CEO Spotlight: GALA talks to MultiLing CEO Michael Sneddon

The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) recently interviewed Michael Sneddon, MultiLing CEO, about what might have contributed to MultiLing’s growth over the past five years and plans to keep it going in the years ahead.

Here are a few of the questions:

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GALA: Michael, to what do you attribute MultiLing’s growth over the last few years?

Michael Sneddon, CEO of MultiLing Corp.Sneddon: We attribute MultiLing’s strong growth to a few things:

  1. Pivoting our strategy to focus marketing and sales efforts on the intellectual property (IP) market, instead of diluting it between IP and technical translations.
  2. The increased demand for IP translations from Global 500 enterprises in the United States, Europe and Asia, many spending millions of dollars per year on translating foreign patent filings. This increased focus on the IP space has required more understanding of the unique needs global enterprises face when aiming to protect their IP worldwide, as well as an enhanced ability to communicate how our unique streamlined translation model meets these needs.
  3. A stronger executive team that works together to make the right decisions for the company.

GALA: What challenges have come alongside strong growth for your company and how have you overcome those?

Sneddon: The increased request for our IP translation services over the past few years has required additional expert translators with specific language, scientific, engineering and legal skills, as well as project managers that also meet these needs. In addition, some of our largest clients (both new and long-term) have asked us to expand our services in specific countries in which they are increasing businesses, which in some cases has required new offices or expanded offices to prepare for the expected demand in the specific region. These requests require significant financial resources, and as a company with no debt whatsoever in an industry with long sales cycles, meeting these needs has sometimes been a challenge.

To overcome these challenges, we made the decision last summer to bring in an outside investor – Frontier Capital – so we could focus on increasing our sales and marketing channels worldwide, which includes expanded language teams as well as new sales and marketing executives that better understand the needs of Global 500 legal teams across the globe.

GALA: What major initiatives/goals are in your company’s near future?

Sneddon: With our new office in Taiwan and expanded offices in Japan, Korea and China, we’re specifically expanding our Asian region capacity to meet the IP translation needs of both global enterprises wanting to do business in these countries as well as Asian-based enterprises wanting to do business worldwide.

We’re also working to expand our service offerings throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America.

GALA: What excites you most about your company’s future?

Sneddon: What excites me most about MultiLing’s future is how we’re continuing to bring together the right people, processes and technologies to give our clients the quality legal translations they require. In fact, we’re increasingly seeing new business from existing long-term clients as they share their continued satisfaction with other divisions within their organizations.

GALA: What makes your company more than “just another” localization service provider?

Sneddon:  MultiLing focuses exclusively on IP translations and other foreign patent filing services, as opposed to broad translations. In addition, we combine the most qualified people (native speakers with advanced scientific/engineering degrees); the latest processes (centralized, streamlined) and the most recent and advanced technologies (terminology management, translation memory, machine-assisted translation and translation project management) to give our clients the high quality patent translations they require. Even more unique, we feel, is how we work closely with each client – many for more than a decade – to develop and refine best practices that work for them as well as the industry as a whole.

The full article is published in the Q3 2014 GALAxy Newsletter.