- How did you come up with the idea of a translation agency?
I think I gave this answer year after year, at every Swiss Solutions anniversary. How the idea was born? Having a cup of coffee, with Roxana, back in 2004. Roxana had just graduated from the Faculty of Letters, was looking for work in translations, took a tour of the agencies in Timisoara and wasn’t very happy, so to say, about how she was welcomed and about what she saw. All that plus my idea ever since the faculty, that I really don’t want to have a boss and that, instead, I would like to have my own business, led to the establishment of the company in 2004.
- How do you see the translation market in Romania?
It is a very dissipated market, if you want, there are over 1,500 companies, a lot of very small companies and I believe that, I am waiting for that moment, there will be a moment when big companies will start buying the small companies, it’s a process happening quite often all around the world, meaning that there are many purchases concluded. Probably this will happen here in a few years, but at this moment, it’s much too divided, let’s say and that is not necessarily a good thing, not for the client or the quality, the fact that there are over 1,500 companies doesn’t mean something good. Quality will be lower, prices will be lower, there are dumping prices used by some of these companies and I hope that some of these things will change in the next years.
- How did the translation market change between 2004 and 2018?
From my point of view, I can see that there is obvious an evolution, mainly in terms of technology, meaning that the translation’s market has evolved together with the world and, if in 2004 there weren’t certain software, programs to help very much in terms of translation, at this moment, we are dependent on such tools. At least, part of the companies, the big companies, already use certain software that are of great help. In terms of translators, it is a market that, in 2004, included a large number of people, tens of thousands of translators. I think that, in the meantime, many of them gave up this profession and are working now in multinational companies and in other areas, but, if I were to make a statistics, I would say that the level of the translators is lower and this because of the situation of the educational system in our country at this moment. I feel, at least in Timisoara, a drastic lowering of the qualitative level.
- Swiss Solutions is 14 years old. How did you lasted it on the market?
Should I reveal this secret? Why we lasted? I think we have lasted for such a long time because we decided, ever since the beginning, that things have to be well done, very serious, we have been very tenacious in what we’ve done and also we’ve always tried to come with something new. We were never satisfied with little. We never said OK, it’s good and it’s more than enough, we have always tried to develop and I think that this is the secret, to be very dynamic when you run a business, to always try something new, to be updated with what is going on in the world and to apply that thing in your company as well.
- How does Swiss Solutions grow?
What can I say, I love it. I have a phrase that I always say around the company, I think that, every year, if I look back: last year seems like the Middle Ages from my point of view in terms of development, in the sense that I have personally felt a technological evolution, but also in terms of knowledge and the services offered, the software we have, I felt this very strongly year after year, meaning the way we used to do things back in 2004 or even 2010 has nothing to do with how we do things today. The procedures are changing, the manner of working with the clients changes, the way of doing a translation also suffered modifications, there are many things that are different from this point of view. We are and always have been very focused on learning what is new in the world and what are the people who, let’s admit it, are a little bit ahead in Western Europe and other places around the globe. I have attended many conferences in the last years, and not only me, but the entire Swiss team, in the last 5, 6, 7 years and we have come up with many new ideas and services. From this point of view, this year (I don’t know if that was a future question but I can tell you here) has been a mix of new services, many services, we came up with a lot of ideas and that mean a change in terms of staff as well, it has been an evolution from 30 persons to over 50, in one year, which means changes in many directions in the company. We have many surprises for our clients this year, we have already launched a few new projects and we will launch a few others in the near future.
First of all, this year we have launched the division or the online store e-trad because, from my point of view, online means the future and I personally shop a lot online, I thought it was time to have also an online store that allows you to buy very quickly or to solve your problem in a short period of time. It took off quite well, it works rather well, and now we are working to aspects regarding its promotion; however, we can say that it’s going very well so far.
Besides that, we have launched a premium service, a service I believe to be very important and necessary for Romania, namely, the medical division Swiss Solutions, where translations are done by doctors specialized in various fields. We have launched this division as we felt that quality is much needed on the medical market in Romania at this time and translations are an important element on this side, and the effects are visible. The companies reacted very well, because when a doctor is involved in such a translation, he or she understands the subject much better than a translator who didn’t have the possibility to study maybe 10 years of medical terminology, and the feedbacks from clients have been very good. It’s an on-going project, and the market reacted very well.
Except that, we’re working on another surprise: in a few days, we will officially launch the division of foreign languages dedicated to companies. This comes as a normal step after all the collaborations we have in terms of translations with many companies, about 1,000 from Romania. Working in the field of foreign languages and already collaborating with many people in this area, I thought it was normal to be able to offer such a service to the companies we are working with, therefore, we have already started offering English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Czech or Hungarian courses to various companies.
There are two other projects in work. About one project, I would rather not say anything, as it’s a very innovative project for the Romanian market. I like to come with new things and we estimate the launch to take place in October. It will be something that will definitely change certain things in Romania, but we will make the announcement at the right moment. The other one is a surprise project; all I can say at this time is that it’s dedicated to translators. So, this is would be the news for this year. Every year, we try to come up with something new, either it’s a service, a way to make things, either a new program we try to implement with all the translators in Romania, you have to change something, to be dynamic, in touch with what is going on in the world. And, this way, trying to meet all the client’s requirements quicker and at a higher quality standard.
- What is your advice for smaller translation companies?
Do everything seriously, work well, be tenacious, hire the best, keep your promises with the clients and the translators and things will go in the right direction.
- What are the values to guide you in your professional life?
I believe I told you that, since 2004, probably inspired by Roxana who is a perfectionist in everything she does, we wanted to do things better, it’s a basic principle for us, a principle we have tried to pass on to all our employees. For me, people are very important, they play a crucial part, the people around me and maybe I haven’t said anything until now, but I would like to mention the fact that you cannot built a company without a valuable team and valuable people around it. I think I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a great team and by people with many years behind in our company and who are of great help and support. Basically, we act together, we grow together, we evolve together and we develop, not to mention that, except for these people, there are new employees that we manage to grow with the help of this amazing team we have. It’s about surrounding oneself with good people.