Podcast

How to scale a service business that moves from local to global reach

Marko and Vinay talk about how Taia was born and how it achieved its global reach. Tune in and learn how to scale your SaaS by creating the right culture, localization strategy, and more.

How to scale a service business that moves from local to global reach 1
It is inevitable that everything we do in life, especially if you’re not an English person, is going to be translated into your native language – everything; every game, every app, every sign, everything is going to be localized and it’s going to be localized in an instant. 

Marko Hozjan, Co-founder @Taia

Marko Hozjan, CEO and co-founder

Marko Hozjan

Co-founder / CEO @Taia
Marko Hozjan is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Taia Translations, a company that is breaking down language barriers with the help of AI, translation memory, and a team of professional translators.
How to scale a service business that moves from local to global reach 4

Vinay Koshy

Founder / Podcast Host @Sproutworth
Vinay Koshy is a founder of Sproutworth, a company which produces content solutions to help entrepreneurs build their influence and generate more leads. He is also a creator of the Predictable B2B Success Podcast.

What you'll learn

  • How is Taia different from other translation companies?
  • How to operate successfully in highly competitive markets.
  • How can the right company culture help to accelerate your business success?
  • How did Taia go from a local to a global company, and what can you learn from their journey?
  • What does the future of translation look like?
  • Why is localization crucial for achieving a global outreach?
  • Why is translating your content a crucial element in beating your competition?

Resources

Transcript

Vinay Koshy:Hello, and welcome to the Predictable B2B success podcast brought to you by Sproutworth.com. I am Vinay Koshy and our guest today is Marko Hozjan, who is the CEO of Taia which is, I believe, a translation platform that delivers quality translations assisted by AI technology as well as experienced translators.

Marko, we have a lot of business owners and executives listening in who are quite passionate about growing their business predictably by empathetic content and conversations. And so perhaps a good place to start, Marko, would be to ask you, how would you say that Taia is creating predictable business growth?

Marko Hozjan: First of all, hello and thank you for the invitation. It’s really nice to be here. This question has many layers, so I would start with localization in general. This has been proven to significantly impact direct sales, which means that, for example, any kind of ecommerce business, gaming or otherwise…if it’s localized to a specific market, the probability of sales goes up drastically. This means that localization or translation can be used directly as a growth tool. And this is, of course, where Taia comes in. It really depends on the type of content you need to translate; it really depends on the technology that you’re using. But either way, when it comes to translations, it’s usually not the first thing that companies think about when they do their business, whatever their business is. It’s usually one of the last things, and usually the budgets are not set accordingly and usually the timelines are not set accordingly. So, it happens very often where when people call us, they’re in a hurry, which means that speed is very important to them. Price, of course, is very important to them because it’s just something that they have to do, it’s not something that they’ve planned initially and really thought through. And in the end, it always comes down to a big technical problem, at least, because you do not have a lot of companies that have their own technical departments that can solve the problem because there are so many platforms out there, there are so many technologies, so many types of code and there is no unified way of how to translate certain software. There is no standard for now…yet. So, we’re trying to solve that problem as we speak.

Vinay Koshy:So, there’s a lot that we could unpack there. Maybe a good place to start would be, Marko, I believe in the past you have started something like seven other companies, would that be correct? And you are an economist, I believe, by training executives.

Marko Hozjan: Exactly, yeah.

Vinay Koshy:And your background includes things like sailing, language teaching and leadership as well. Taia is now, what, a 30+ person team of which you are one of the co-founders. And you’ve more recently gone through a round of funding as well, if I’m not mistaken. Where did this journey with Taia begin? Can you take us back to that point in time when you decided to part ways or deviate from the language school that you had started up and invest in this SaaS business?

Marko Hozjan: Sure. Actually, when you mentioned previous companies, it all comes down to an early entrepreneurship wish, which means that I wanted to be an entrepreneur since, I don’t know, high school. But that meant that I very quickly said yes to any idea that I got. But then after the first, second, third idea, I realized I’m in a business that is not really scalable. So, you can have a very healthy business making a million, making a couple of million in revenue, but if it’s not scalable, then it’s not a startup, then it’s not a multinational or a global business.

