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#Translation from heart to heart...

Emerging Brand : Vidula Tokekar (Director, Panacea BPO Services Private Limited)

Translation Panacea is a language service provider. Its major services are translation, editing, books pre-production, subtitling and dubbing. Apart from this, it represents authors to publishers, scout content for publishers and producers, and write reviews and other.

It started with Vidula’s individual translations of books. “I always enjoyed reading and writing. When I started translating, I could see a huge gap as far as the processes are concerned. So we started with outsourcing translation of books for publishers. Though started with one language pair, it was very clear to me right from the beginning that it would be a multilingual, multi-media language service providing company,” says Vidula.

Wherever language is used, Translation Panacea services adds value. It has three segments of clients- First, Publishers, Second, Manufacturing and IT industry, and Third, Media, advertisement and entertainment. These are all B-2-B clients. Networking and client referral are the best ways to get to prospective clients, believes Ms Tokekar who is a member of Business Network International (BNI). The company also takes help of technology to reach prospective clients.

No business is an island. You have to grow in an environment. Clients, vendors staff, society, students all are an integral part of this ecosystem. Speaking about the ethics, Vidula believes in values - transparency, honesty, trust and a spirit of partnership. “Translation Panacea is made of book lovers spread across the globe. Basically they are creative and sensitive individuals. To mould them in certain processes could have been a tough task, but I think it was our honest approach and care towards their concerns and keeping things simple made their acceptance easy. Of course their acceptance and receptive mindset plays a great role,” Vidula added.

For the internal team of editors, translators, book designers, admin team, she has an interesting funda borrowed from Ricardo Semler - ‘It is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission’. The team is empowered to take decisions and responsibility. “I am happy because I get free to think and do the new,” she smiles.

Clients keep you in the business. They are the reason why you are in the business. Replying to ‘what is important -money or client satisfaction’, she says, “Like any business, our business also has client needs at its centre. Client satisfaction and money are not mutually exclusive. You must satisfy client needs. I would say you need to identify, think of, dig out client needs and not just satisfy, but delight them. We are service providers. We have to be by the client’s side in whatever help they may need for languages. Also we are here to make reasonable money. When you give honest, whole hearted service, clients pay. Now-a-days, any business looks at vendors as partners. And if you come across some business who does not understand the value of your work, they are not your clients – yet.”

Outsourcing of translation of books in an organised way is a new service in itself. It took a lot of time and efforts for her to convince the first few publishers. Once the ‘demo effect’ was there, the job was a bit easier. Language is a highly creative process. The notion was and still is that you need to have a lot of time and leisure to translate, to write. “Being a translator I know how much you get attached to the content and what efforts you have to put in to give justice to the work. At the same time, I wore the hat of a businessperson – rather a processes person. I believed that the whole work can be delivered better, faster and with quality. So we thought of and executed some new ways without compromising quality. That way we assured regular income for translators, faster delivery to clients and growth of business for us. We agree with Einstein when he says ‘Creativity is discipline’.” Another innovation is about their engagement models with clients and with language professionals. They developed new ways of training the team members, ways to build in quality, ways of faster deliveries, introducing processes in functions where one could not think of measurable parameters.

Interestingly, at TranslationPanacea, all have to do ‘two new things every month’. That is a KRA for key positions. Imagine how many new things they must be doing in a year!

Cutting the ropes of established business completely and deliberately dive into language business was itself a great risk. Once you have jumped into it, you can only go forward. Since she has been thoroughly enjoying the language part of it, so it was never a burden; challenge – yes.

All through she believed in her idea, worked really hard and kept the company of positive people and achievers. She was never cool, but always excited about what she is doing. It’s like training for marathon. Your legs ache, but your core becomes only stronger.

Her ‘Business Mantra’ is creativity and purpose. Your business must be purpose driven. Positivity, acceptance, creativity, learning attitude, collaborative approach and awareness of what choices you are making are very important. That’s the way you can have your place in business and attract talent.

TranslationPanacea has a team of 70 likeminded language professionals. Currently, it provides service in 24 languages. In terms of books, it has delivered more than 250 translated titles to publishers in print ready format. It also has worked on language part of SEO of about more than 1200 webpages, have translated prestigious websites including that of His Holiness Dalai Lama. TranslationPanacea has transcripted hours of audio content in legal and journalism domain. It has handled content in law, management, learning, spirituality, self help, health, romance, fiction, higher academic and others. Individually Vidula has translated 15 titles so far.

Well, besides her world of translation, she enjoys trekking, listening to music and watching films. Vidula is actively engaged in the activities of Kelkar Health Solutions for the cause of naturopathy, nature cure. She has donated her body organs when she turned 50 and she encourages people to do so.
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