#GALAChampion: Asta Rusakevičienė

In this series of interviews, GALA members share their insights on the pursuit of globalization & localization brilliance.

Asta Rusakevičienė,Diskusija’s CEO

For more from GALA Experts, subscribe to our YouTube Channel

What’s in a Job Title

Being the founder, owner and CEO of the company, I take on my shoulders many responsibilities: company strategy, leadership, performance efficiency, nurture of partnerships, company spirit and values preservation. Beyond the title, I am first and foremost a mentor, equipping my team with principles, knowledge and strategies to deal with everyday challenges and opportunities.

Starting out in Localization

I started as a French-Lithuanian translator in the early years of my French philology studies, and I did that for a few years. Alongside with translation, I especially enjoyed consecutive interpreting, which allowed me to meet so many interesting people and learn about business, politics and negotiation. This experience soon made me realize that despite all my love for languages, and the passion for enabling people to understand each other, being an interpreter wasn’t actually what I really wanted to do. In other words, I didn’t want to interpret the thoughts of other people, I wanted to express myself, to manage, to lead… This is how Diskusija was born, and this is why I also have two other master’s degrees: one in political science and another in international business.

Where GALA Fits In

GALA is very dear to me because it was the first international organization I joined. In 2006 I received an old-school e-mail campaign invitation to the LocWorld Barcelona conference. It came just at the right time as Diskusija already worked with lots of international clients, and I was keen to learn more about our industry and to see a bigger picture. GALA was the organizing partner of this event, so consequently I decided to join GALA as well. I knew that I was going to attend many more events like these, so member’s discount didn't hurt.

But in all seriousness, I recognized an excellent opportunity to promote my business and was proud to associate Diskusija with this strong international organization. Frankly, at the time I didn’t think a lot about the value of the GALA community, which is what I value the most now. Indeed, I think that my first meeting with GALA representative Laura Brandon had a very big impact on my perception of my place in the industry. In truth, I was scared to go to such an international event. Being from a small company and, almost, incapable of speaking English at that time, I felt really embarrassed, but luckily not for long. I remember entering the GALA meeting room on pre-conference day and seeing Laura running towards me shouting “Asta, how nice to see you here!”. It was the “Wow” moment that I will never forget. I don’t know how she recognized me (OK, I did send her my photo :), but since that moment I wasn’t scared or lonely anymore. I was right to be there, it was my place.

The GALA conference definitely is my favorite GALA event. So far, I have attended all of them. Why? Because of the very good vibes of this event. Because I meet lots of industry peers and learn about new trends in our industry. I’m constantly challenged to think forward and move forward. I meet our potential or existing clients, and overall, I have a good time.


Why join GALA? Take a look.


I’m proud of my company. Together with my team, I have developed Diskusija to the level of a well-established, solid, ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 17100:2015 certified boutique language services company. Companies worldwide recognize us and entrust Diskusija with their linguistic tasks and it’s the best proof that we are doing a great job :)

Career-building Tips

I received the best advice at an international industry event 15 years ago: Don’t think small, don’t refrain yourself by thinking about your limits. It is not the actual quote, I rephrased it above. In fact, the advice was to stop as a single language vendor. The right processes are far more important than the PM’s mastery of languages. If your processes allow you to successfully manage projects into your native language, you should be capable of managing multilingual projects in the same way. It was a big encouragement to me to add other regional languages to our portfolio and to grow as a company.

Networking Tips & Techniques

Don’t be shy but, also, don’t be pushy. Networking is not about selling, it’s about building your network.

What I Learned during the Last Year...

For me, it is probably about getting strong proof that we live in a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) world, and that we really need to sharpen our adaptability skills. There were lots of theoretical talks about the VUCA world in the last few years: Speakers at the events and podcasts, leadership coaches, everyone kept delivering advice on how we should learn to adapt to the quickly changing environment. The past year put us all straight into practice.

On a good note, I learned that our industry is really resilient, so, the question is how resilient we are as a business . I learned that my motto “Non progredi est regredi” (not to go forward is to go backward) is valid more than ever. When you are not changing, you are not growing.

Finding Inspiration

There is no one source of inspiration that I could single out. There are too many! Sometimes I find my inspiration in books I read, or in podcasts I listen to, when I talk to my peers, my family or friends. Also, I’m a big fan of outdoor activities, I recharge myself in nature, and sometimes I get the “Aha” moment while hiking.

My Brilliant Second Career

In an alternative life, I think I could find myself in the finance sector as I’m a big fan of figures :).

Life Beyond Localization

I’m a big fan of outdoor activities: mountaineering, hiking, canoeing, cycling, and I like dancing very much too :). I miss our industry events so much as we used to have good dancing parties there :D Most importantly, I’m a mother of three amazing sons. They constantly inspire me and challenge me at the same time.

Sign up here for our newsletter on globalization and localization matters.