And the same thing happened with the language school. With the business before Taia I had with my partner, Matija, with whom I have Taia now, we found that the language school became the largest language school here in the country. But we realized we could not scale it more than that. Of course, we could totally pivot into SaaS within the language industry, which means language learning like Duolingo or similar, but at the time that was too difficult and we started getting, at the time, our first demands for translations. And we even did some translations, we started a traditional translation agency as we call it, a traditional LSP.

And we quickly realized that it’s actually nonsense because the only thing we could compete with was price. But at the same time, we realized that the whole industry is really outdated. So, LSPs are using old technology or sending files over emails and so on, and on the other hand, we realized that the industry is really big. So, it’s more than 50 billion in size and growing rapidly because of globalization. And on the other hand, it’s not known because it’s not as sexy as, for example, the music industry, which is twice as small as the translation industry. So actually, at that time we started to see that there might be an opportunity here, and later, when we put all the Legos together with the business model, with tech that we can do and so on, we actually realized that this is a scalable business, this can be a scalable business. So, this is actually the first business, and I mean it, that I really believe is scalable. That’s why I’m all Taia now.

Vinay Koshy:Given your journey to date, what would you say is your personal area of strength?

Marko Hozjan: Definitely leadership, management and business in general, so business development, these three topics.

Vinay Koshy:And in that area of strength, what would you say is something that businesses don’t know?

Marko Hozjan: That’s a tough question because there are so many things. So, either way, there’s a lot being said because I read a lot of books. For now, I’m keeping my score of 50 books per year, and when talking about leadership, there is really a lot of great content coming out there. But the change within the system, within people’s minds, is not as fast as it is with science, as it is with what you can read in books for example. So, when it comes to company culture, building a culture, building values, how to lead a modern company or enterprise, I think that companies are really lacking there. So, this would be the step that I see.

Vinay Koshy:So, if I could rephrase that, you’re saying that most businesses don’t know how to create the kind of culture that enables them to scale?

Marko Hozjan: Exactly, exactly, and even to be more fundamental, they don’t know how to create a culture, how to motivate people, how to really motivate people, how to have less people leave the company, yeah, and in the end, of course, to grow the company.

Vinay Koshy:So earlier on, when you were talking about creating predictable business growth at Taia, you talked about localization – is that the very same strategy that you use to acquire clients for yourself?

Marko Hozjan: Partly. Of course, we do our own translations, this is for sure. But since we have now been mostly focused on English-speaking markets, this means that we haven’t needed to do a lot of translations for ourselves yet. But we are in that phase now; for example, the app itself as we speak is being translated into multiple languages because it’s very important for our users to do that. But in the end, the process is very similar and I can say that we are one of our own customers. But of course, we cannot say that.

Vinay Koshy:Certainly. You wouldn’t be alone in that. I think most companies eat their own dog food in terms of using their processes to enable marketing and sales. Marko, when we were talking earlier, you said that there’s this perception that machine language translations, or machine translations rather, are pretty dimly-viewed amongst most companies or people, and you’ve had a bit of a battle to change that perception. How have you gone about that?

Marko Hozjan: That is, we’re actually in the middle of a battle but we’re not alone. It’s really a battle of perception. So, if we would do a quick survey now with just using random people, those people would see machine translation today, just remembering the time when they used Google Translate, for example, which is the most known machine translation worldwide, five years ago. So, when they used it five years ago, they remember that the quality was crap and they keep that in mind until now. So there has been a lot of change in people’s minds either way, and you have two different worlds of machine translation.

One is the public world, the free world, which is, for example, Google Translate, Microsoft Translate, Yandex, Baidu, and so on; the ones that you can go online and use for free, and I have to say, they have grown, like others, substantially. This means that if you use Google Translate today, the results are quite amazing. And then there is another hidden part where there are paid machine translations, custom machine translations that companies or organizations or companies like us make. And then you can combine this technology with the other thing that’s called translation memory, which is an older technology but much more accurate. When you combine them together, you can get much better results.

