CEO Interview: Ofer Tirosh, Tomedes Translation Agency

Ofer Tirosh has been running a successful, global translation agency – Tomedes – for over ten years. Today, he has taken time out of his busy schedule to share his experience with SMBCEO readers.

Translation service

1. When did you set up Tomedes and why?

I established Tomedes back in 2007. I had previously worked for several global companies and had noticed a gap in the market for high quality translation and localization services. At the time, the existing solutions for large companies’ translation needs were archaic and out of sync with the diversified and challenging localization needs of organizations in the today’s digital world.

My focus with Tomedes was not just on providing outstanding translation and localization services, but also on making it a customer-centric organization – a one stop shop where any business could come to have their language needs met by a modern organization, with professionals available 24/7 for any project.

2. What were your greatest struggles in establishing the brand and how did you overcome them?

Some of the greatest struggles that I faced – and that we still face today – were around building an infrastructure that supports the high level of customer service and quality we aim to provide, while also still providing excellent value for money for our translation clients.

We continue to work hard on this, with a focus on continuous improvement. This includes the quantity and quality of those providing our translation and language services, the training that our project managers undergo in order to help them analyze each and every customer’s need in detail, and the way that we provide our clients with the best solutions, tailored to their individual needs.

3. How have you ensured the development of a strong, stable business?

A strong and stable business is based on a strong and a stable team. At Tomedes, that means a diverse group of people working from several locations at different times, all aiming to achieve the same goals. 

The most important part of building a team that works across international borders and time zones is hiring the right people. We seek to hire people who identify with our values and who have an inner drive to improve and be better. A passion for providing superb customer service is also essential.

As well as the team, I’ve found that the correct combination of clear and efficient business processes and supported systems has been important in building a strong, stable business. With this in place at the core of Tomedes’ operations, each team member can add their own unique value in order to further enhance the company.

Continual development is the final piece of the jigsaw. We monitor our interactions with our clients, our translators and our colleagues in order to help us learn and improve.

4. What challenges have you faced when setting up branches overseas and how did you overcome them?

The main challenges were due to culture gaps and unclear expectations. I’ve certainly learned some lessons along the way! I believe that good people share the same values and motivations everywhere, though, which has been helpful in overcoming some of those challenges.

I’ve seen see great relationships and friendships build up between Tomedes team members who come from totally different backgrounds and cultures, and I feel honored to have met some great people that I would not have had the chance to meet elsewhere.

While culture gaps do bring their own unique challenges, I firmly believe that these can and should be bridged by frank and honest conversations. At Tomedes, we try to build a culture of transparent dialogue at all levels.  

5. What are the values on which Tomedes was founded and have these changed as the company has grown?

Our main value was a commitment to providing outstanding customer service. That hasn’t changed in the past decade, nor will it change in the future. It is our founding principle. We continuously tweak and adjust our systems and technologies in order to support this value.

We believe that no two companies are alike. As such, we provide each client with a service tailored to its specific needs. As part of this, we have built a 24/7 support team and offer the ideal translation solution in terms of quality, price and turnaround time.

6. How do you ensure that your staff are happy, engaged and committed to the company’s long-term future?

Our staff are at the heart of what we do. They are key to enabling us to meet our goals. As such, we ensure that all staff members are respected and recognized for their hard work. We make sure they are involved and that their ideas and feedback are listened to and acted upon. By having an engaged and happy staff team, we can all identify and work towards the company values, and to a long-term, sustainable future.

7.  What will Tomedes look like in ten years’ time?

Some elements of the company will look the same, such as our commitment to customer service. We have a clear vision of the service level we would like to provide and are focused on reaching that level as soon as possible. Once we do reach it, we’ll raise the bar once more in terms of our customer service goals.

In other ways, I have no idea what Tomedes will look like in ten years! Technology is advancing so rapidly that it will play an important role in shaping many businesses over the coming decade, including those providing translation services. What I am positive about is that Tomedes will be bigger, better and serve even more businesses around the world.

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