A chance meeting with Solten CEO Sebastien Bricier at a networking event in the US led Thomas Mixdorf to a new career path at the Prague-based language service provider (LSP).
“We had a good personal rapport, I liked his clear strategy and goals, and the European roots of the company,” he said of his decision to join Solten as operations manager tasked with growing the company’s US operations.
Based in Miami, Florida and reporting directly to Bricier, Mixdorf said his responsibilities include all aspects of the day-to-day operations, including project and account management, vendor management, some sales activities, and liaising with Solten’s team in Europe.
Prior to joining Solten, Mixdorf had worked for various LSPs in the past 10 years. “My first job in this field was at CLS Communication in New York. The US team was quite small at the beginning, so even as a project manager I was involved in various other aspects of the business, from invoicing to vendor management and sales,” he said. “This helped me to get a good understanding of the opportunities and challenges in our industry.”
He finds the ever-increasing price pressure and automation for pure translation projects particularly challenging. “You have to keep up with the latest technological developments and also find additional services and solutions to ensure growth and margins,” he said.
He believes that the favorable projection for economic growth in 2018 should result in continued growth in demand for translations and related services. “US economic growth is also projected to remain stable so there should be plenty of opportunities for Solten to get established in the US,” he added.
Ronait Tynan — RWS
“Life Sciences translation is very challenging. There is high risk involved and there is constant pressure not only on price but on turnaround times,” said Ronait Tynan, Program Manager, Life Sciences, RWS.
A long-term executive at LUZ, the pure-play life sciences LSP that RSW acquired in February 2017, Tynan has managed projects for the company’s life sciences clients in the US for over 10 years before she moved to Spain in 2012.
“The job was never boring. I saw the Swiss office open, then Colorado, Boston. It was very exciting to be part of a growing company,” she said.
While living in Barcelona, she continued to work for LUZ remotely until her recent move to Lausanne, Switzerland to lead RWS’ Swiss office. She now reports to Jill Balcerzak, VP Life Sciences Operations, RWS.
“My role as program manager itself has not necessarily changed a lot, what is new to me are all the day-to-day responsibilities of running an office,” she said, adding that one of the challenges in the life sciences sector is the ever-decreasing pool of specialized resources, particularly from a technical point of view.
“As translation becomes commoditized, there are less and less good resources out there willing to do the work. Not only do they need to be subject matter experts, they also need good technical skills, for example, to deal with complex workflows.”
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see neural machine translation help with some of the translation work? She said it remains to be seen if it will really make any kind of significant impact on life sciences, “but it would be cool.”
Alexandra Heller — Kotoba Translation
As marketing director of a Singapore-based translation agency whose focus is fintech and blockchain companies, Alexandra Heller’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the company has a steady queue of clients.
With the sudden interest in cryptocurrencies brought about by the publicity generated by bitcoin, a blockchain product, her entry into Kotoba Translation in December 2017 must be timely.
“I’m fascinated by how the blockchain will revolutionize many parts of business and finance, so working for Kotoba was a great way to be a part of a rapidly developing industry,” she admitted.
Prior to joining Kotoba, she worked for a San Francisco-based e-commerce company where she was in charge of marketing and web development.
Now based in Singapore, Heller reports to Gabriel Francesch, Kotoba’s Managing Director.
“Our clients have complex, technical offerings that are challenging to communicate, even in one’s native tongue,” she revealed. “So I work with [them] to ensure that their message communicates why their technology is going to change the world.”
Heller sees that the demand for translation will grow in the blockchain and finance industries because these industries are growing. “Beyond that, the founders seem to be increasingly aware of the huge value in reaching non-English speaking markets,” she said.
Vinothan Thevarasoo — Omniscien Technologies
As the new sales manager for Southeast Asia of Omniscien Technologies, Vinothan Thevarasoo’s main responsibility is to develop the company’s business in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
“Some of the key regional verticals I will be working with are e-commerce, media, technology companies and, of course, LSPs,” he revealed, adding that he will also be managing accounts for government service providers.
Based in Singapore, he reports to Andrew Rufener, CEO of Omniscien Technologies.
Thevarasoo has joined Omniscien in January 2018 from Lionbridge in Singapore where he was business development manager from April 2016 to December 2017.
Asked how he sees the demand for translation in this region in 2018, he said as more companies expand outwards with larger volumes of data and content, the need for faster and higher quality translation arises.
“Moreover, the abundance of available data coupled with the available options to harness, process and utilize that data will allow companies to make better decisions and improve business,” he said.
Hossam Al Khayat — EAST Localize
Hossam Al Khayat joined EAST Localize, an LSP based in Egypt, as business development manager in December 2017.
He had a 10-year experience in the localization industry. Since 2007, he had tried many different fields, including vendor management, project management, and marketing.
He is based in Cairo and reports directly to the COO.
“I found myself in the business development role (at EAST Localize) and my role is to build a solid department with high proficiency level,” he said. He is also tasked with developing a sales strategy and set individual sales targets for the sales team.
In selling language services, he said globalization is pushing more demand for language services.