FYI September 2017

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Translating opportunities into global success Straker Translations enjoyed unprecedented growth when they responded to a worldwide opportunity in a ground-breaking and uniquely Kiwi way. Straker Translations is one of the world’s fastest growing translation agencies - ranked in the top 60 of 27,000 global vendors in an industry valued at US$40billion. Starting out as a computer programmer, Grant Straker launched his own software development company in the 1990s. By 2000 the company employed a handful of tech-savvy employees and was doing very nicely creating and selling multi-lingual content management platforms. “Did you know that 90% of the world’s spending can be reached in just 13 languages, and 73% of consumers are more likely to buy a product from a website with information in their first language?” says Grant. The platforms certainly did the job, but more and more customers were enquiring about translation services to create the content they needed for their websites and online tools. Grant tried partnering with translation companies to provide those services to his customers, but quickly recognised the advantages of going alone. “We figured out how to do it ourselves. And we realised we had the skills in-house to create our own hi-tech language solutions.” The company evolved into a fully-fledged translations agency in 2010. They created a unique, cloud-based translation technology platform, which launched the company into a period of accelerated growth. The Albany head office now has 40 staff, with 50 more in production centres in Barcelona, Denver and Dublin, and in sales offices around the world. Straker Translations has more than 10,000 customers and employee numbers are expected to double again over the next 18 months. The company needed the right capital framework to achieve this impressive growth, so created a firm strategy to raise the necessary capital. This funded the overseas office set ups. “It was obvious we needed people on the ground in the different markets to make this work,” says Grant. Their overall strategy was to concentrate on having one platform and one way of working that is easy to replicate, sustain and manage. And they used the momentum of the operational lead their technology gave them to help them grow. Straker Translations are currently providing solutions around the world in more than 80 languages. They have over 5,000 trained, tested and expert translators covering every conceivable subject and medium. “As we advertise for customers, that’s the same place translators are looking. So mostly they 20


Grant Straker

“90% of the world’s spending can be reached in just 13 languages” approach us. We’re adding translators all the time,” says Grant. Business opportunities continue to grow. The company recently acquired two businesses on different sides of the world and converted them to the Straker Translations platform. There’s an opportunity to acquire more legacy businesses and to build a highlyeffective global translation platform, creating a new standard for millions of translation customers. In order to meet demand, Grant is training and promoting staff to management positions within the company. And the company is launching an Initial Public Offering on the Stock Exchange next year to raise some of the capital they’ll need for further expansion. It’s not surprising that the company has won national innovation awards. They’ve been finalists in the special categories ‘Excellence in Innovation’ and ‘He kai kei aku ringa’ for Maori Excellence in Export. And Grant firmly believes that Straker Translations’ rapid growth and success can motivate other Maori to choose technology as a valuable

and rewarding career path. Another of his passions is for raising national standards in computing – particularly among young Maori – and runs educational courses designed to assist the next generation of workers to become more employable, and future-proof New Zealand’s place on the global stages of technology and innovation. “If you try to do same thing as all your competitors, you’re unlikely to be successful,” says Grant. “Our key driver is to use innovation to be very different. That’s how we keep a sustained competitive advantage.” Which is how Straker Translations advises Business North Harbour members to keep growing and enjoy international success. Find Straker Translations in the Business North Harbour Online Directory

09 951 8320