So, if you use general machine translation for general purposes, even now, it can be very good. If you use specific machine translation for specific purposes, it can be very good. In general, how we’re tackling this problem is just showing people the product. So, whenever they’re skeptical, we say, just try it out. And usually, we get very positive results, like they can’t even believe that this was translated by a machine. So, the Turing test is now in a state where people very often cannot differentiate between a computer or a human….

Vinay Koshy:Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m hearing that this area of translation is almost becoming commoditized in that it’s a matter of uploading a document and getting the translation generally pretty good. It may vary slightly but, by and large, you can expect a fairly good output. And then it’s a question, of course, of applying it directly to wherever you see fit. So, I’m assuming there’s a fair bit of competition even though organic searches and things don’t seem to indicate much volume for it. How are you tackling the space and standing out in and amongst your competitors?

Marko Hozjan: In general, how we see things is that we see Taia’s technology as our biggest partner and NOT our competitor. So, there’s this big wave of automation, machine translation included, that is really changing the industry and leaving a lot of corpses. So, a lot of translators that don’t want to change, lose their business. A lot of LSPs that don’t want to change lose their business because they’re just not competitive.

What we’re trying to do is to use the technology to get ahead and to serve this way, which means that we see other machine translations not as our competitor but as our partner. So, we’re trying to use different neural networks, as they are called, or machine translation and combine them with our own. So, it’s inevitable that everything we do in life, especially if you’re not an English person, is going to be translated into your native language – everything. Every game, every app, every sign, everything is going to be localized and it’s going to be localized in an instant. And the only thing that can really enable that is machine translation. So, is it going to take time? Is it going to take 10 years, 15 years, 20 years? Too difficult to say but, for sure, machine translation is going to take the majority of the market.

But still, machine translation is just a tool in the end. What we’re trying to do is give the public the tool as a professional service, not only as a tool. Let me give you an example. If you go to Google Translate, you need to, for example, copy/paste the text, copy it back or you can input the document, you lose the formatting, the quality is poor and then you don’t have any extra services that you might need. If you want to just send an email to your grandmother from another country, that’s not a problem, of course, because you’re a simple user. But immediately when you become slightly more advanced users, which most companies are, then just basic machine translation isn’t enough. You need a variety of services when it comes to more advanced languages or when it comes to custom machine translations or when it comes to other services related to, for example, integrations or anything similar. So, we’re seeing machine translations as one of the tools where we can create different products that are actually a professional service and especially because we’re focused on a B2B market, that is so much more true now, unlike on the B2C market. A B2C market will not be that interesting; it will be a big user of machine translation but it will not be so interesting business wise.

Vinay Koshy:So, when you say integrating with other neural networks. Can you give us an example?

Marko Hozjan: Sure. Even now, for example, when we’re translating with Catapult, the tool where we enable others to translate, we combine different neural networks. So, there are about 10 good neural networks that are publicly available or that you can buy now in the world and we’re combining a few of them with our own. Which means that we’re trying to get the best result out of different neural networks or machine translation services. This means that whoever is translating can get different proposals of a translation or just the best proposal there is.

Vinay Koshy:And the key thing that kind of differentiates Taia over others is, if I’m understanding this correctly, the fact that you’re able to keep, for lack of a better term, the formatting of a document as you’d want it to, depending upon the use case. Would that be a correct takeaway?

Marko Hozjan: Yeah, one of them for sure. Either way, we have to differentiate two things: Taia is becoming a platform where you can order any kind of translation service, okay? So this is logical; if you order a translation of a document, we guarantee that the formatting is going to stay intact, I don’t know, in 95% of the cases, because it’s different. Even if you have a Word document that’s formatted, for example – if you translate from English to German, words can be much longer so then the formatting can be a bit scrambled. Otherwise, where the formatting is more important is with our SaaS product called Catapult where people translate by themselves, which means that this is much more important for them because there is no Project Manager behind it taking care of that. This means they drag and drop the document, they translate it by themselves, just by post-editing the pre-translated text, they just correct it or proofread or however we want to call it, and when they click finish, they download the document with the formatting the same as it was before.

