know where you’re at. And then, like you, I had to [00:37:20] do the injections, work in between. Found it fine. I’m a fairly, fairly healthy person. The day they took [00:37:25] the eggs, fine. And then the next day, like the symptoms started coming up, I was really emotional. I [00:37:30] put on eight kilos. I. Can you believe it? Really? Wow. Afterwards, I don’t know when my stomach [00:37:35] was like this, like, can you imagine? And like going from having, like a flat stomach. It was really like it really damaged my [00:37:40] mental health as well, the way that I looked and felt etc. and then I actually caught Covid two weeks [00:37:45] later. So all of those symptoms made me feel a lot worse. It’s not for the light hearted. It’s [00:37:50] not like, hey, I’m just going to go and like, freeze my eggs. I think you’ve got to consider all these factors.

Payman Langroudi: How much [00:37:55] does it cost?

Sarita Stephanie: Exactly? And then another thing that I want to say is that cost, [00:38:00] it’s a big factor affecting also this anxiousness that you have because the [00:38:05] treatment is not cheap. One cycle in London is between 5500 [00:38:10] pounds to £6,000 one cycle. Considering. Again, depending [00:38:15] on your age, you need a number of eggs, depending [00:38:20] on your age, to be sure that you will have a live birth right? So you maybe have to do multiple cycles [00:38:25] depending on your age level, your age, and so on. So, you know, like it’s really [00:38:30] a game of doing it many times and getting as many eggs as you can [00:38:35] to be sure that you have a live birth, but it can go up to £10,000, £12,000 [00:38:40] per cycle.

Rhona Eskander: So imagine how many cycles you’ve got to do. So one thing I’m [00:38:45] going to say is there’s a little bit of criticism. There’s an incredible doctor influencer. I think [00:38:50] she’s got a million followers. She’s amazing. And she basically did a one year memory [00:38:55] reel about her egg freezing, which she did. And then she had to, like, put all of these warnings on [00:39:00] there to be like, I know that I’m in a place of extreme privilege, because what I was seeing was, is that [00:39:05] people were trolling her to be like, this is an extremely privileged thing to do to freeze [00:39:10] your eggs. And, you know, she obviously recognises that. Now, does amylase help [00:39:15] women that feel that they can’t afford it? What financial support do you provide? [00:39:20] What have you got to say for people that are like, I can barely feed myself, let alone freeze my eggs? My sister [00:39:25] definitely couldn’t afford it. The only reason she could do it is because of my dad.

Sarita Stephanie: Wonderful point. [00:39:30] So we are launching something like, I’m not going to say I’m not going to do [00:39:35] a spoiler alert because this is happening in the next quarter. We work very hard [00:39:40] to make sure that we open up the market with a possibility for women [00:39:45] to pay their treatment. So we’re going to really, like, be the game changers [00:39:50] in this space, because we’re going to offer this option that nobody does out there, and [00:39:55] we’re going to make the treatment affordable for women that can’t pay five, 5500 [00:40:00] pounds. So this is coming. Something else that we do today [00:40:05] is go out there like if clinics unfortunately, you know, like they have to charge [00:40:10] for their bit more for their scan and their test and they have a fertility package. [00:40:15] If you have a fertility test with us, for example, you get to pay £50. [00:40:20] £50 is pretty accessible. And this is part of our mission to make only [00:40:25] even the testing affordable. So that’s a big mission that we have. And [00:40:30] just to.

Rhona Eskander: Interject, Payman, just so you don’t know, the testing itself could cost a few hundred pounds.

Sarita Stephanie: Alone, could cost [00:40:35] like £250. And something else that we do is like get the like get to speak [00:40:40] with one of our specialists at the clinics. If this bag freezing is at the top of your [00:40:45] mind or at the back of your mind, and you know, like these people, they offer their time also [00:40:50] for free because they want to raise awareness out there. So that’s something that [00:40:55] we are our mission to make the treatment more affordable. But yeah, something that I, for example, [00:41:00] that I spend a lot of money at the beginning of my journey was understanding which clinic I wanted [00:41:05] to go to, which is something that, you know, like also why we built Emily’s to give the possibility [00:41:10] to women to get to speak to two different, uh, clinic, for [00:41:15] example, understand? Okay, have more connection with this doctor. I’m going to I want to do this treatment [00:41:20] with this doctor rather than this other doctor. And, you know, like, this is like all the clinics in London [00:41:25] that are approved by the HIV Aids are wonderful clinic. It’s just a matter of feelings of like, okay, [00:41:30] I like more, uh, doctor this rather than doctor because I feel more [00:41:35] comfortable and it’s fair, you know, like or I don’t know, I’m Italian, for example. And I was [00:41:40] very stuck in my mind that I wanted a Spanish doctor. Yeah. You know, so I was looking [00:41:45] around like, okay, do you have a Spanish doctor that I can arrange? My woman, woman Spanish doctor [00:41:50] that I can freeze my eggs with? And I know I was speaking with an English person or whatever. No, [00:41:55] no, no offence, but I was like, okay, I want a Spanish doctor. So I was going around and, you know, like shop [00:42:00] around clinics, but every time you spend £250, £300 and I spend like thousands [00:42:05] just trying to find my doctor and families, you can find your doctor for free. [00:42:10] So essentially it’s a.

