What is a language solution? Sure we do excel in the language we speak, but there is more to languages than just speak. Language has its different dialects and types. Not everyone is fluent in English or the native language someone else speaks, and that is exactly why one needs language solutions. And Shilpa Mittal is a pioneer in doing the exact same.
Crimson Interactive is a pioneer and the global pacesetter in the field of diversified language solutions. Its services have helped over 2 million authors and clients across 125 countries achieve superior communication results. In this interview, let’s learn more about what exactly Crimson Interactive does with Shilpa Mittal, Translation Business Head.
1] Tell us about the company.
Crimson Interactive is a leading solutions provider for diverse languages. It assists authors and researchers worldwide in getting their research published in renowned, international journals. With clients spread across 125 countries and excellent quality delivery and innovation under its wings, Crimson has soared high, growing from strength to strength, with each adventure, each achievement, each exploration. We are pleased to boast of some clients such as Panasonic, MIT, Netflix, American Express, with whom we continue to enjoy long-standing associations. Crimson is headquartered in Mumbai, with offices in Japan, China, Korea, and the US. The three flagship brands of Crimson—Enago (English editing), Ulatus (language translation), and Voxtab (transcription)—work to deliver specialised language solutions to authors. Ulatus is the world’s leading translation and localization provider, being number 1 in India. It has been recognized among the World’s top 75 translation service providers and among the top 10 Pharma and Life Science Tech Solution providers. It helps authors and researchers with translation requirements reach a global audience and delivers localization to specific markets.
2] Can you please brief us about your professional experience?
Being an All-India Rank holder Chartered Accountant, I secured great professional opportunities in renowned financial institutions like Citibank, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley. I have been part of the treasury teams and have done research in Equities. Thereafter, Ulatus happened and I have been focused on growing this brand ever since.
3] What inspired you to start this enterprise?
I have always been a very ambitious individual, determined to work against stereotypes and establish a place for myself in the most challenging spaces. It started from my choice of academics–finance–an unexplored territory by females back then. The finance industry being a male-dominated one did not deter me from striving to achieve success and growth there, and I am proud to declare that I did achieve what I desired. However, I knew that my ambition and dreams were not restricted to following instructions and working as per someone else’s mind-set, and I knew I wanted to start and drive something of my own. That’s how Ulatus happened! The challenge in the industry was the primary trigger to me wanting to establish my business in this industry, and so I did.
4] What were the initial challenges you faced?
The translation industry is huge and to even be recognized as a brand here requires immense efforts. There is immense competition here and entering and surviving this competition requires one to be different and specialized, and hence our start was to be experts at providing language solutions in Asian languages specifically. Another challenge is that this industry is continuously evolving—from one language to another, from one service to another (translation, localization, technological solutions, etc.). Technology is getting better day by day. Thus, we too need to keep evolving in what we offer clients. This requires constant market intelligence and innovation. Building a team competent to handle varied and unique client requests is a challenge we accepted early into our story and successfully achieved. The success of Ulatus today should be attributed to its hardworking and intelligent team.
5] Which was that point that triggered the growth of the company?
We have been able to gain the trust of many clients with our excellent quality and service delivery. Customer experience and delight is of utmost importance, and I believe that all our clients have contributed to our success story. However, if I were to remember what exactly triggered, it would be some key business accounts with leading pharma companies as well as the localization services we launched, which helped accelerate our progress and success as being recognized as the leading translation brand.
6] A woman in the business world. How hard was it breaking the stereotype?
As hard as you could imagine it to get. Stereotypes existed right from the start of my career in the finance industry. I, an All-India Rank holder Chartered Accountant, was the only female among 50 males in my organisation. Securing professional opportunities and achieving utmost success in renowned financial institutions like Citibank, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley involved seeping through conventional mind-sets, defying odds, and swimming against the tide. This experience made me all the more determined to start something of my own and prove that women could run successful businesses. Businesswomen are rare and not considered as influential as businessmen, and I was determined to change this—whether it involved fighting traditional mind-sets or effectively balancing my personal and professional priorities—I wanted to do it, and I did!
7] Do you think the paradigm of business processes change when handled by a woman?
I don’t think there is a difference between the thought process of a man or woman when handling a business. Women are considered to be emotional, but businesswomen are fierce! Strategies are alike in both cases and I don’t think one is lesser capable than the other as entrepreneurs.
8] What are the key achievements of your entrepreneurial journey?
I am happy to boast about a competent team of extremely dedicated professionals working together to achieve great heights for Ulatus. Today, Ulatus is a leading brand worldwide and the number 1 translation company in India. The growth Ulatus has achieved is a pride for me and something that makes me extremely satisfied and happy about my journey. To add, because of various other milestones that Ulatus has surpassed, I have been recognized as the Best Woman Entrepreneur India 2017 Award by the Future Woman Leader Summit, the Best Woman Entrepreneur Award by Golden Bridge Awards, USA, among the 10 Influential Female CEOs Beyond Leading Business, and Aspioneer’s Flying High Women Leaders 2018.
9] What are the products/services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
We are a language solutions provider offering 50+ languages helping authors in getting their research published in international peer-reviewed journals. We also help corporates to talk to their audience in the language they understand the most. We do Life Sciences’ localization and help them launch drugs in foreign markets, through clinical trial translations. We also do regulatory submission translation and linguistic validation for pharmaceutical companies, medical device and biotech companies as well as CROs. Website localization, book translations, game translation, app localization, finance localization, software localization also form a significant part of services we offer.
10] How do you decide to take the company a step further in terms of your products/services?
Continuous innovation and evolution is key! This needs to be in close association with what the market needs v/s what the market is offering. My team is my strongest army so I need to ensure that they are constantly updated with what is needed and new in the industry to be able to get ideas and suggestions through their on-ground experience.