Vinay Koshy:I’m assuming that the actual sale cycle would really be pretty short given that you can always try it out for free, upload a document and see the end result, which should meet approval and the person pays to sign up. I guess the real question in terms of growth for Taia is how do you reach out to as many people as you can? Would that be a correct frame of the problem that you’ve faced and still face?

Marko Hozjan: So, it’s a very good question because, actually, until now, our sales cycle has not been short.

Vinay Koshy:Oh, wow.

Marko Hozjan: Because when it comes to translations, the sales itself is quite complex. Firstly, it’s very difficult to define a person who’s the decision maker buying or ordering a translation because the organization of things within companies are so different. When it comes to smaller companies, the decision maker ordering a translation can range from CEOs to Secretaries. When it comes to larger companies, it comes down to each department separately, and many company departments order translation separately – legal departments separately, marketing departments separately – which means that different middle managers are responsible. And when it comes to larger companies, they have their own localization departments, which means that you’re speaking with a localization manager. And at the end, the sales targets are very different. When we speak with smaller companies, yes, the sales cycle can be short. When we speak with larger companies, there’s this whole procurement process which you need to follow, which means that the sales cycle can be up to six months.

But on the other hand, when we talk about smaller orders or quick orders, there the sales cycle is immediate, which means that someone can just come, even if it’s a company or if it’s a physical person, they can just create an account within seconds and just order. So, in this case, this is what we’re actually trying to push. But we’re actually moving some stones that are very rigid because people are not used to that. People are used to ordering translations via email which means that they can use some online form, but then they send files over email that they’re not used to. So actually, we’re teaching people that there is a way which can be fully automated and suited to their needs.

Vinay Koshy:Would I be right in saying that to a large extent your success to date has been based on an outbound approach?

Marko Hozjan: Exactly, and this is what we’re trying to change. Our whole sales process started in a very rudimentary way, which means that we started with cold calling, but now we’re actually in the whole process of pivoting, with trying to close the sales through the funnel of marketing which means lead generation, marketing automation, to the end of the last part where we close the sale online. But that is actually impossible with bigger clients. When it comes to corporations, it’s very difficult to close a sale because usually you need to sign a general contract and so on. That is where our sales reps come in and they take over the customer. But when it comes to smaller companies or not so complex users, we’re just closing the whole funnel now.

Vinay Koshy:And how have you approached that given you’ve got so many different personas and use cases? Are you just tackling one segment at a time or is there a different approach that you’re taking?

Marko Hozjan: Yeah, that’s a very good question. This is a question that we’ve been dealing with actually for three years, since the beginning. When you look at each service sector or each business category, you can find that it can be very interesting for translation. So, in the end, we had to decide which service categories we wanted to attack and actually, we asked ourselves where we’re best at. And then at the time, we saw that we’re best at, of course, document translation, in general. We actually do a full service, we do all of the translation things, which means interpreting, audiovisual, subtitling and so on, but document translation is our core. And at the time, there were business services such as legal, banking, finance, insurance and so on. Manufacturing was one of them and then there were others like life sciences, and so on. We have many references now, but these are the service categories that were mostly focused on.

Vinay Koshy:So, when you’re speaking about these categories, is it just a matter of addressing the use case or is there also an element of education around what machine translation is and what Taia can do, and the process – how the process differs and things of that nature as well?

Marko Hozjan: Actually, there are all of these aspects and others. So, of course, one is the aspect of usage, which means that when it comes to machine translation it can be used. Some companies use it for public things, but some companies use it only for internal things. And what you mentioned. Not only that; at the end, one of the important factors is just the technical implementation of things. So, one is how we implement our process into the process of the company? And then of course, the technical things, which means that, in the end, companies want to have the whole process seamless. This means that they want to have less and less friction when it comes to translation. They want to be within their own ERP, just clicking something and then it translates by itself if it’s a text or a document, or whatnot, and that they can just choose within their ERP, for example, or CRM, the level of quality and so on. So, the demands of customers are rising which is logical.