Rhona Eskander: Platform that helps educate, connect and just helps make the process much easier, [00:42:15] which I think is absolutely like pivotal because a lot of people find it really challenging. [00:42:20] Um, I.

Payman Langroudi: Think all of healthcare is difficult. More difficult [00:42:25] than we realise are difficult. Yeah.

Rhona Eskander: And people think the NHS is so accessible. [00:42:30] It’s so not.

Payman Langroudi: Well, let’s say we’ve got friends who are doctors [00:42:35] left, right and centre I mean we. Yeah of course dental school and, you know, um, family [00:42:40] member was having an operation. I had access to doctors in that field right [00:42:45] at the top of that field. And yet there were times where you felt in the dark, you didn’t [00:42:50] know what was, what complication was going on or whatever. So in this situation where [00:42:55] it’s so emotive as well. Yeah, you can imagine how it’s so necessary.

Sarita Stephanie: I mean, the Hfea, [00:43:00] which is the regulatory entity in this country for fertility clinics and the fertility [00:43:05] space, they recently published numbers saying that the very [00:43:10] few couples qualify. Few heterosexual couples and same sex couples [00:43:15] qualify for NHS funding to go through fertility treatments. And I think [00:43:20] the rate of accessibility from the NHS for the NHS for [00:43:25] the dropped -17% in England, 36% in [00:43:30] Wales and like minus one in Scotland. So, you know, like accessibility to fertility [00:43:35] treatment for the NHS has dropped drastically. But people in fertility treatment are increasing, [00:43:40] which means like that. People are going above and beyond to try to find money to become [00:43:45] parents. And this is like this is number from the regulatory entity [00:43:50] of the facility space. Tell us a.

Payman Langroudi: Little bit more about the entrepreneur journey for you. Yeah, [00:43:55] because I remember the first time we met in Edinburgh, you were just in [00:44:00] the incubator. You just started in the incubator.

Rhona Eskander: Yeah, we really want to know because I actually was going to ask you, Sarita, [00:44:05] I’m going to ask you now live in front of, like, our 10,000 listeners or whatever it is. Am I allowed to do, come and spend [00:44:10] the day at work with you? Because I want to come and learn from you, like, genuinely, of course, because I find, [00:44:15] you know, one thing Sarita said to me, like she supported me from day one and she was like, I’ll never support [00:44:20] businesses that actually, like, get rid of women or treat women badly. And she’s been like a huge kind of [00:44:25] like cheerleader and support for me in the background of things. And I find it really. Inspiring the way she’s done [00:44:30] this. And I think a lot of people would like to know, like, first of all, like leaving a corporate job, starting on your [00:44:35] own fundraising, etc.. So tell us a bit about that.

Sarita Stephanie: So I was in the incubator when you met me, and [00:44:40] that really helped me to quit my job because, you know, like, I mean, what.

Rhona Eskander: Is an incubator? [00:44:45]

Payman Langroudi: It’s Start-Up incubator. Yeah.

Rhona Eskander: Explain. What does it mean.

Sarita Stephanie: They help you [00:44:50] coming up with an MVP, you meet other minimum viable. Like how do you.

Rhona Eskander: Find [00:44:55] an incubator like.

Payman Langroudi: Incubators.

Rhona Eskander: Are you just Google it.

Sarita Stephanie: There are a few around London. [00:45:00] Yeah.

Payman Langroudi: So Y Combinator is the most famous one.

Rhona Eskander: Okay, fine.

Sarita Stephanie: Loads of like, uh, for example, [00:45:05] Entrepreneur First is an incubator and they’re very big in the health care space. For example, they have a lot of [00:45:10] doctors, dentists that build like companies through entrepreneurs. First [00:45:15] they wanted it was not this one was another one. But basically they help you [00:45:20] having an idea on what you need to build a Start-Up. Right? And also like they help you [00:45:25] with connection. You can meet your co-founder there if you want. If you don’t have for example, [00:45:30] like a network of founders around you and they tell you, okay, pick somebody that has complementary [00:45:35] skills to you and all these kind of things. Essentially, they help you like understanding [00:45:40] the business model, what investors are looking for, building a pitch deck that you know is appealing to [00:45:45] investors. So all of these sort of kind of things. So I finished it, I finished the incubator. [00:45:50] And then from there, you know, like I was still trying to understand what which [00:45:55] direction to take with the company because at the beginning it was like Fertility Road. And I was alone [00:46:00] because I didn’t meet my co-founder during this process. So then I did a bit of research [00:46:05] and a friend name dropped Yasmin, my actual co-founder. [00:46:10] So like I brought to her, she helped me like build an MVP. And then actually [00:46:15] at the beginning, also at the beginning of the journey, I was partnering with somebody else. Unfortunately, you know, like our, [00:46:20] uh, direction were a bit taken different. We were taking a bit different direction. So we [00:46:25] I departed from him. Obviously we’re still on good terms. And then I got into [00:46:30] more working with Yasmin full time. She quit her job, and now we are obviously [00:46:35] co-founders.

