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Travod CEO Elena Grigoras on Biz Dev, Brexit, and Buy vs. Build

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Travod CEO Elena Grigoras on Biz Dev, Brexit, and Buy vs. Build

Travod CEO Elena Grigoras joins SlatorPod to discuss LSP’s past, present, and future. Elena talks about the company’s customer mix and how Travod manages the balance of servicing both third-party LSPs — initially the company’s primary focus — and end customers. 

She discusses the relationship with Travod’s sister companies, Worldminds and Traduno (translation technology arm), and parent company Mondia Technologies Group, as well as the rationale behind keeping the entities separate.

Elena outlines Travod’s technology stack, which includes their proprietary business management system, Traduno, and discusses market demand for customer portals, which she sees as a means to help clients manage their translation workflows and assets.

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Drawing on her background in sales and marketing, Elena shares Travod’s approach to business development and hiring sales talent, and talks about the company’s recent website relaunch. She also gives her take on translation pricing trends, touching on the role of the per-word rate, the impact of effort-based pricing, and her vision of a value-based pricing model.

As CEO of a UK-headquartered business with a large employee base in Moldova and Romania, Elena talks about the unfolding impact of Brexit. She also unpacks the differing approaches to geographical expansion: building from scratch vs. M&A.

First up though are Florian and Esther, who discuss the week’s language industry news, sharing more insights and analysis from the Slator 2021 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI). Florian talks about Netflix’s approach to A/B testing website copy in multiple languages, and Penn’s State College’s research into machine-generated content detection. 

Esther shares some recent financial information from interpreting giant LanguageLine, which derived more than 90% of its USD 618m revenues from remote interpreting services in 2020. While over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) still dominates the company’s service mix (81%), LanguageLine has also grown video remote interpreting revenues (VRI) to more than USD 50m. 

The two close with a few words on an intriguing company memo from Japan-based LSP Rozetta, which has banned its employees from speaking any language other than their native one. Why? Rozetta says they accomplished so much in the field of MT that they have managed to create a “‘Free Language World,’ eliminating the need for individuals to learn multiple languages.”

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