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A decade of TRANSLIT

TRANSLIT is a complete Language Solutions Provider. We help business’ communicate their message in any language whether it is translation, interpretation or localisation. But what about our history?

As 2020 comes to a close, it’s time to walk down memory lane and revisit some of the highlights that made TRANSLIT who we are today. For example, did you know that TRANSLIT didn’t become profitable until 2016? It has been 11 years of hard work and dedication on behalf of Alex Chernenko and Tatsiana Skrabatun, along with their dedicated team.

Chernenko, who is the founder and director of TRANSLIT, arrived in Ireland to study in 2003. The following year he achieved 565 points in his Leaving Cert, top of his class, at St Nessan’s Community College in Limerick. The standard was set.

The Ukraine native followed that up with another superb showing at the University of Limerick. He studied Computer Engineering and graduated with the highest QCA (quality credit average) score in the department, in 2008.

All the while, Chernenko’s love for languages burned deep – he speaks English, Ukrainian, Russian and Romanian – with his exceptional IT skills providing another layer that would eventually end up with his own LSP start-up.

After he graduated from UL, he worked as a community journalist with the Limerick Leader, which gave him a unique understanding of what Limerick was all about, something he appreciates to this day.

His previous volunteering role, as a freelance interpreter with Doras, was followed by brief stints as a technical translator and technology analyst. But Chernenko dreamed big and those dreams were realised in October 2009 when TRANSLIT came to being.

The company started out a translator working from a Limerick office but there were very definite gaps in the market, and with diversification the key during an economic downturn, it resulted in interpretation and localisation being added to the list of services provided. In fact, interpretation is now the core focus for TRANSLIT.

It was a hard-fought existence in the early years but TRANSLIT’s bright future was certain once the company became profitable.

Even before that the signs were bright, and in November 2014 TRANSLIT received their first major acknowledgement on the local scene, when it was shortlisted for the ‘Best Emerging / Start-up Business’ award at the Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards. And that was the first of many in a short space of time.

From both a personal and business perspective, September 2015 was particularly notable for Chernenko. He was a finalist in the ‘Best Established Business’ category at the IBYE (Irish Best Young Entrepreneur) Awards.

TRANSLIT were also shortlisted at the DOT IE Net Visionary Awards in the ‘Best International Newcomer’ category.

People were taking notice and it wouldn’t be long before Chernenko’s ambitious plans decided to push more aggressively into the market.

The company started to profit for the first time and in July 2017 there was another landmark event. TRANSLIT’s takeover of Instant Translation in Dun Laoghaire, was the first acquisition of a Language Service Provider in Irish history.

It was a huge step in the right direction, and started another phase of momentum that culminated in TRANSLIT receiving backing to the tune of €500,000 at the start of 2019.

Meanwhile in November 2017, TRANSLIT received ISO 9001 and 17100 certificates. ISO 9001 relates to quality customer care with the latter recognising a specialist standard while undertaking customer’s translation requirements.

Five months later, TRANSLIT claimed their first ‘All-Ireland Business All-Star’ award. It would be the first of three such awards that they hold to this day. They have also retained their ISO certificates.

TRANSLIT had proven themselves long before Irish private equity firm Clashrock Capital, which included investors Irish Mainport Holdings CEO Dave Ronayne and Choice Hotel Group founder Frankie Whelehan, led by Martin Fitzgerald of Clashrock Capital, came in to add their nous and finance to the cause.

It was clear TRANSLIT was headed to the top, and instead of looking abroad, Chernenko decided to stay local for the financial boost. Clashrock Capital provided guidance and mentorship at board level.

It was all set up for the next big move, and that took place at the start of this year when Chernenko launched the new and exclusive centralised interpreting management platform at TRANSLIT.com.

The ambition was to help save up to 70% of time and money, making interpreting services more accessible and efficient, with clients now able to choose their own translator. The company had moved into the SaaS (software as  a service) space. 

Chernenko wanted to build a platform where you could book a person for your event with a few clicks of your mouse. Another milestone had been achieved.

But just like any other business, TRANSLIT were affected by a Covid-19 disrupted year. The global pandemic wreaked havoc worldwide, destroying lives and economies.

TRANSLIT were quick to notice the lack of interpreters in Ireland and the impact that was having on public services, healthcare, law-enforcement and the legal system.

In April, TRANSLIT Pro got underway. There have been 28 events with over 1,100 in attendance and the feedback has been outstanding so far.

TRANSLIT were able to cope and plan ahead towards a bright 2021. One of prosperity with a few highlights set to take them further towards their aim of becoming a global leader.

The current figures are staggering. TRANSLIT have served more than 15,000 satisfied customers, in 100+ languages, where they translated over 20 million words, and delivered in excess of 30,000 interpreting hours.

With offices in Limerick and Cork, Chernenko’s business works across finance, healthcare and pharma, legal and tech. Some of the customers include international firms such as KPMG, American Express and Novartis while closer to home they work with the HSE and the Department of Foreign Affairs among others.

Having successfully negotiated a recession and a global pandemic, TRANSLIT have toughed it out through the very worst, and Chernenko and his colleagues can be confident about what lies ahead.

2021 provides a blank canvass and chances will be taken, but this decade proves, TRANSLIT will inevitably succeed.


/By Daragh Small, TRANSLIT/

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