Payman Langroudi: Um, MVP, minimum viable product.

Sarita Stephanie: Minimum viable product. Yes. So [00:46:40] we had the she built Yasmin build our minimum viable product, which means, [00:46:45] you know, like that women were able to go into like sort of a platform [00:46:50] booking their chat with the doctors and everything, you know, like just to validate our [00:46:55] concept and idea and that obviously, like today we’re way bigger than that. But, uh, [00:47:00] at the beginning, you know, like it was just, uh, to see if actually there was a need in the market, a minimum viable [00:47:05] product to see people were booking through it and the clinic were using it. So there was like, [00:47:10] um, it’s a very important process before you build a product and you pull [00:47:15] resources, you see if you have traction in the market, which is like the base of building [00:47:20] a Start-Up, essentially. So after that, we did that, we decided that we needed funding [00:47:25] for marketing. Be out there more, you know, like into you can’t just do everything. So we need [00:47:30] also like to hire some people, a marketing person and so on. So we went out there and did fundraising [00:47:35] and uh, I actually was pregnant during fundraising. So [00:47:40] yeah, I got pregnant and it was December that I got pregnant. [00:47:45] And in January we started conversation for fundraising. So in March, it was official [00:47:50] actually, that, you know, like I was February March, it was official that I was pregnant. And, you know, like I started [00:47:55] sharing it with the team and everybody. And at the beginning, I was not telling any investor [00:48:00] that I was pregnant because I was scared. Um, I was scared that somebody would [00:48:05] like, judged or, you know, like that somebody could be like, oh, this woman is not is gonna have, uh, and [00:48:10] I’m quoting one investor. This woman is going to have it as a hobby [00:48:15] rather than a company, because now she’s going to have a baby. And I received this comment, [00:48:20] you know, like, so this is like this real, real, real comment I received from an [00:48:25] investor. Like, I’m like, you make sure you send everyone to be.

Payman Langroudi: Honest, be honest, be [00:48:30] honest. Yeah, yeah. If, if, if a, if a receptionist practice manager [00:48:35] job was going at your practice and someone came and said. I want the shot. But [00:48:40] I’m pregnant. I was afraid it would affect you, would affect you, would affect you would. It would affect you.

Rhona Eskander: But [00:48:45] listen. Have you seen. I don’t even think about it. Um, Payman. Because all of my, you know, the [00:48:50] first of all, my team, which, by the way, I’ve had TV channels approach me for this. Absolutely [00:48:55] love the diversity in my team. I have had diversity because I do not discriminate. You were going. [00:49:00]

Payman Langroudi: To hire someone who was going to be away very soon. That’s kind of what the investor is saying in a way. [00:49:05] I hear you, I hear you.

Sarita Stephanie: I actually will hire her just because you take. [00:49:10]

Payman Langroudi: Money from men.

Sarita Stephanie: From women. I actually.

Rhona Eskander: Mandate.

Sarita Stephanie: Pregnant [00:49:15] women out there. You can come to Emily’s and I will hire you. Yeah, okay.

Rhona Eskander: Chelsea Dental don’t [00:49:20] apply to enlighten me. I will hire.

Sarita Stephanie: You. But, you [00:49:25] know, like, so, like that’s the reality. This is, you know, also, the UK government [00:49:30] pays you for the salary that a pregnant woman is out. So, you know, like [00:49:35] this country is not bad for on this for pregnancy and [00:49:40] stuff. They don’t pay you like probably so much. But you know like a company is receive incentive [00:49:45] from the UK government when a woman is out for pregnancy and ultimately ultimately [00:49:50] pregnant women are doing a favour to the humanity to keep the the humanity [00:49:55] going because we are becoming infertile. This is a.

Payman Langroudi: Crisis right now.

Rhona Eskander: Can I ask? Yeah, so that’s a good point, [00:50:00] actually. Um, isn’t it becoming a crisis now because less women are having [00:50:05] children? And do you think that’s because of choice? And is it? But surely this is just a problem in the Western world, right. Because I’m assuming [00:50:10] places like India and Africa, like people are still having lots of children? No.

Sarita Stephanie: Well, average age [00:50:15] of women having kids is increasing every day in the [00:50:20] Western world is 31 years old for a woman and also 30 for a man. So it’s not like [00:50:25] that’s 20s in my point.

Payman Langroudi: Because the average age is going up in average. Yeah, fewer [00:50:30] people are having as many children I see. So for that reason. Yeah.

Sarita Stephanie: Also I cost of [00:50:35] living and societal pressures all like you know there’s.

