We all speak the same language…
.....with a little help from Prestige Network!
All entrepreneurs know how easily one thing can lead to another… and no one more so than Shohreh Fleming, CEO of Prestige Network Ltd, who are market leaders in the provision of language services.
With a background in Finance, Shohreh Fleming co-founded Prestige in 1991 with her brother, Shameem, an IT software specialist. The idea for the business had been sparked off by their discovery, purely by chance, of a multilingual word processing package at a time when foreign language versions of commonly used software were not readily available. Not being native English speakers themselves, this was a great find! So great was their excitement, they set about formulating a marketing plan to make the software available to a much wider market.
As with many small businesses, they developed the company from home and kept their overheads low to enable it to grow steadily. However, despite doing well, they were faced with challenges from time to time, which severely tested their business acumen and determination.
‘Several times we have been on the brink but we flatly refused to give up on the business’ said Shohreh.
The worst period for them came ironically from their very success. An American company, with whom they had a contract, decided to cut them out and poach their staff, in an attempt to reap greater benefits for themselves. The sheer injustice of the situation made Shohreh even more resolute to protect the Prestige Network name and several years pursuing litigation followed. As Shohreh recalls, ‘This was such a disheartening time for us; not only did we stand to incur huge court costs, but the process took up so much time that we could not continue the business on the same level as previously. The situation looked very bleak for a while!’ Fortunately, just before the final court appearance, an out of court settlement was agreed, providing Shohreh and Shameem with enough optimism to start building up the business once again.
Their strong reputation within the industry led to a request from a client for them to do some translation work. This was to be a crucial turning point for the company. The translation work started to grow and in 2001 they were asked to do their first public sector project – pledge cards for the Labour Party! Shohreh was quick to spot the possible requirements within the public sector, both for translation and interpreting work, and the company has not looked back since!
Prestige is now a onestop shop for every language service – translating and interpreting in 160 foreign languages, British Sign Language, Braille, cultural and language consultancy, audio formatting, multilingual publishing – whatever a client requires. ‘In addition, our technical expertise, together with our growing language service skills, led us to develop webtran™ - a unique, highly specialised service to provide any organisation or company with a state-of-the-art multilingual website’, said Shohreh.
‘Almost every business needs to be visible and accessible to the world market and the expanding membership of the EU continues to open routes throughout Europe - UK employers increasingly need translation and interpreting services to allow greater access to this work-force. Our experience in public sector work has been increasingly recognised, with major contracts being awarded by the Department of Work and Pensions amongst others.
‘We have built up a strong reputation, based on the high quality of the work we do and the excellence of our service. We have increased our staff, relocated to larger premises, and set up offices in London and Edinburgh. We are already planning more offices across the UK – what a contrast with our start up from home! There is no stopping us now – the future looks very bright!’
For further information, contact:
Tel: +44 (0)870 770 5260
Fax: +44 (0)870 770 5261