Abbas Asaria comes from a large family of registered Eyecare Professionals including Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Contact lens and Dispensing Opticians and obtained his degree in Optometry from The City University in London. In his early career as an Optometrist and with a strong optical and dispensing background, Abbas worked in practice, management, training and professional services roles. With a passion for professional development and teaching, Abbas returned to The City University Optometry and Visual Science Department as a visiting Clinical Tutor. He then progressed to become Lead Clinician and Clinical Skills tutor for the Primary Care Clinic, teaching and assessing the clinical competence of undergraduates. Alongside this role, Abbas founded EyeCan, a successful Pre-Reg training company.
It was in 2013 that Abbas entered his first industry role where he was approached by global ophthalmic equipment giant, Topcon. He went on to become a Regional Sales Manager and Product Specialist and his accomplishments have been publicised in well-known industry press. Abbas has also been personally acknowledged by recognised institutions and key opinion leaders in the industry.
Simon is a professional and experienced business owner, speaker, management consultant and a hands-on growth coach/trainer with over twenty years of senior management experience and thirty four years’ experience within the optical profession. He believes in empowering, motivating and encouraging a change in mindset so clients are able to release theirfull personal and professional potential through becoming modern day thinkers and leaders of their teams.
Simons previous roles include UK and Ireland Training Manager for Specsavers Opticians where his contribution in developing people within the Optical profession was rewarded by being given an Honorary Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers award and subsequently given the Freedom of the City of London. He was then approached to become the UK Development Director for Vision Express leading his team to introduce a training and development path for the UK stores to create knowledgeable and confident experts. Previously to these roles Simon worked for Boots Opticians for 13 years where he managed teams and businesses and progressed into Business Operations Manager leading businesses to grow.
Simon decided to set up his own company (Think) in 2005 where he established SightCare Training working alongside the SightCare Group and provided all training and development requirements including business growth and coaching programmes for 14 years exclusively for independent optical business owners nationwide.
Simon has presented and performed public speaking at many optical events throughout his career and is passionate about delivering the very best customer experience. He is also British Psychological Society qualified in Level A occupational testing and Level B personality assessments and believes that psychology plays a big part in creating a positive mindset to enable businesses to flourish and teams becoming confident experts creating a positive memorable experience.
Fatema graduated from City University with a BSc(Hons) in Optometry in 2008. She worked as a resident Optometrist and Pre-Registration supervisor for a well-known multiple in one of their largest stores in London before starting Star Optical with Abbas in 2016. As a proprietor of the business, Fatema shares responsibilities with Abbas looking after administration, handling internal accounts and inventory. In 2020, Fatema started the ACCA qualification for Accountancy to further support the business. More recently, Fatema was awarded was the ACCA Global Student Accountant Prize winner for her top performance in Taxation, a special interest of hers alongside baking.
Sajjad graduated with a BEng (Hons) in Electronic & Electrical Engineering in 2011 and went on to complete a MSc in Sustainable Electrical Power at Brunel University, London. He is an Associate Member of the Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET) and the founder of successful test equipment blog, Watt Circuit
As well as being an experienced electronic engineer, Sajjad has good knowledge of IT hardware fault diagnosis, servicing and repair. He has also completed City and Guilds accreditation in Electrical Equipment Maintenance & Testing (2377-22)
In his spare time, Sajjad is a freelance photographer and undertakes voluntary community work.
Professor Riaz Asaria qualified from Southampton University in 1989 and began his specialist ophthalmology training in 1992, specialising in Retinal Disease. He was awarded the June Sutor Research fellowship in 1997 at Moorfields Eye Hospital, followed by a Medical Retina fellowship also at Moorfields and further fellowships in both Surgical Retina and then Medical Retina at Bristol Eye Hospital. His research involved working with the Wound Healing Team at the Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye hospital and he treats eye traumas both on the NHS and privately. He has been working as a consultant ophthalmologist at the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust since 2005, where he also teaches and is the author of Ophthalmology training book Eye Know How. His sub-specialties include: Cataract surgery, eye trauma, macular degeneration treatment, medical and surgical retina and general ophthalmology.
Afzal Merali is a passionate and driven digital agency Managing Director with more than 15 years experience in IT, specialising in the Healthcare sector. Afzal founded Merali Digital over nine years ago, building an agency in London that covers all aspects of digital marketing, from website design and development to branding to marketing strategies. Afzal’s expertise lies in developing innovative and cost-effective strategies that deliver profitable online growth for all his clients. As an articulate and engaging communicator, Afzal inspires his team to work collaboratively to translate each of his client’s visions into a creative reality.
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