The companies CuriousMinds in Munich, providing strategic and technical management consulting, and AVALON Linguistic, with its offering of integrated professional language services in Europe, have in common that, in addition to their focus on the quality of consultancy, performance, and service, they both also consistently and proactively embrace the challenges of the technological development. This courage to innovate directly benefits the respective clients in the ongoing digital transformation of business and society.
Read here about the exchange of ideas on this between the CEO’s and masterminds of CuriousMinds, Dr. Christian Musewald, and Peter Scheidt of AVALON Linguistic in the below excerpt of their conversation held on 9 April 2021:
Dr. Christian Musewald: Hello Mr. Scheidt, welcome to our conversation. I am pleased to get to know you and your concept in more detail.
Peter Scheidt: Greetings, Dr. Musewald, many thanks for the invitation. The pleasure is all mine, and I think it’s great that our paths have crossed in the vastness of the internet.
C.M.: Indeed, and I became aware of your company Avalon Linguistic while we were scanning the web looking for a competent provider of professional language services in Germany. I can see that you offer much more than just translations and that you are already working well beyond London and the UK, don’t you?
P.S.: That’s true. The company did not originally emerge in any way straight from a large-scale master plan, but rather most of us were lateral entrants to the industry who initially came together rather by chance through cooperation within a large joint venture project. In my many years of working in international real estate and fund management, myself – like some others in our current team – I have repeatedly had the problem of finding a high-performance provider for writing quality and SEO-optimised texts and translations in English, German and French, ideally with editing and proofreading for direct publication, often at extremely short notice, if not overnight. This turned out to be very difficult, especially since the quality often did not meet our high standards in order to take into account the respective context, the peculiarities of the cultural environment of the target language as well as the customs of our clients and to strike the right note in our industry and our company, respectively.
C.M.: That is something I can well imagine. I think that none of those numerous translation tools, for example, as useful as they may be for private purposes and a quick rough understanding in different languages, is hardly good enough in the business sector and for the more challenging tasks.
P.S.: I absolutely agree with you on that. Between us, we found that we could actually already do the job better and faster together than the respective service providers at the time. With increasing practice in working together and skilful use of available professional technological tools, within a few months, we had a pretty powerful and effective squad together, collaborating more and more regularly in the vital marketplace of London. Then occurred the Brexit referendum in June 2016 and became the defining catalyst for the decision to formalise this and build a company that would become an expert provider of world-class language services in Europe as a specialist for business clients.
With Avalon Linguistic, we have made it our mission to systematically develop innovative, full-range service products in our languages – available online, 24/7/365, including with our expedited service Avalon Express, worldwide through all time zones. According to our objective, we strive to play a leading role in the development and optimisation of forward-looking professional technology in our industry in Europe.
C.M.: On the subject of technology, there seems to be a rapid development going on, I mean, in general in all areas of today’s economy and society anyway, but especially in the area of languages. I recently used Google Translate and DeepL for a small, quick translation, and the result seemed much better and the translated text much more comprehensible than it would have been a few months or even years ago. However, if you try to translate the whole thing back into the source language, you might well end up with a rather odd text, and you can understand that there are limitations, but I think one should acknowledge the progress made so far, what do you think?
P.S.: No doubt here, and this is exactly our point. The increased globalisation since the emergence of the internet has led to enormous industry growth with a doubling of the worldwide turnover volume within the last 10 years, and as a competitor, you can only participate in this to any significant extent today (and possibly even at all in the future) if you think and act innovatively. We here, for example, do not regard artificial intelligence and the state of technological singularity looming on the horizon as a threat, instead we see the challenge in it and are convinced that this will enable us to develop better and more in line with demand. The future is already today, and it cannot be stopped, just like the advancing digitalisation and globalisation. With the precision and knowledge of highly competent native speakers combined with the potential of state-of-the-art technologies, we have a solid platform from which we can operate successfully. After all, we now have over 90 years of cumulative industry experience in our team, which, together with the feedback from our clients, gives us sufficient self-confidence. We have a little slogan, and it’s “talent meets technology”. That actually describes it quite well.
I understand that you and your company are very dedicated, and certainly much more specialised and qualified than we are in our field, to promoting the technologies that are crucial for entrepreneurial success in the 21st century.
C.M.: If you ask me what my company CuriousMinds is all about, I should first tell you a little about myself for a better understanding.