Rhona Eskander: There’s it’s really interesting because [00:50:40] I’m seeing more and more women and like really like strong, powerful, beautiful women. One [00:50:45] I’m thinking of like she’s stunning. So like what you think is stunning. Like this beautiful, beautiful, [00:50:50] beautiful. Um, she’s this, uh, Russian influencer. And she basically [00:50:55] came out there and, like, her TikTok was like, I don’t want to have kids, and I’ve never wanted [00:51:00] to have kids. And she’s actually an only child, and she talks about the fact that she doesn’t want children. And [00:51:05] the comments are like some of the comments, they’re like, oh, save this video so that you’re crying yourself [00:51:10] to bed when you’re like 39 years old and your life has no purpose. But what’s most perplexing [00:51:15] about it, just wait for it, is that other women, especially the women that have children, [00:51:20] troll her being like, I have three children. It’s my whole purpose in life. And I’m like, that’s [00:51:25] great. But not everybody wants to follow the same journey. But again, like, people don’t [00:51:30] give space. And then there were other women that were jumping in and saying, I’m 45. I decided [00:51:35] not to have them in my 30s and I’ve never regretted the decision. Does that make sense? And I think it’s like, interesting [00:51:40] how also more and more women are saying just because I can have children doesn’t mean I want to [00:51:45] now.

Sarita Stephanie: But also I want to. Going back to the point. So would you rather [00:51:50] not hire somebody that is super qualified and be out of work for like six [00:51:55] months and hire somebody else? That’s then average? Yeah, that is, I [00:52:00] don’t know, less qualified or average that will go above and beyond in the job just because it’s [00:52:05] just hiring someone you need.

Payman Langroudi: Sometimes you need someone at that point when you’re.

Sarita Stephanie: Saying, okay, you can find a replacement for [00:52:10] six months. There are a lot of people out there that can find a replacement for six months. It would be a bit more costly, but you won’t make [00:52:15] a huge a huge impact on the society.

Payman Langroudi: You just said you’re not going to hire men.

Sarita Stephanie: Yeah, [00:52:20] I’m.

Payman Langroudi: Not going to super qualified, super qualified.

Sarita Stephanie: For the job.

Rhona Eskander: Take money from a man. As [00:52:25] he said.

Sarita Stephanie: Um, I’m going to hire a man. A certain point, not in the [00:52:30] executive team, I’m sorry, not in the executive team.

Payman Langroudi: Super qualified for the job.

Sarita Stephanie: Well, [00:52:35] I haven’t met any yet. Also that are so that knows [00:52:40] the process of egg freezing yet. We have on the board doctors gynaecologists. There are men [00:52:45] respect my dad. So yes we have doctors that are male but you know like that’s [00:52:50] a different kind of, uh, doctors. Yeah, there’s a different kind of a [00:52:55] doctor. I will hire a doctor, a male doctor. We haven’t received any application yet. But, you know, [00:53:00] in terms of business wise, like a head of marketing or a CMO, no chances [00:53:05] we were going to hire a man. But because also there’s an emphasis [00:53:10] on women and so on, like. So it’s the face of of Amelia’s [00:53:15] head of marketing. It does make a lot of sense. Tourism is a is a woman. [00:53:20] So, you know, like, yeah, we’re doing positive bias on this for sure. We’re going to hire a man, [00:53:25] but maybe for other job, maybe as uh, in the finance department when we build one [00:53:30] for sure. Uh, we have a lot of men in the as a gynaecologist in the board. [00:53:35] Yes.

Payman Langroudi: Tell us about the business model. So you take the money from the clinic?

Sarita Stephanie: Yes. Then we charge [00:53:40] clinics. It’s, uh, only the. Yeah, we just basically charge clinics [00:53:45] because for the patients is the process is all free.

Payman Langroudi: And where are you at as far [00:53:50] as funding? Yeah. Runway. Yeah. Stability.

Sarita Stephanie: So like I was mentioning, sorry I didn’t [00:53:55] finish my conversation on the fundraiser. So we did the fund raise while I was pregnant. [00:54:00] At the end of the day, we had this, uh, our lead investor is Ascension is [00:54:05] a venture capital firm that I really like, and [00:54:10] they are great supporters. Also like, when I like, actually met them when [00:54:15] I was pregnant and they couldn’t give a list back that I was pregnant. You know, like the guy that, like, all the [00:54:20] team believed, like they didn’t even notice, you know, like. And that’s how it should be, you know, like, we should [00:54:25] normalise this, you know, like, it’s gonna, like, eventually a woman has the possibility [00:54:30] or maybe, of course, to, to carry a child. We know it. That’s [00:54:35] it is 50% of the population. Let’s just go through it, you know, like it’s like how it is. It’s how it [00:54:40] is. So they are our lead investor. And the rest of the investment we’re seeing, which was in total [00:54:45] our pre-seed round, 650,000. They were angels, friends and family. [00:54:50] And our board of investors is voluntarily 50% women, 50% men. [00:54:55] And we felt very like I really felt very high for it because [00:55:00] I wanted to have women on, on in the investment team. Now [00:55:05] we’re raising a seed round and we’re [00:55:10] raising in region to 4 to 5 million. This will be for [00:55:15] expansion, geographical expansion out of the UK. And this will also be to be [00:55:20] able to implement new features, for example, the one that we’re launching, uh, to [00:55:25] integrate with our platform, the tech team and so on. So it will be a lot of other services [00:55:30] we’re gonna use to make the treatment more widespread and fertility, um, testing [00:55:35] also more, uh, accessible.

