Today I am presenting another written interview with Costa Vasili who is the founder of Sydney Translations, a premium translation agency in Australia providing NAATI accredited and certified professional translation services in over 150 languages.
Check out the interview:
1. What got you interested in starting a translation agency? Share your story.
I started Sydney Translations in 2011 out of a frustration with the way that people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities were being communicated with in Australia. My father was born in Cyprus, a small island-nation in the Mediterranean Sea and moved to Australia in 1972 as a 13 year old. Knowing very little English upon arrival, he worked hard in school and has made the most of the opportunity he was given to migrate to Australia. But the road for him to integrate into society was not easy. One of the biggest obstacles a new migrant to Australia faces is language. When governments and businesses do not communicate in a language that a migrant can understand, they risk isolating new migrants, condemning them to a life of social exclusion.
The vision we have at Sydney Translations is to make communication easier and more accessible. By working with key Australian government organisations and businesses, we are creating a foreign-language communication arm for the public and private sector that speaks to those who need communication services the most.
2. How have you gone about promoting your services online?
Our online marketing plan is diverse but is underpinned by creating content that is engaging for our target audience. We run a very active blog that explains to new migrants and visitors to Australia, what they need to know. We also are active on social channels such as Facebook and Linkedin. As we have been operating for a number of years, we now receive a lot of word-of-mouth which is fantastic for us. We also have a sizeable email database that we send EDMs to with latest news and promotions we are running.
3. What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a translation agency?
Some of the biggest challenges that we face are also some of our biggest opportunities. Technology is a game-changer in the industry. Machine translation is a disruptive force but utilising machine translation can actually help a translation agency such as ours by improving productivity. We can then complete translation projects quicker and more affordably for our clients. Driving the cost down in the industry opens the door to people who could not have previously afforded professional translation services. This achieves our vision of increasing the accessibility of language services and improving communication.
4. What has the process of hiring employees to help with translation been like? Is everyone based out of Australia or do you have people all over the world to assist with translation?
As a 100% Australian owned company, we are dedicated to supporting Australian jobs and the Australian economy. The majority of our team migrated to Australia and so we feel honoured to be able to provide them with a stable income in their new-found home. We do also work with overseas-based translators for particular projects. For example, we had a client that was launching beauty products into the French and German markets and needed their product packaging and labelling translated into those languages. We needed to work with locally based translators in this instance who would be more up to date with the culture of each country and the little nuances that change over time within a language.
5. What are your future plans for 2015 and beyond?
The upcoming 24 months are a really exciting time for us. We are experiencing rapid growth and are actively working to enter more markets. In 2016, we have plans to open our first international office in the USA! Focusing squarely on the Australian market to-date, our expansion into the USA will provide us with significant traction we need to become a truly global company.