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GALAxy Member CEO Spotlight: Richard Estevez

By: GALA - Trusted Translations, Inc.

16 October 2012

Richard shares a snapshot of his background and the entrepreneurial spirit that led him to building a thriving translation company.

Name: Richard J. Estevez      
Company:  Trusted Translations, Inc.
Date Established:  2003
Location: Miami, USA   
Company Phone Number: +1 305 433-7964
Company E-mail:  [email protected]
Company Website:  www.trustedtranslations.com   
Business Hours:  7am-10pm
Number of employees (and breakdown by position):  45 Dedicated Resources

Description of Company Products / Services:  

We offer a full suite of language related services including document translations, on-site and over-the-phone interpretations, sign language services, localization, dubbing, subtitling, and voice-over services. 

What prompted you to start your own business? 

I have always had that entrepreneurial spirit, even at a very young age.   When I was six years old, I started my first business renting pens and pencils to fellow students.  It was called the Lucky Duck Club.  I learned a lot about business from LDC (Lucky Duck Club), including the concept of supply and demand, inventory management, client relationships and the 80/20 rule.   I started my professional career working as a lawyer.  Early in my practice, I saw a need for reliable translation at reasonable prices with faster turnaround times.  At the time, it was very difficult to find affordable and reliable options.   

What is your educational and career background? 

I was raised in a bilingual household.   My father was a physician that migrated from Cuba in the late 50s.  He is also a U.S. Army Veteran. He served as a military doctor during the Korean conflict.  At an early age, my father would take me to act as a volunteer “medical” interpreter for the Mexican migrant worker community close to my hometown of Danville, VA.  I was only around ten at the time; however, I learned the value of being able to communicate in other languages and the difference I could make in somebody’s life by just simply interpreting what they were going through. 

While I was never paid for this service, it gave me a strong basis and education on the basic service offering involving languages.   Many years later, I went to Law School and graduated with a focus on International Law.  I practiced for five years in the technology and international sector.  I was then recruited to be the Executive Vice-President for a telecommunications / technology company in Latin America.  Languages were always a central part of my work as both a lawyer and as an executive.  I am still a licensed attorney and use my license primarily to benefit our legal clients in the translation process.  I have also authored several legal CLE (continuing legal education) courses for several states.  

How much research did you do before starting your business?   

I actually did a significant amount of research on the industry prior to launching.  However, it was more of an academic exercise as I knew the market existed and was growing.  While there were uncertainties, the Internet was already well-established and the globalization of the world economy was clear.  I had no doubt it would be a growing industry.   

What were the most helpful resources? 

Prior to launching, I consulted and brought on-board some of the top linguists in the world.  They provided me critical information as to the core translation service offering.  I also consulted with the top Internet marketing experts to establish the Trusted Translations site as one of the most visited in the industry. 

When were you the most discouraged? 

Early 2009 was a difficult year due to the global economic crisis.  We had to make some tough decisions to ensure we would weather the global meltdown.   Nevertheless, we kept all of our commitments to our providers as well as our charitable affiliated organization, in particular to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where we helped them raise over $500,000 to battle childhood cancer in May 2009.    

What company or individual do you admire?  

I always admired the founders of TransPerfect for building such a large and successful language organization.     

What makes your business stand out from competitors?   

We are a service company dedicated to proving solutions for our clients.  We are very flexible and will do everything we can to keep our clients happy even if it means having to work 24/ 7 to deliver a $100 rush project.   Clients have tons of options these days and I have found that they appreciate providers that go the extra mile even if there is not a large financial reward. 

To add, I make myself personally available to any client.  If necessary, I will jump in a car or an airplane to visit them personally.   Nothing beats face-to-face personal attention even in today's busy economic conditions. 

Who is your target client/customer base? 

We have a very diverse set of clients.   We target law firms, content providers, technology companies, manufacturing organizations, and government agencies. 

What kind of career opportunities does your company offer? 

We have opportunities across various areas including project management, account managers, IT professional, sales, and expert linguists. 

What makes your company more than “just another” localization service provider?  

As mentioned before, we are a service company that works with our clients to find the best solution and the most reasonable prices.  We make ourselves available almost around-the-clock to ensure the client’s needs are served.   We are very open with our client about the available tools that can help them reduce their overall costs such as the use of Translation Memory. 

What trends are you seeing now in the world of localization, and how is your company responding? 

Automation is the core trend we are seeing – both on the workflow side as well as for the actual translations.   We are staying on the cutting edge of workflow and translation asset management software tools as well as the latest MT solutions.     

Are there any recent successful projects that you would like to spotlight? 

While we cannot detail the specifics due to confidentiality reasons, we have been very active with many large companies developing tools to help the improve quality and lower costs by incorporating the latest technology development in TM and MT solutions.   

What prepared you for entrepreneurship? 

Kindergarden.  Talk about a tough marketplace

What has been your greatest achievement so far? 

My work for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and chairing “Chocolat au Vin” featuring Tony Bennett has been the most rewarding.  We were able to raise over $500,000 from an event held during the worst economic crisis of my generation. 

What has been the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?

I would say being able to provide people a chance to succeed.  We built our company on giving people a chance to succeed and letting performance be the main indicator.  I have seen people rise to the occasion and become very successful.  They initially may not have had the profile but they had the drive to succeed.  It is really rewarding to work with people that have drive and are committed to their trade. 

What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur? 

It is always a challenge managing uncertainty.  There are no guarantees as an entrepreneur and it is up to you to make things happen.   It is always a big responsibility as many families are depending on you. 

Is there anything you wish you’d done differently?  

I would have invested more in formal sales and marketing training.   Sales leads fuel a company and allow it to grow. 

How can others get started in this business?

Find a core set of clients and grow from there. 

Do you have any advice for future entrepreneurs? 

Be, do, have.  Be the type of person that achieves success, do the things successful people do and then (and usually only then) will you have everything being a successful entrepreneur can offer.   Focus on the Be and the Do and the Have will come naturally.