Rhona Eskander: Do you think your finance background helped [00:55:40] you run a business? Because that’s what I hear, you know, and I think, like a lot of dentists recently [00:55:45] have been going into, like, the more entrepreneurial space, [00:55:50] um, not talking about running practices per se, but, you know, doing things that are different, like more and more people are doing things like [00:55:55] The Apprentice, like, do you know, I mean, they want to be doing like these different things, but I actually think [00:56:00] that sometimes they’re totally lost on what to do because dentistry is like running [00:56:05] a practice is very different from like having a Start-Up. I think that and I hear a lot of your [00:56:10] like, finance brain kind of like really helping you. And I’m sure that you’re one of the strongest [00:56:15] on your team at, you know, doing all the investment, raising etc. side of things.

Sarita Stephanie: Yeah, [00:56:20] I’m, I, I’m currently the chief executive officer of office in [00:56:25] Amelia. So I do all the commercial side fundraising numbers and stuff, even [00:56:30] though I hate numbers. Like it’s not really, but I’m very quick in assessing [00:56:35] things, you know?

Rhona Eskander: So it’s like y’all got some. Sure. Because of like the background.

Sarita Stephanie: It’s natural, you know, like [00:56:40] it comes like, you know, like if you give me something, I, I just look at it and I know what we [00:56:45] have to do. I want to do it. It’s boring. I don’t like it, but I know what [00:56:50] to do, you know, like, so that’s how it is. And now Yasmin does all the product and technical [00:56:55] bits, coding, all that sort of thing. Which is she a developer? She’s [00:57:00] a developer.

Payman Langroudi: In that pre-seed round. How many people did you have to see before someone made [00:57:05] an investment?

Sarita Stephanie: We received like, uh, maybe 200 rejections from [00:57:10] a venture capital? Yeah, yeah, from VCs or and then [00:57:15] individuals as similar. So you [00:57:20] have to be very strong. I mean, like, I’m like, okay. Like I remember one day we like, [00:57:25] in, uh, the busy times, we were like in like eight calls per day with investors. [00:57:30] And you are back to back, back to back repeating the same thing. And you have to be convincing and all of that [00:57:35] and, you know, like, you know, immediately who’s gonna invest or not. You know, like it’s just, you know it because, [00:57:40] you know, like somebody that shows an interest, they will follow up very quickly. And [00:57:45] even, you know, like when we received the offer from Ascension, they didn’t take so much time to invest, [00:57:50] you know, like they saw potential, you know, like pre-seed, you know, we were we are [00:57:55] just at the beginning. Right. So you see, okay, there are two badass women co-founders, [00:58:00] you know, one is going to do the commercial, the other is technical. They both have experience. [00:58:05] I work in the healthcare space now in the big data for a long time. So she knows what [00:58:10] she’s doing. The other one working in the healthcare space, building product for patients. She knows [00:58:15] what she’s doing. Somewhere the company is going to go.

Payman Langroudi: So are you even at that point? Are [00:58:20] you selling the billion dollar global domination 100%. So bigger plan [00:58:25] as you can, right?

Sarita Stephanie: Yeah. So basically one thing that I like, one piece of feedback [00:58:30] that I received from a great investor in a big VC, [00:58:35] she said, you know, when you present. Your market like [00:58:40] some some time and all of these kind of things. When you present your slide with how [00:58:45] big is the market? I want to see a huge number. They’re like [00:58:50] huge, huge. Like do everything you have to do to make that [00:58:55] that number so huge that I’m like, look at it. And I’m like, whoa, [00:59:00] I have to invest in this space. It maybe it’s not like not even the company, but like, [00:59:05] this space is so big. So did you find.

Payman Langroudi: That you had to pivot a few times before you got to [00:59:10] the. Yes, the the final product 100%.

Sarita Stephanie: I actually had to calculate [00:59:15] how big was the market. How big is it, 377 billions [00:59:20] by myself.

Payman Langroudi: In order to make that [00:59:25] pitch right?

Sarita Stephanie: You know. Exactly. You know, like 300%.

Rhona Eskander: So I want to spend the day with her at work, come to work with Teresa, [00:59:30] go on.

