World Entrepreneurs’ Day



An interview with entrepreneur Raymund Prins

Today, August 21, we celebrate leadership, innovation, and outstanding examples of entrepreneurial excellence across the world. That’s because today is World Entrepreneurs’ Day, or WED for short. The perfect time to highlight the achievements of our very own entrepreneur, Raymund Prins. To achieve success as an entrepreneur, there are several qualities you need to possess. In this interview, we discuss six of these personal traits with Raymund. Let’s see what he said.

 

Ondernemer Raymund Prins vertaalbureau Global textware1. MOTIVATION

What motivated you to start Global textware in 1997?

 

Entrepreneurship is about spotting opportunities and knowing when and how to take advantage of them.  I had been working in the translation industry for eight years by this point, and discovered many opportunities were being missed within the niche market of ICT-translation.  I delved right into this niche, together with my business partner at the time.  We set up a translation service that was specifically aimed at IT companies across the globe.  This was the mid-nineties – the opportune moment for this venture, with the rise of the internet and tech giants such as Google.  The tides were in our favor and we quickly secured our share of the market.

 

2. ENDURANCE

Being an entrepreneur means rolling up your sleeves and buckling down. What was a trying time for you as an entrepreneur?

 

Right from the start, it was a tough grind, first to attract clients – and to keep them – and subsequently to handle the weight of the fast-growing workload.  Challenging times have always come and gone.  For me, as a craftsman, my main focus was delivering a service, a product I could be proud of. This became more and more challenging as I tried to combine it with managing the fast-developing company.  The organizational tasks that kept our main production activity rolling demanded a lot of time, effort, and attention.  Let’s call them growing pains.

 

3. PERFECTIONISM

How do you ensure you’re always developing and improving the services provided by Global textware?

 

It’s said that perfect is the enemy of good.  For me and our company, our main concern has always been the quality of our services and the satisfaction of our clients; our clients’ wish is our command.  To achieve this, we utilize all tools available to us in the industry. The translation industry has consistently matched the rise of technological advances over the last 25 years, and has always been the first in line to reap the benefits of technological innovations.  In the end, this is beneficial to the services we provide.

 

4. OPEN-MINDED ATTITUDE

How do you envision the future of translation, in light of recent technological developments?

 

In the short term, based on the innovations currently out there, I primarily see advantages for us. We can benefit from the automation of content production as well as day-to-day processes, both in a qualitative sense and in the context of efficiency.  In the long term, we anticipate a huge shift in the very nature of our work.  A lot of the work that we have always performed manually up to this point, will be done by machines within the next few decades.  That means we’ll be able to process large quantities of work in very short amount of time.  This will have an impact on the demand, so we will have to adjust our supply accordingly.  We will rely more on the linguistic insight of interpreters and translators, while the brunt of the manual typing (which might be the typical image of a translator’s craft) will be taken care of by machines.

 

5. TAKING RISKS

What is the biggest risk you’ve taken as an entrepreneur?

 

Entrepreneurship involves constant risk.  The larger the company, the larger the risks.  But the most important decision, where it felt the stakes were highest, was hiring staff within the first two years of the company’s existence.  What now feels like a logical and integral part of developments within the company, felt like an immense step forward in our growth at the time. Everything that followed, feels lighter.

 

6. SELF AWARENESS

Every entrepreneur has their strong and weak points. What has this insight meant for you in terms of making important decisions?

 

My strength is that I see opportunities everywhere. My weakness is that I always want to storm towards these opportunities in a straight line.  In the past 25 years, I’ve learned that you never travel towards a goal in a straight path, but that you’ll have to endure lots of trial and error before you reach your destination.  The most important thing in this learning process is that you need to trust on the knowledge and expertise of those around you in your company. You will only achieve your personal goals if everyone utilizes their skills to reach a common goal.  You might get there quicker when traveling alone, but a group will always go further.  In that sense, the most important decision I’ve made has been to update our business management model to a self-managing system that relies on the distribution of authority. 

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