Vinay Koshy:If I’m not mistaken, I’m hearing that there is quite a bit of empathy in your approach to addressing customer needs. I’m curious, how does that play out in day-to-day conversations and activities?

Marko Hozjan: Mostly, if I understand your question correctly, it comes down to our salespeople that talk to customers, and then on the other hand, our project managers. Firstly, we need to understand the customer. This is the most important because still, as I mentioned in the beginning, we are trying to create a standard of translations where things will become much easier. For now, translations in general can be very complex; there are so many systems. And even if you mentioned, for example, WordPress as a system of webpages that is mostly spread around the world, they have only one plugin called WPML which is very buggy, technically not very nice to use, for example, and then you imagine so many different systems and not a single standard that would cover them all. But this means you need a lot of technical knowledge, not only empathy, and of course, to get to know your customer in detail and just find out what their pain points are and try to solve them for them.

Vinay Koshy:But really, the culture that I think you’re alluding to within Taia is one where there is a lot of proactivity delegated or being passed on through to your frontline staff who are curious enough and wanting to really understand the granular aspects of how a client potentially uses your product or some sort of translation. I’m curious on the face of it, I would think that you would be looking for people with some sort of linguistic background, but from what I’m hearing, I think there’s more to it than that. Really, curiosity and perhaps a bit of technical knowledge would be some of the other things that you’d really be looking for in some of your staff.

Marko Hozjan: Exactly. If I look at the education structure of our staff, we have mostly linguists, and I would say technical staff. That is true, that is true. When it comes to our values, especially for the people that really talk to customers, these values really stick out. And I would point out three, for example:

One is autonomy. This is one of the most important values within our company, that people really can be autonomous, firstly on a team level and then on the individual level as well.

But then if you want autonomy to really work, you need two other things to be set. One is to master your knowledge. People need to be equipped with everything they need to really know how to do things in order to be autonomous. And on the other hand, of course, purpose and just the impact that they do. They need to do things that matter, not just things that someone told them to do, which means that they decide what they will do, what the decision will be, how they will decide. It comes up so much that people even decide who to hire by themselves.

Vinay Koshy:What would you say has been one of your biggest takeaways or learning points from your growth journey over the past three years at Taia, in terms of being able to scale to what is now a 30+ person company?

Marko Hozjan: I would say that the concept of motivation 3.0, which is, for example…there are many books describing it; one of the books is a very well-known book “Drive”. It is one of the concepts that really fit what Taia has built and what is actually not so difficult to build. The problem is actually that we have these old stereotypes – how a leader should look, how a structure should look, we’re taught all these stereotypes within faculties and so on. These new ways of leadership are really releasing the potential in people. It’s actually funny because the leaders give their power to employees, which actually releases the pressure on leaders and releases the time. This means that, for example within Taia, we really went all in, meaning that we never measured the time that employees work. We never measure. So, it’s not important that you work from the office, it’s not important where you work, how you work. The only thing that is important is your responsibility towards your goal and of course, in the meantime your tasks or if we have any meetings, that you’re in a meeting, and so on. It’s just this responsibility towards tasks, otherwise, you’re very autonomous to do things in your own way, how you see fit, who you work with and so on. In this case, we really went all in and actually when it comes to payments, for example, we do not have – of course the BDMs are a bit different – but we don’t have any variable payments. So, when you come to the company, there is a fixed wage because we want to put money out of the question. We want to put counting hours out of the question or out of the equation. We just want to talk about what will we do well, what will we change and so on. Not to talk about these actually unimportant things: just “what is my variable part of the wage this month?”, “how many hours did I do?”, and so on. It’s actually not important. The only important thing is do you have a wage that you’re satisfied with? If this is okay, now let’s put money out of the question, let’s just talk about work.