Sarita Stephanie: Like a look at studies, looking at how much [00:59:35] time women waste. Waste, I mean, like they take out of [00:59:40] work and how much it costs for a company to go and do their fertility check-up, gynaecologist [00:59:45] visit, IVF treatment, fertility treatments and so on. How much that burden in [00:59:50] the society and for like corporates out there. So I had to calculate that manually because [00:59:55] I found all the numbers and then, you know, like you have to apply globally and all of that, those kind of things [01:00:00] to see, you know, it’s huge. The number like the cost that I’m like, [01:00:05] I don’t know, I’m going to a gynaecologist appointment. So I’m wasting four hours of my time and I take [01:00:10] four hours out of work for my company. That’s a huge loss. [01:00:15]

Payman Langroudi: And there must be a competitor. Yeah.

Sarita Stephanie: So we have [01:00:20] of course we have some competitors, which is good.

Payman Langroudi: Are they based here or.

Sarita Stephanie: Yes, [01:00:25] they are based here. There are some companies that we look at. For example, they have an amazing branding [01:00:30] and we respect their mission. And nobody that is really focussed only on egg freezing. [01:00:35] They’re more like or testing of or fertility treatments or IVF or, you know, [01:00:40] financing all of that. But there are some companies that we look at very much for [01:00:45] what they’re doing in the fertility space. Ultimately, we look up at everybody to be fair, [01:00:50] because, you know, like competition is always healthy to have keeps you on the toes and [01:00:55] push you. But yeah, I think like we’re quite unique in our message and the way we, we carry [01:01:00] things.

Payman Langroudi: And your proposition to the clinic is that based on like a exclusive [01:01:05] relationship that you.

Sarita Stephanie: So at the moment we have of course we have contracts [01:01:10] with the clinics. It’s most likely they work with a clinics that we partner [01:01:15] with. They work with other apps, for example, or they work with other employment [01:01:20] benefit platform. They offer fertility, so they work with other bits and pieces. But it’s still [01:01:25] like in the big fertility space rather than just online freezing. We are very [01:01:30] specific on that, and I do believe that we are the only one around. They’re very open, to [01:01:35] be honest clinics. Who’s the.

Payman Langroudi: Person who’s actually going into the Portland and saying to.

Sarita Stephanie: Myself. [01:01:40]

Payman Langroudi: Yeah, so so how do you know who to who to contact?

Rhona Eskander: And she’s [01:01:45] amazing. She, she’s literally like got her big black book. We asked her, I have a book, [01:01:50] I have a big black book.

Sarita Stephanie: I think she’s.

Rhona Eskander: Literally.

Payman Langroudi: No, no. But I’m saying with the [01:01:55] the clinics.

Sarita Stephanie: Are with the clinics. That’s my blue book. I’m [01:02:00] joking. But yes, basically we don’t. So look, also part [01:02:05] of our proposition is that we reduce the decision fatigue for women to go [01:02:10] to. Like we don’t have all the clinics in London, we have few that we partner with, [01:02:15] and they’re the ones that wants to improve their communication with the patients, that they want to do a bit of different [01:02:20] things. The other day, Diana, our head of marketing and, um, another [01:02:25] person that works in the social media, they went to a clinic and they recorded a bit of [01:02:30] content. And, you know, like the doctors are happy about it. Some clinics, they don’t want to do this kind of work. Like [01:02:35] I.

Rhona Eskander: Think my facility academy that I did with my dad.

Sarita Stephanie: Is similar.

Rhona Eskander: No, no, no, I [01:02:40] mean, I’m a social media queen. I mean, I could do it full time. Um, but the thing is, is, like with the fertility [01:02:45] academy, um, with my dad, like, they’re so not into that. Like, Gorgui is like a [01:02:50] very old school doctor, and, like, a few people messaged me and were like, where did you get it done? Because obviously I [01:02:55] had a YouTube video, which did really well because it talks about the whole process. And then I was like, listen, [01:03:00] I was like, Gorgui does not have like the bedside manner that you might want. Like he’s like very [01:03:05] scientific doctor. His results are very good with the egg freezing. But like you’re going there like, and you know, some people [01:03:10] said they want the compassion. They want the like, empathy they want. It’s like dentist, right? You could go to the best technical dentist, [01:03:15] but you’re like, if you want to get pandered to on the bedside or like, you know, really have those conversations, you’re not [01:03:20] going to get that. Do you see what I mean? I think different clinics are there for different reasons, you know. Yeah.

Sarita Stephanie: You know, like so like the clinics [01:03:25] that we work with are the one that wants to they also understand that [01:03:30] demographic is changing, right? Women like my age. I’m now 35. But when I did [01:03:35] it I was 32. Women under 30s or even millennials. Now they’re working and they’re in [01:03:40] their 20s.

Rhona Eskander: Imagine like 25, 27.

Sarita Stephanie: They will check out.

Payman Langroudi: Based on the stats. That’s the right. [01:03:45] That’s the right thing to do. Right. Yeah.

