GALA Champion Mladen Stojak
In this series of interviews, GALA members share their insights on the pursuit of globalization & localization.
This month's GALA Champion is Mladen Stojak.
Starting out in localization
I have a background in engineering and management and prior to joining Ciklopea I had a corporate career in the telecommunications industry. Since my life and business partner Sandra has a degree in linguistics and translation and she was an active translator at that time, which was 20 years ago, she founded a translation company. It was a dynamic and very interesting period with a lot of opportunities, when our home country Croatia was starting the negotiation process for joining the European Union. Together, we noticed an excellent business opportunity and she invited me to join her in the company and help her with business development. And here I am now, almost a veteran in the localization industry. The rest is history.
Ciklopea joined GALA 12 years ago and this is what we published on our website:
Ciklopea, one of the leading LSPs (translation and localization services providers) in the Republic of Croatia and in the wider region of Southeast Europe (SEE) has joined the international Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) as a corporate member etc.
Considering the maturity level of the company at that time, we recognised GALA as a very good platform for networking, business development, learning and knowledge sharing with peers from the industry. And in our case it really was, it was the right move. Through GALA we've developed an excellent network of industry connections, learned a lot, improved our business and made a lot of friends. I still believe GALA is helping us a lot by giving us a very detailed and fresh perspective of the localization industry and recent developments.
Favourite GALA program
GALA events are my favorites. Old and new friends, great contacts, a very good program and new opportunities. I am happy to be a GALA ambassador and to actively take part in the organization, for instance serving on committees when possible, and whenever my skills are needed.
A new business model for the localization industry
It’s very hard for me to propose a new business model for this industry since there are so many different and difficult business models in this space. Personally, I believe in Simplicity, Transparency, Integrity, Partnerships, and Continuous Improvement as core values and those are the values around which we have built our thriving business model.
New and essential skills when hiring new people
When it comes to hiring, we follow the old saying 'Hire for attitude, train for skills'. Of course there are certain prerequisites in that sense, depending on the role within the company, such as language, commercial, or digital literacy skills. But considering the overall dynamics of the market, the first thing we're looking for is whether that individual is a good fit, and whether they display a willingness to learn, improve, change, and adapt.
Persuading an organization that localization is really a worth investment
Always and always, deliverables with real business value.
What is a professional accomplishment you are proud of?
The company we've built.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Be flexible, open to change and learn new things.