8 May, 2014
In this new article about our staff, we would like you to know more about the person behind our company name, our CEO Brian Jensen, a Danish businessman living between Denmark, The Netherlands and Spain.
Working for another translation agency in The Netherlands I saw the need for more translators with more technical and commercial skills. Previously it was a very conservative business where I remember the resistance to get email and Internet. Fax, phone and hand delivery were the preferred tools. After having worked across Europe and being educated as programmer and economist as well as having worked with IT since the very first PC in the early 80’ties this was my first choice when I wanted to go independent!
Is it a tough industry?
Previously no, but today yes. The competition is fierce due to dumping of rates from low cost countries where quality is less important. Now we are required not only to deliver 1st class quality, but at the lowest rates. Also the technical knowledge is getting more and more important and localization today is a teamwork of people with many different skills. Today just being a translator is not enough.
If so, how did you manage to bring the company to the level it is at today?
Hard work, persistence, innovation and not being afraid of working with cutting edge technology I think are the main reasons. But this question can’t be answered with “I”! Our team takes just as much credit as they have learned to live with this crazy environment and work with new tools and ideas almost every day.
What did you study to become?
First as Pascal and Cobol (and Assembler) programmer and developer. Later in The Netherlands I completed a bachelor in Economy, marketing and organization.
What would you do differently if you could?
Not that much really! Of course there are always small things I could have done better but in the big picture I wouldn’t change much.
What tasks do you usually do?
Supervising, innovation, strategy planning (long term) and financial controlling.
What is your origin?
Danish but 25% Swedish (Swedish Grandmother), lived for many years in The Netherlands and now mostly in Spain.
Why did you choose to open up a business in Holland and Spain?
Holland because that was where I lived at the time and it is a great country for entrepreneurs. I also initially included Spain in my Business Plan to be able to cover all of Europe, but only about 6 years later I had the resources to do so.
What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?
Horseback riding in the mountains of Andalusia, gardening, movies and theaters.
What are the pros and cons about being the CEO of a company?
The pros is that you kind of are your own boss and you have the opportunity to form and design the company. The cons are that you always carry the final responsibility whatever happens and you are on duty 24-7. If things go bad it is you who take the damage and the beating. Sometimes you have to make decisions that are not very popular or perhaps even can be very serious for other individuals – that is part of the hardest things to do, but unfortunately it is necessary.
Do you keep up with the technological development? And do you see this development as an opportunity or a threat to Jensen Localization?
Oh yes we keep up! As much as we possibly can but that doesn’t mean that we buy any piece of technology offered to us. Every piece of technology and tools are considered and often tested before decisions are made. A lot of these offers are just waste of money, but as we have a good team of technical staff we are well equipped to make the best selections. As for threats the most imminent is Machine Translation. We are involved in a exclusive club (TAUS) that follows this very closely and even aim influencing this development. I do not see it as a threat but more as an opportunity. But is is a serious threat to traditional translation agencies.
Where do you see the company in ten years?
I strongly believe that Jensen Localization will continue to grow and as we are already among the leading companies in Europe and known worldwide I have no doubt that it will continue in the front of the business. Perhaps mergers or acquisitions will occur to form even bigger and stronger business units, but that I believe is the way ahead when you reach a certain size and dominance of any company.
Do you think there still will be a demand for translation and localization in the future?
Yes, absolutely and even more than today. The world is getting smaller and more countries are joining the technology industry. Even when machine translation becomes effective enough to do 75% of translations there will always be need for humans to develop, control and edit! And as translation becomes cheaper the demand will grow. So yes, this industry will continue to grow but also change radically.
Thanks, Brian. We are looking forward to see if your forecasts on the translation industry are met.
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Interviews, Jensen Localization