Vinay Koshy:In terms of building the company out, would you say that – in fact, you did say that B2B is your biggest market that you feel you should be expanding your presence in – what do you believe it would take to lead the conversation in terms of getting people to understand that there are easier solutions to automated translation service?

Marko Hozjan: Sorry, can you rephrase the question?

Vinay Koshy:Sure. I was just wondering that in terms of trying to gain a sizable share in the B2B market, how are you leading the conversation in this whole machine translation and AI-assistant translation?

Marko Hozjan: By asking questions. Mostly this. And when asking questions to the B2B market, we usually get answers on what they’re most frustrated with. Usually this comes to, for example, speed of translations, quality of translations and it comes to security and safety of their documents. This is becoming a bigger and bigger topic because until now, or until recent years, companies were very ignorant when it came to the safety of the document. They just kept sending their documents over emails or anywhere else and so on. So, when we get these different answers, then we show them the solution. For example, with us, you can choose the level of quality that you need because the need is so different at different times. For example, a company can today need a high-quality translation for their catalogs. Tomorrow, they don’t need a high-quality translation, they need a high-quantity, low-quality translation for their internal use because they need to translate their archives. And then the day after that, they need a contract and so on. So, it’s very different, which means that the product itself, a translation, can be very complex. So, we’re trying to solve it all in one place and that’s why we just ask questions. And the first question actually is, do you outsource translations, or do you translate by yourself? So immediately, if they outsource, we offer them a one-solution-platform where they can order everything. And on the other hand, if they translate by themselves, we offer our solution, Catapult, where they can translate by themselves much more efficiently.

And in the end, one of our major USPs when it comes to this is our repetitions and smart translation memories. This means that the longer the customer stays with us, the cheaper it is for them, because we do not charge for repetitions. And there are two types of repetitions: one is repetitions within the document that are immediately seen, and the other is repetitions of things that we have already translated for a specific customer. And it is the same for using Catapult for customers that translate by themselves; the things that they have already translated are automatically saved within their own library, which means that they don’t have to translate again, which means that they can be much more efficient.

Vinay Koshy:So, would you say that partnerships and/or integrations have also helped with the growth?

Marko Hozjan: For now? No. Because mostly we’ve done things in-house. Whenever we wanted to form a foreign partnership, we realized that it’s a more solid long-term path for us to have things internally, so to have things proprietary, which means that we decided that we’re going to do things on our own. But what kind of partnerships do you have in mind in general?

Vinay Koshy:You mentioned, for example, that security was a concern for some companies and certainly the ransomware attacks and things have certainly brought that to the fore in the minds of a lot of businesses. So, I was wondering if you were perhaps a provider of choice for translation services for certain cybersecurity type companies or something of that nature.

Marko Hozjan: For now, no, even though we had a couple of customers from that field. So, when it comes to this, we do things by ourselves. And when you mentioned security, there are mainly two things that are within translations very problematic. One is that people send their files to other LSPs via email and these files are then sent via email, again, to freelance translators that sit in their pyjamas somewhere in the world using an unknown, unlicensed computer and having those files on their computers or in their email inboxes indefinitely. And all of those file copies can lead to a potential data breach.

The other part that is very problematic is the use – of course, and people don’t know that – of public machine translation providers. They use those translations to read, very often to reteach the computer, especially when you speak about post-editing CAT tools that are publicly available. This means that there have been cases where out of these machine translations, there were some leaks of data that some LSPs were using. There were leaks of data and there were big polemics regarding that. But in all of the cases that I’m mentioning, when we’re speaking to customers, we realize that the ignorance is very high, which means that people are just not aware that this can be a problem. But when we mention it they said, oh, we really don’t want this to happen.

Vinay Koshy:So, it seems to be quite a virgin field in the manner of speaking in terms of awareness and the possibilities of using translation services. And given your experience to date, where would you see the space evolving? Is this something that would become increasingly automated to the point where you really need very little human interaction, or do you feel that there are contexts and concepts which still require a fair bit of human involvement?

