thebigword, to go global, think local
According to entrepreneur Larry Gould, the best way to win big global clients is by building a local presence. The Founder and Chief Executive of thebigword, the UK-based language services provider, established a New York office in 2007. The company had just won large translation and interpreting contracts with IBM and GE to serve their European operations.
Larry opened in the Big Apple and used the existing relationships to win work stateside. He says: “You don’t need to have a massive office to begin with, but you do need to show you care about your customers and their customs. “We hired operational staff to support our clients and we hired sales staff to win new business. This is how we have grown globally.”
More than a decade later, thebigword Americas is firmly established and provides language services to many of the biggest consumer and technology brands from coast to coast.
The group is now in the world’s top 20 language service providers with a dozen international offices employing 600 staff and a network of 14,000 linguists in 60 different countries.
The Americas division is led by Joshua Gould, global corporate strategy officer, and Larry’s eldest son. The privately-owned company has recruited in San Francisco to support its long-standing relationship with a very well-known Silicon Valley giant and in Washington DC to manage the expansion of its fast-growing defense and international security business. It also has a team in Florida.
Earlier this year, thebigword opened a new office in Boston after winning a prized place on the Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium. The organisation buys services on behalf of more than 500 members in New England including schools, colleges, universities, municipalities and healthcare providers.
Larry is excited about the potential for further US growth through MHEC and passionately believes in the power of language to break down barriers. In Boston, more than a third of residents speak a language other than English at home, highlighting the need for quality interpreting and translation in the delivery of inclusive public services. The company is recruiting further in Washington DC to support its government and private sector clients, which include the Department of Defense, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Canadian Armed Forces and a number of global defense and aerospace prime contractors.
Aside from the manufacturing, defense and technology sectors, thebigword has important US clients in financial and legal services, consumer products and life sciences, which value the fast and accurate technology-enabled language services.
All this has come from Larry’s belief that to truly go global, you need to think local. Today, he divides his time between homes in Manhattan
the Hamptons, Leeds and Tel Aviv.