Vidula Tokekar,

Director, Panacea BPO Services Private Limited

[More about her here]

Training is crucial to the development of any industry. Training ranges from the entry level executives to the heads of organization. What is the trainings scenario when it comes to Language Business in India? 

CITLoB tried to find answers to some key questions directly from Indian LSPs. One of the objectives was also to understand the training needs of the industry and the responsiveness to training initiatives by the association. However, we really wanted to know what this vibrant industry is doing to keep in line with the changing times. How is it training its entrants and flag-bearers? What do they feel are important issues for training? Is there any correlation between the age, size and training activity of LSPs?

The dip-stick survey brought out interesting insights, as expected. Let me share the analysis with you briefly.

  • Out of 21 respondents, 11 were directors, 6 were proprietors, 3 were functional heads and 1 was a project head in their respective organizations.
  • As for the age in business, 2 LSPs are yet to complete their first year, 13 have completed 1 year and going towards 5 years. 3 LSPs have completed the crucial milestone of 5 years and 13 have completed 10 solid years in business.
  • The team size of 71% of the LSPs is less than 50 members. 9% are in the range of 51-100 members; and only 18% have crossed the bar of 100 members.  Even within that group, only 1 respondent LSP is bigger than 250 members.
  • The average age of 67% respondent LSPs’ team members is in the bracket of 26-35 years. There is one LSP made of young translators with the average age between 20-25 years and 6 have matured team members of 36-50 years of age.
  • We asked the LSPs if they have organized training activity in their organizations. 16 out of 21 answered in affirmative.  As expected, out of 13 LSPs who have completed 10 years in business, 11 have an organized training activity for their teams. All the respondents with a ‘no’ to this question have team size below 50. Not sure if it is a cause, or the effect.
  •  The respondents have shared very interesting ways how they make the trainings more effective. Some of the ways are:
    • Structure and agenda of training
    • Interactive methods and excellent content
    • Feedback and post-training assessment
  • In spite of the varied sizes and ages of the respondent LSPs, 4 training objectives or focus areas have been highlighted through their responses. They are:
    • Related to quality
    • Related to skill development
    • Related to team and employee development
    • Related to process and workflow improvement
  • There is visible awareness among the heads of LSPs about their own training as business leaders. CITLoB leadership, are you listening?

The areas identified for self-training are:

  • Collaboration with foreign LSPs
    • Entry in international market
    • Industry best practices and trends
    • Internal communication
    • Negotiation and conflict management
    • Operational excellence
    • Pricing
    • Productivity improvement
    • Profitability Management and Resource Allocation
    • Project management
    • Quality of translation, VO
    • Technology implementation, integration and upgrade
  • 14 out of 21 respondent LSP heads have shown willingness to share their expertise with the fellow professionals. The areas of expertise that they have come forward with are:
    • Business operations, financial management and marketing
    • Effective communication with our European counterparts
    • Language
    • Product development
    • Small business project management
    • Subtitles
    • Translation of creative content
    • VO, translation
  • Though most of the respondents value the importance of regular training, when we asked them if they would nominate their team members for paid training from CITLoB, interestingly, 8 came forward with a definite ‘Yes’, one respondent answered in negative and 12 responded with ‘maybe’.

The survey was a small step towards self-assessment of Indian LSPs against various parameters. CITLoB members are trying to make themselves competitive in the global markets.  Self-assessment, cooperation and improvement in the marked areas will pave the way towards scale and success.