Marko Hozjan: Both are true. Either way, if I had to make a prediction, I would say – I don’t know when. It’s very difficult to say. Let’s say 20 years – machine translation in general is going to take 90% of the market. But on the other hand, the market will change, the market will rise by at least 500%, which means that what will happen, everyday life that we do, everything we do with each gadget, each app, each tool – it’s going to be instantly translated and the translations are going to be very good. There is still going to be a part of the market, 10% of the market force, where context or very difficult creative translations need to be ensured, not only books or poems or so on, we’re talking about business translations as well, or marketing translations are a good case, where human input is going to be needed. This means that when it comes to translators, they don’t have to fear for their jobs, only, what they do, their work, is going to change and has already changed. For example, the majority of translators needed to change from translating things from scratch to post-editing. The majority of translators nowadays, at least the smart ones, do MT post-editing now, which means that things are pre-translated and then it depends what kind of MT they use, how much work they have, and then they correct the pre-translated machine translation. So, their line of work is going to change.

So, when it comes to the end customer, things are going to get much better, which means that translations themselves are going to become easier, more accessible and so on. But for the industry, the whole period is going to be very painful, which means that only the most agile companies will flourish. The rest will really suffer because everything is moving towards the technical side of things and the linguistic space. And when you look into the linguistic space, you see a lack of technical knowledge in general, which is of course logical; you can’t be an expert in two things at once. The linguistic experts say the quality is going to drop. In my opinion, not necessarily. It depends on machine translation progress. But when it comes to the need for high-quality translations, the human will always be there. So, it always depends on the customer, what they choose and what kind of translation they actually need.

Vinay Koshy:You’ve more recently gone through a series, or a round of funding. What would you say you didn’t expect or weren’t aware of as you reached that round of funding?

Marko Hozjan: So firstly, we weren’t aware that there were so many interesting companies within the translation business. This was the first thing that….this was even before we started, really, when we started the business. Later on, especially in the Western world, especially in the UK, we saw that there were competitors, which was actually a good thing because it’s proof of a concept, which means that the market exists.

The second thing is, what we realized is that the field where we’re coming from is very complex and when we spoke to investors, we actually saw that the investors don’t know much about what we’re talking about. So, when it comes to translation, they understand it, but the more we went into technical stuff, we realized that they don’t understand it actually. In the end, they actually needed to trust us that we know what we’re doing. When I say to you that I have a machine translation, it’s very difficult for me to show it to you so that this is an actual thing because a neural network is a complex thing. We just had to build trust, not so much talk about technical stuff. But otherwise, our experience was fairly positive, which means that we are in a period where there is a lot of money available for investment. This means that all you need to show is a good concept, traction, a good team and you’re good to go, you can receive almost any kind of investment. Okay, it depends where you’re from. Europe is very different from the US, for example. You used the word series A, in the US, the amount that we received would be considered definitely a seed. So, there are differences from where you are.

Vinay Koshy:This has been brilliant and quite eye opening for myself. Marko, if you were listening to this podcast episode, what would be your biggest takeaway?

Marko Hozjan: Difficult question. It would be that if you have a growing business, any kind of growing international business, think about localization as a tool for your sales growth. This is it. And of course, if you need those kinds of services, think about Taia.

Vinay Koshy:And I was gonna say, if listeners are curious and wanted to find out more and connect with yourself, where would you recommend they go?

Marko Hozjan: Just our landing page, taia.io. Otherwise, anyone can connect to me over LinkedIn, they can just find me there – Marko Hozjan and that’s it.

Vinay Koshy:Excellent. No worries, Marko, I appreciate you taking time out to do this. Thank you.

Marko Hozjan: Likewise.

Vinay Koshy:Thank you.

If you enjoyed this episode of the Predictable B2B Success podcast, I would love your support. Head on over to the Apple Podcasts app and give us a rating. And as always, you can catch every episode of the Predictable B2B success podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for tuning in.

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