Shifting Foundations: Business Development Insights From Tilde’s Didzis Klavins

This month, we’re featuring Didzis Klavins, Head of Sales and Business Development at Tilde. Here, he explains his path to the language industry and why he thinks the importance of localization will continue to grow in the next decade.

Why do you enjoy reading MultiLingual magazine? 

In my opinion, the magazine is highly appealing to readers because everyone can find useful information in it. Such information includes details about new features, technologies, business, or research and analysis. Due to my broad interests in the field of languages, I appreciate various articles. I particularly value analytical publications that educate and shed light on how languages, which shape our identities, evolve and find symbiosis with the world of technology.

How did you get involved in the translation business?

Several years before joining Tilde, I was responsible for selling and developing IT solutions in the Scandinavian countries. The company I worked for at that time was a subsidiary of Tilde. As they were searching for an international sales manager capable of executing the global sales strategy to drive revenue growth, I was offered this position. It has certainly been an excellent experience in every aspect. Having had the opportunity to contribute to the development of the localization business, and witnessing Tilde’s inclusion among the Top 100 Language Service Providers (LSPs) in the world according to CSA Research, has brought great satisfaction regarding our capabilities.

Since you entered the translation industry, how has the business landscape changed?

Changes are undeniably significant and diverse. Over the past few years, AI-powered language technologies such as machine translation (MT) systems, chatbots, and speech recognition systems have played a crucial role. It is undeniable that large language models (LLMs) have opened up new horizons in the translation industry, and companies must be able to adapt and reorient their solutions and services to the current situation in a timely manner. Striving to gain a nuanced understanding of the driving elements of disruption and transformation in the language services industry, we at Tilde have also endeavored to keep pace over the last 10 years, offering users much friendlier language technology solutions and opportunities. 

Could you share your experience working with your first client or on your first project?

I have some special and amusing memories about my first client. As I mentioned before, prior to starting at Tilde, I worked at a subsidiary located in a large office building in Rīga. About a month before joining Tilde, I coincidentally met the head of a large French company in the Baltic States in the elevator. He was renting office space in the same building, and we had met a couple of times before. When I mentioned that I was transitioning to Tilde, which provides localization services, he enthusiastically announced that he needed help with a substantial tender for technical documentation in the railway domain. After an unexpected but apparently effective elevator pitch, I reached out to Tilde’s localization team, who promptly confirmed that they could assist with translating the required documents. When I started working at Tilde a month later, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that the company had already secured several new translation projects. Thus, I managed to secure my first client even before officially becoming a Tilde employee.

Do you believe it’s a good time to enter the translation business?

I believe the answer to this question lies in the value that the offered service or product can provide to the end-client. Undoubtedly, the language industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, and they are far from over. Comparing to a decade ago, the framework of the translation business was easier to understand and grasp than it is currently. Both the diversity of technologies and competition were not at the level they are now. User experience and preferences have also evolved and impacts the translation business. However, AI-driven technologies and LLMs, combined with excellent ideas, have the potential to open many new doors and opportunities in business.

Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 10 years?

This is a challenging question because the dynamic environment of daily life and rapid technological development can bring many surprises and opportunities in the coming years. In any case, I hope to be able to enhance and apply my skills in language business and negotiations to realize many interesting projects.

What predictions do you have for the future of the translation industry?

I believe that the foundations — the “tectonic plates” — of the language industry are shifting. LLMs, new disruptive technologies, automation, as well as the real impact of mergers and acquisitions in the language industry, will significantly alter the landscape. I strongly hope and wish for the importance of languages to continue to grow. As LLMs and AI-powered technologies are associated with both the fear of missing out and great hopes, the significance of multilingualism will increase. I believe that the growing emphasis on personalization will further intensify, with a future trend likely to involve tailoring content to individual user preferences, backgrounds, and behavior, reflecting language and cultural nuances. As a result, companies and society as a whole will increasingly understand and appreciate the significant role of localization and the language industry.


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