Translation international acquires McNeil Multilingual
Unlike the typical merger of a Goliath acquiring a David to improve the bottom line, Translations International is an example of a strategic decision to build value for our clients, our employees, and our company.
After having worked for and managed some of the largest translations companies in the world, I decided to "put my money where my mouth is" by acquiring Mc- Neil Multilingual from McNeil Technologies. I recently held the Director of Operations position at McNeil’s Language Division, which, along with DynCorp International, was awarded the US Army’s Worldwide Linguist contract and is set to become the world’s largest language company.
I began my own firm, Translations International, in February 2007 and immediately went on to acquire Mc- Neil Multilingual, a proven performer in the translation industry. Before the acquisition in May, I had served as managing director of McNeil for six years, leading the company’s translations division through its infancy and developing its highly successful reputation.
One of the greatest advantages of working for or owning a translation company is the ability to create a "lifestyle business," an environment that gives employees and owners the ability to build a schedule that takes into account our personal goals and needs. Ecommuting initiatives and technology allow us to work with translators and project managers from around the globe. The translation industry has an opportunity to be a leader in the E-commuting initiative.
Because of my work with McNeil, I have a vested interest in the business, our clients, our translators, our project managers, and the industry in general. My interest in creating a new company goes beyond the economics of this decision – I have sentimental and emotional ties to the business. I was there in its infancy; I want to nurture it well into the future.
McNeil Multilingual has established a successful practice in the translations of technical documentation specifi cally as they relate to the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) industry. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the current state of politics around the globe, we believe that the FMS industry will continue to grow, and we are well placed to take advantage of that growth.
The current softness in the US Dollar and the growth in US corporations overseas are making US products very competitive abroad. Our business is well placed and scalable to meet our current and future clients growing requirements.
There are few opportunities within the translation industry to create economies of scale. Therefore, growing too large too quickly signifi cantly increases overhead costs and negatively impacts net income. The other danger with a typical acquisition is the increased appetite for revenues to offset the accumulated debt payments. The constant push for sales affects both service delivery levels and employee morale.
The need for small, dynamic, and responsive translation companies is very strong in our growing global economy. Today’s burgeoning translation industry originated with small translation companies.
Fortunately, the Association of Language Companies (ALC) continues to do much to improve the perception of the services provided by Language Service Providers (LSP’s). It is our hope that our professional services will be held in the same high esteem as those services provided by law firms and accounting firms.
Buying out a larger corporation affords us the opportunity to create value and not just revenue. Being independent allows us to invest in and embrace the latest translation technology on the market.
Our goal is to manage our growth to achieve optimum profi t, of course, but we don’t want to do that at the expense of quality service. We want satisfi ed customers who know they can rely on us for accurate, effi cient translation services.
With McNeil Multilingual as our base, I am confi dent that Translations International will be in an excellent position for further strategic acquisitions that will contribute complementary services and create more overhead dollars for marketing and infrastructure development.
One of the basic tenets of my business philosophy is that if you simply chase revenue and profi ts, you will do so at the costs of other core values. Bigger isn’t always better. The thing to remember is that Language Service Providers are just that – service providers. For the most part, LSP’s do not do actual translations: We manage the project – client requirements, translators, deliverables; we oversee the process.
Small to medium sized LSP’s are extremely successful at providing the required service levels and building loyalty within their clients. However, larger LSP’s also fulfi ll a much-needed role because some small LSP’s do not have the resources or scope to meet the large global requirements of many corporations.
We at Translations International are not only committed to our clients, employees, and translators but also to the translation industry as a whole. We continue to work hard to build relationships with other LSP’s. In our view, there are signifi cant opportunities for LSP’s to work together to bring the latest resources to our projects and to offer our clients the best services possible.
Suraj can be reached at: ssingh[at]mcneilml.com
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