Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Klinger.
Michael, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Undergraduate degree in History and French. Junior year in France, two years in Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. Further travels to Israel, Mexico, Paraguay, and Brazil. Conversant in five languages. Completed one Master’s degree then a Master’s in Business Administration. Worked for a start-up doing software localization project work in the early nineties, before there was a word for it (translating software, testing it and producing it for foreign markets). Joined a staffing company and established this localization outsourcing service plus bilingual staffing. We were bought by Venturi, then Comsys ($800 million dollar company) and featured as one of five Outsourced Solution Services. Were sold again, I left and started Anzu Global in 2006 providing bilingual staffing. In 2014, added translation Brokerage Services to our capabilities. Revenue of $3 million plus, serving clients including Google, Apple, LinkedIn, eBay and Netflix.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Never a smooth road. The first job out of MBA, owner offered me 40% of revenue brought in, and no base. Brought in 200K first year and then $2 million second year…So he decided he was paying me too much money and insisted on changing our agreement–I quit-wife was pregnant and just bought a condo for the first time. Found a new job within two weeks.
Own business, Google is top account, over $1 million in revenue with them. Their management decides to convert all of our contractors to a larger third party vendor–no warning, no compensation. So lost over 30% of our business in a matter of weeks.
Please tell us about Anzu Global.
We do two things well. We find localization resources for technology companies in the US. These resources are usually bilingual with solid experience with software localization–so they are either managers, testers, translators or engineers for the globalization process. We have a database of 10,000 people. We are very well respected in the localization staffing industry and companies from IBM to Google to eBay have worked with us.
We fund multiple non-profits. One of them, Bokai Inc., sends computers and technical resources to village schools in Niger, West Africa. We are now partnered with the newly appointed IT person in the Nigerien Government.
What sets us apart is our integrity and honesty. We have a strong reputation in the US as we do not take shortcuts and stand behind our business and product.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Playing box ball with my Dad at age seven.
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