Ever since I can remember, I have had a love of science. This ultimately led me to study physics in Munich. What interested me from the beginning was interdisciplinary work, so that during my physics studies I also turned to the field of biophysics and later switched to physical chemistry for my diploma thesis and also did my doctorate here. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to limit myself to these topics, and because I was fascinated by computer science early on and subsequently electronics, optics, or biotechnology were among my main areas of interest, I found it fascinating to continue to work in an interdisciplinary way throughout the organisation and thus to continually further my education.
My professional activities soon included business development, production management, development management for software and hardware, and so after a while I was able to demonstrate a wealth of personal experience within all of the enterprise processes.
The basis for the company CuriousMinds was and is precisely this comprehensive knowledge encompassing all cross-divisional processes. What is most important here is not only the theoretical but also the practical understanding of all processes within a company.
P.S.: I also think that this is a very important aspect. There are certainly brilliant theorists in all walks of life, although it seems legitimate to ask what use is even the most plausible theory, however eloquently described, if it lacks practical feasibility? If something does not lead to a business benefit for a client’s problem through concrete applicability and cannot deliver measurable added value, it is ultimately irrelevant to them?
C.M.: The difference to other management consultancies here lies not only in the theoretical knowledge in partial areas but above all in the fully comprehensive practical experience in implementation – strategically as well as technologically. I quickly realised that there were discrepancies to be found here. Many contexts that appear to be very simple from a theoretical point of view are not necessarily even realisable in practice. It always depends on the context. We, therefore, do not use blueprints for our clients, we rather analyse the individual contexts of our business partners. Thus, we develop our counseling precisely for this particular client and together with the client.
When it comes to engaging with a client, we can assume that they are for the most part already established in their market. We are not some sort of know-it-alls, instead, we look at the challenge in question from different angles, thus giving the client a better overview and often a choice of solutions. Thus, our portfolio ranges from the generation and optimisation of simple business scenarios for start-ups to complex processes and high-tech developments for seasoned companies, depending on what our current business partner requires.
We think precisely and farsightedly, … strategically, technically, and economically. We challenge ourselves to make our partners continuously better through our experience and ideas, in a goal-oriented and top-level manner. We are and will always remain: open to everything … and just CURIOUS!
P.S.: It is actually rather easy to see that our approaches, although CuriousMinds and Avalon Linguistic work in different business areas, are quite similar in their focus on the concrete benefits for the client.
For example, we are now at an advanced stage of working on our own application interface, in order to use this API in the future to link our corporate clients with their respective systems directly to us, so that we work virtually in the same system and thus together become faster, more efficient and ultimately more profitable.
This will strengthen our position in Europe, and this is what matters to us, not least in the interest of optimal performance for our clients. With our focus on unconditional top performance, results, and first-class individual service, with certified accuracy and quality, complemented by an honest and comprehensive 100% satisfaction guarantee, we are well-positioned.
C.M.: I notice that you just mentioned Europe again. Am I right in thinking that the European market is the most important for you? I would be inclined to think that in these global times, customers and needs should be everywhere.
P.S.: In fact, there are no borders for our languages and services. This said, we are all language enthusiasts and committed Europeans here. And that certainly has a lot to do with each other, because no other continent is characterised by such rich linguistic and cultural diversity as Europe. The Italian author Umbert Eco once put it this way: “The language of Europe is translation”. In fact, it is the European languages, not least because of the international importance of English, that alone account for about 50% of the global turnover volume in the industry.
Focusing on six of the most important European languages – namely English, German, French, Spanish, Russian and Ukrainian – we are with seven country teams in Europe, as well as internationalisation partners in various countries on six continents, ultimately in worldwide operations. The fact that we have combined all relevant services, i.e. writing + translation + editing + proofreading, in these languages under one roof means that clients can access all of our proven know-how completely from one source, at the click of a mouse.
This is significantly different from the vast majority of providers and makes Avalon a true European one-stop language services provider.
C.M.: That sounds like a strong offer and I wish you every success in the future. Maybe opportunities to collaborate on projects will arise from our respective fields of activity.
P.S.: We do in fact seem to have a lot of intriguing intersections, and it would be a pleasure and an honour for us as Avalon to work with CuriousMinds or for one of your clients in providing our language services.
Thank you very much for the meeting, and I wish you continued success in your business as well. Please stay healthy.
If you would also like to achieve a head start with your company and become fit for the future, the CuriousMinds and AVALON Linguistic teams look forward to meeting you.