Chief Executive Officer at Argos Multilingual
New Books Network 2021
In this interview, Véronique Özkaya, CEO of Argos Multilingual talks to Richard and Kimon about her career journey. She describes her first taste of the work world, helping her parents as a teenager as they ran their business. As an adult, Véronique first thought that diplomacy would be the right path, though, after just several months, she quit. Without a job and needing to pay rent, Véronique began teaching French at a business school. Véronique describes how she would wear non-prescription glasses to class to look older than her students who were the same age as her.
From there, she saw a job offer as an English-to-French translator for a computer company, a subject she knew nothing about. To her surprise she was hired, only to be let go three months later, along with all of the other translators at the company. The company asked Véronique and the others to stay on for an additional three months, but Véronique organized her co-workers to all resign simultaneously and negotiate for higher pay as outside contractors.
Afterward, Véronique was promoted from translation work to project management, overseeing all French translation for nearly seven years at Lionbridge. She began to develop a frustration with salespeople, particularly their propensity for a lack of understanding of the core activities of the translators and the project managers. This caused Véronique to move into sales herself. She took a job at a new company, only to get an offer to stay at her current company working in sales. Véronique quickly became the top salesperson at Lionbridge, which proved to be a personal boon once the company went public.
Véronique talks about the challenges of being a woman in business. She describes the different work environments she experienced, some that were models of inclusion and others which were more like old boys' clubs. Véronique discusses some of the personal challenges and difficulties she faced, which eventually led her to work at a new company. At this new company, she quickly became CEO. It was soon after purchased, where Véronique encountered similar issues with gender parity.
Véronique also describes her work at Argos Multilingual as the CEO. Argos’ translation work differs from that of a standard translator, focusing on enterprise and specialized translation services as opposed to person-to-person. As CEO, Véronique is also a shareholder with a vested interest in the long-term strategy of Argos. Her goal is to grow the company and turn it into the most reputable translation company.
The NBN Entrepreneurship and Leadership podcast aims to educate and entertain, sharing insights based on the personal stories of our carefully selected guests in the atmosphere of an informal conversation in a bar or over a cup of coffee.
About our guest
Veronique is a seasoned international leader with experience building and strengthening the sales and marketing functions for organizations with high growth ambitions. Extensive experience in Localization – helping industry leaders grow market share in international markets with services such as translation, internationalization, software development, engineering, and testing. Fluent in French, English, Turkish, and functional in German. Your hosts, Kimon and Richard, together with Veronique, are all shareholders in Argos Multilingual, the company which Veronique leads.
You can watch this episode on YouTube here.
Veronique on Linkedin
About the NBN
The New Books Network was founded in 2007 as a podcast interviewing the authors of academic books, and has grown to the largest author interview podcast in the world publishing 12 podcasts a day in more than 90 specialist areas, with over a million downloads a month. Read about the founder Marshall Poe and the NBN here. In recent years it has expanded beyond its “author interview origins”. Historically NBN only did audio recordings. E&L is the first NBN podcast distributed on Youtube.
About Kimon Fountoukidis Twitter Linkedin
Kimon is the founder of both Argos Multilingual and PMR. Both companies were founded in the mid 90s with zero capital and both have gone on to become market leaders in their respective sectors. Kimon was born in New York and moved to Krakow, Poland in 1993. Listen to his story here,
About Richard Lucas Twitter Linkedin
Richard is a business and social entrepreneur who founded or invested in more than 30 businesses, including investments in Argos Multilingual, PMR and, in 2020, the New Books Network. Richard has been a TEDx event organiser, supports the pro-entrepreneurship ecosystem, and leads entrepreneurship workshops at all levels: from pre- to business schools. Richard was born in Oxford and moved to Poland in 1991. Read more here. Listen to his story in an autobiographical TEDx talk here.