On The Textbook of Translating
I am Kavita Parmar, Director of WORD360 language services and an Executive Committee Board Member of the Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB).
I began my career as an Optometrist, before launching my first business venture, Adaptawear, a clothing range designed specifically to promote independence for the elderly and disabled. After selling the business to a larger chain I took a career break to raise my two children, before taking over WORD360 18 months ago.
Philanthropically, I am Vice-chair of the Hallfield School Parents Association, advisor to the Titan Partnership and Non-executive Director of Monsoon Venue Group.
Tell me about Word 360. What kind of services does it offer?
WORD360 is a complete language services provider. We offer everything from translation of marriage certificates through to face to face interpreting for a court hearing. We offer this service in over 250 languages and dialects with our network of 2000+ linguists, globally. We have a range of public and private sector clients. Currently we provide interpreting and translation to the entire NHS in Birmingham. We also have specialist clients such as Quality Solicitors, Irwin Mitchell and Pertemps. We are also heavily involved in assisting local businesses go global. We work closely with the government’s UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) department in facilitating this growth.
How does it work?
It’s very simple. Generally, our clients know what they need when they come to us. Be it a business wants to translate their website into different languages or an individual needs an interpreter to buy a property in another country. We offer face to face, telephone and video interpreting in over 100 different languages. We also have a dedicated translation department that offers 3 levels of service, basic translation through to technical project.
What has been your most lucrative project?
We are currently developing online technology that will mean anyone can use an interpreter instantly via telephone, or video. It will also be available through an App so someone can speak to anyone in the world, in any language, with the help of one of our qualified interpreters.
You’re an Executive member of the distinguished Institute of Asian Businesses (IAB), how has this helped to expand your business reach?
The IAB has a fantastic reputation in Birmingham and in the past year has seen much reform. It is now a vibrant hub of young, like-minded business individuals who have created a positive collaborative environment at all our events. I am really proud to be part of such a forward thinking, dynamic group of people and actually we are being admired by the wider business networks for our sell out events and ability to create partnerships.
The IAB has allowed me to build contacts with people I otherwise may not have opportunities to meet. I have been privileged to gain insight into the fresh, undercurrent of business growth within Asian Business across the West Midlands and it is something we should all be really proud of.
Describe to me how the average day in your life is like?
I wake up at 5am, and work till around 7am before getting the kids ready for school. My husband and I have a scrap as to who is going to be the unlucky one to negotiate the school run (usually him because he is more patient than I am!)
Once in the office, I generally try to work until early afternoon, after which I will arrange to meet with clients. I pick up my children from school at around 5pm. Once the kids are in bed it is usually a dash to a social engagement.
I have a protected weekend policy which means I can devote time to my family and friends with no work distractions. Sometimes it really can’t be helped and I have to work but this is an occupational hazard when you own your own business.
Not small! With the development of our new software system, WORD360 will be able to offer language assistance to anyone who needs it, anytime, anywhere. That can be in person, over the phone or via video.
To do this, we will be recruiting 10 more staff over the next six months and so are in the process of moving from our office in Handsworth into bigger premises. We are also recruiting interpreters across the country in every language. These are really exciting times and motivated by the potential growth in WORD360.