Sarita Stephanie: You know like so even like at this age, what [01:03:50] do you do is that you check a clinic on Instagram, on TikTok. If you don’t have a presence there, [01:03:55] almost. You don’t exist for some demographics. You know, some.

Rhona Eskander: Google like, you know, some.

Sarita Stephanie: Google, [01:04:00] you know. But Google reviews also like are completely out of it. How are you getting to the.

Payman Langroudi: Users, the [01:04:05] ladies? How are you getting to them?

Sarita Stephanie: So our traffic is mainly organic, meaning that [01:04:10] a woman uses. And then she tells all of her friends and all of her friends come or [01:04:15] we do.

Rhona Eskander: Like a word of mouth at the moment, more.

Sarita Stephanie: Word of mouth. We do a lot of events as well, you [01:04:20] know. Interesting. We try we tried ads in November, [01:04:25] uh, for a month, and we didn’t get the result. We wanted to. We get some traction, but [01:04:30] we didn’t get the result. We wanted to. We have, you know, like a women ambassador, for example, [01:04:35] was not.

Rhona Eskander: Meant to be an ambassador. Yeah.

Sarita Stephanie: You should be one of our ambassadors. [01:04:40] You should. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. You know, like, we actually had [01:04:45] a friend of mine, Sophie, that recorded her fertility.

Rhona Eskander: She was in Made in Chelsea. [01:04:50]

Sarita Stephanie: And made Sophie that made in Chelsea, you know, like we were talking [01:04:55] about one day she was like, I want to freeze my eggs. I’m like, okay, I’ll help you if you want. You know, like I’m [01:05:00] we families. So we talk about it and then, you know, like I said, I like she told me like, oh, I have [01:05:05] this clinic in my mind that I would like to go to. And I’m like, look, let me have a chat with them. Let’s see if they’re up to [01:05:10] also being recorded again. You mentioned some clinics. They don’t want to be part of this, you know, which [01:05:15] is okay. It’s fair, you know. But some others they see an opportunity of like reaching [01:05:20] a new demographic, you know.

Payman Langroudi: Is it going through the roof right now? Yes.

Sarita Stephanie: It’s freezing [01:05:25] as a.

Rhona Eskander: But my dad was talking about this 15 years ago. This is what I’m trying to say. And there was such a stigma. [01:05:30] And my dad was like, egg freezing is going to be massive. Like my dad has always been, like very visionary [01:05:35] in that sense. And now you go if you go on Instagram, people are talking [01:05:40] about Vicky Patterson was talking about it. She’s got 2 million followers. Sophie, as you said, was talking about [01:05:45] it. The doctor. There’s so many people.

Payman Langroudi: Point of view in terms of product [01:05:50] market fit. Like if she if she was in the app. Now at the time that your dad was mentioning [01:05:55] it.

Sarita Stephanie: It was a bit early.

Rhona Eskander: A bit early.

Sarita Stephanie: It was early. It was early and you know, like, yeah, there’s [01:06:00] a there’s a time for it. So if you look at what the HPA stats [01:06:05] said in 2021, we had the 4200 [01:06:10] cycle, which was a 64% increase of [01:06:15] two years before.

Payman Langroudi: Oh my goodness.

Sarita Stephanie: And this is out of the pocket. Right. [01:06:20]

Payman Langroudi: So that’s one that’s the one you want to put into your pitch deck.

Sarita Stephanie: You’re [01:06:25] not exist 64% increase in meaning that this treatment is paid [01:06:30] out of the pocket. Right. Because we discuss about the NHS and stuff unless unfortunately also like you have cancer, [01:06:35] they do not cover egg freezing. Yeah. Um, so this is a women that are out [01:06:40] of the pocket pay for their treatments.

Rhona Eskander: This is open. So fascinating. I feel like I’ve learned [01:06:45] so much. And I think this is going to be such a big help because I get messages on a weekly basis [01:06:50] about egg freezing, and now I can just refer them to this chat. Thank you so much, Sarita. [01:06:55] I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, and I think it’s been one of our more different [01:07:00] chats. Right? As in like it’s been like it’s been.

Payman Langroudi: Like a bit.

Rhona Eskander: Huh? Can we.

Payman Langroudi: Talk about me [01:07:05] or.

Rhona Eskander: Do you want to talk about your husband? Yeah, I’m happy to talk about my husband. I don’t have long, but. Go on.

Payman Langroudi: Tell [01:07:10] us about me. He’s a global Dental collective.

Sarita Stephanie: So my husband Mahi is doing [01:07:15] a wonderful job creating global Dental collective, which is a community [01:07:20] that is supporting dentists across the world, talking about different [01:07:25] things. For example, now he has an event coming up in April that will be with [01:07:30] my.

Rhona Eskander: Therapist.

