Grant Straker - Straker Translations

Iwi Affiliations: Ngati Raukawa

Finalists: Te Tupu-ā-Nuku Award for Business and Innovation

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

Straker Translations was the winner of the Excellence in Innovation award at the 2016 New Zealand International Business Awards run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) in partnership with ANZ. 

Co-founder Grant Straker is a prominent advocate for Māori in technology and the business was founded on Kiwi values. His hope is that Straker’s success can motivate other Māori to choose technology as a valuable and rewarding career path.

The company offers an internship programme giving school leavers, students and graduates an opportunity to gain valuable experience in the technology sector. Straker started its Coding for Kids programme in 2014, helping Auckland schools teach the fundamentals of computer coding.

Straker is among the companies that New Zealand Trade and Enterprise works with to help grow internationally. Husband and wife Grant and Merryn aim to grow Straker into a $1 billion revenue company that is among the global top 20 language service providers.

BACKGROUND

Award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, paratrooper, ironman, volunteer fire fighter, musician and dad – Grant Straker wears many hats and has had an incredibly varied set of experiences over the past 30 years.

As one of the founders of Straker Translations, Grant's wide-ranging experiences and skills place him in an ideal position to drive the growth of the company as it continues to expand its global presence.

Auckland-based company Straker Translations is a cloud-enabled translation services provider and one of the world’s fastest growing translation companies. Out of more than 27,000 vendors globally, it is ranked in the top 100 translation vendors by the industry’s leading research organisation.

Over the past five years, it has built a technology platform that enables its network of human translators to deliver faster and more accurate translations for more than 10,000 clients around the world, lowering the cost and time to deliver translations.

Straker Translations is earning most of its $10 million-plus revenue from clients in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. The company translates anything from restaurant menus, technical manuals and websites while its large international clients include The Hut Group and Yellow Pages.

Straker has major production centres in Auckland, Denver and Barcelona, Spain, where staff liaise with more than 5,000 translators worldwide to commission work from clients. It has sales offices in nine countries including a number in the USA and Canada (nine), Australia (four), Singapore, United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.

The company’s founders, husband and wife team Grant and Merryn, attracted $7 million investment in 2015 to help fund the privately run business’s international expansion.

“We are a global company with major production centres in Barcelona, Spain, and in Auckland, New Zealand – two of the most amazing and multicultural cities in the world. One takes in the best of Europe and the other is on the doorstep to Asia.

“By having the production centres on opposite sides of the world, we are able to offer a continuous 24-seven service to our customers.

“With staff who speak more than 12 languages, they liaise with our more than 5,000 professional translators and 10,000 plus customers to ensure a speed, quality and simplicity that has been the backbone to our outstanding service.”

Grant says the company’s success is based on perseverance and thinking ahead of the curve by adapting its technology at scale to meet an ever changing market. His top tip for other businesses looking to expand internationally is to give it a go: “Go global as early as possible in the business life cycle so it’s imprinted in the company DNA.”