Sarita Stephanie: With with Rhona’s therapist that is, uh, on [01:07:35] mental health. So talking about resilience, talking about [01:07:40] how you address stress and, you know, when you have a difficult case, a difficult patient, [01:07:45] do you show your ordinary ability to patients or not. So, you know, like or to your team. [01:07:50] So it’s going into the deep root of, you know, the profession that I’m sure you know better [01:07:55] than me guys. But he’s raising some important questions that, you know, like to support [01:08:00] dentists that will participate, for example. And he’s bringing up psychotherapists. [01:08:05] Yeah.

Rhona Eskander: So Ella’s a psychotherapist. She’s actually on our podcast as well.

Sarita Stephanie: Here we go. [01:08:10] So he’s bringing Ella to answer some questions and address how you should basically, [01:08:15] for example, be vulnerable in front of your patient. How much can you share? Uh, you know, [01:08:20] like, I’m pretty sure, you know, I always say that, you know, I think the job that [01:08:25] you do, guys, when a patient is out there and they just open their mouth, there’s a lot of energy [01:08:30] coming out and, you know, like, there’s so much energy you can take for [01:08:35] per day. So, you know, like, I feel like that, you know, like you. You have to become also like almost [01:08:40] psychotherapist yourself to address patients all the time.

Rhona Eskander: Well, the reason why Payman [01:08:45] and I started this podcast was exactly for that reason, because we recognised that dentists and dentistry [01:08:50] is such a demanding job, and that the energies that we have to take on, on a [01:08:55] daily basis within the profession is a lot. And I think that we really [01:09:00] undervalue ourselves sometimes, you know, because we are in that room, you know, you’re not in an office [01:09:05] environment. You’re literally in the room with like three people, most in one at one time. And [01:09:10] that’s intense every single day. And like when you’re ill or when you can’t be bothered, you still have to [01:09:15] talk. You still have to give, you know, to the patient and you still have to be on your A-game. So I think [01:09:20] that’s really important. And the mission that he has with Global Collective is amazing. So I’m looking but also like. [01:09:25]

Sarita Stephanie: Part of his mission at the end of the day is an artist. He’s a creative. Like he’s. Yeah, [01:09:30] exactly. You know, like he’s like reshaping how things are done [01:09:35] even for for events and conferences, you know, like how you present the content, [01:09:40] you know, like there’s a lot of work that also I can see looking the fertility space, there was so [01:09:45] little advancement in terms of like how to do things in a more [01:09:50] patient, friendly way or so on, or even like in this case, dentistry friendly way. [01:09:55] And, you know, like reshaping a bit like the discussion in the industry. I think it’s a very important [01:10:00] topic that is bringing up in the way he’s doing things in a theatrical way, a more [01:10:05] three dimensional way. Uh, experience is very important nowadays. How the perception, [01:10:10] you know, like when you walk in a space. Yeah, it’s.

Rhona Eskander: Just about to say space because that’s what my [01:10:15] sister redesigned my whole clinic. I will wait for you to come in.

Payman Langroudi: I just sort of just saw the windows. [01:10:20]

Rhona Eskander: And, um, my sister said to me, interestingly, that the space [01:10:25] the she said the the medical space is horrible. She has every time she’s an experience, a [01:10:30] dental or medical space. It has been so disconnected for the patient. And she has said that even [01:10:35] when dentists tries to do like Uber luxe clinics, she’s like, it still doesn’t feel good. And she said [01:10:40] that when she went for her fertility, her egg freezing, they actually had to stop the first time. She had a [01:10:45] very traumatic experience because they couldn’t sedate her properly, and she said that everything was so cold, [01:10:50] like the medical chair, the room. And she said that if that had failed the sedation and she was in a [01:10:55] better environment where she felt safe, the doctors and nurses made her feel safe. But it was just like the [01:11:00] space. She would have felt a lot better. And now when people come into my dental clinic because of the space that she’s [01:11:05] built with, like she’s, you know, created the space of almost like the human body, like [01:11:10] being like in kind of like sync and the different textures, colours. Exactly. [01:11:15] People come in and they’re like, I feel so calm. Imagine saying that when you come to a dental practice, that’s literally what [01:11:20] every patient says to hospital.

Payman Langroudi: But visiting someone, even the the most private hospitals. [01:11:25] Yeah, it feels awful. Still horrible. Yeah, yeah. Anyway, it’s been lovely to have you. [01:11:30] Yeah. Thank you. I always keep up with, uh, what’s going on in your biz every time I talk to Mahi. But [01:11:35] he’s he’s he’s definitely, uh, the way he said it to me is with, uh, Sarita. One [01:11:40] plus one equals seven.

Rhona Eskander: I know she’s a force. You can see that. Yeah. [01:11:45] You’ve been amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And if anyone does want to have a look [01:11:50] at the website or your social media channels, could you please spell it out for them? Yeah.

Sarita Stephanie: So it’s [01:11:55] amelie’s a m I l I s co.uk perfect. [01:12:00]

Rhona Eskander: And then the Instagram handle is just Amelia Bartlett.

Sarita Stephanie: Perfect.

Rhona Eskander: All right, guys, thank you so much. [01:12:05] Take care.

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