Need someone to help you translate your website content into Arabic? Or perhaps your social media? Or maybe you’re dealing with a client in Arabic and you need to translate the contract into Arabic – the hunt for a translator may be challenging, but we’re here to ease that tension of yours.
We sat down with Nour Al-Hassan, founder of Tarjama, the region’s leading translation and content creation agency of the MENA region, with over +140 content experts and an extended network of over 17,000 freelance experts, where she shared with us some interesting insights on her company and how they operate.
Founded by Nour 2008, Tarjama was launched with the aim to enable international businesses and organizations to have untethered access to the region’s most valuable audiences with leading-edge strategic communication services such as translation, content creation, trans-creation, training and more.
According to Nour, she’s always been fascinated by the use of words, which gradually led her towards launching Tarjama. “When I started my career, I saw a rising demand and hunger for good translation services to serve the multi-cultural environment the Middle East has become,” she shares. “At that time, it became very clear to me that I’m destined to take on the tough challenge of finding good talent to get the work done in high quality, speed, and extraordinary linguistic standards,” Nour adds.
In addition, Nour noticed the lack of programs, initiatives, and companies to support women with exceptional talent and lack of economic opportunities. “This allowed us to tap into the undervalued supply of brilliant women that worked alongside our team to scale into a large organization,” Nour tells us.
She shares that they’ve designed the company to be inclusive and bias free. “Our inclusive culture encourages diversity, not only in gender or skin color, but for their views on the world,” Nour says.
Nour further tells us about the importance of maintaining a close personal relationship with her clients. According to Nour, they don’t offer services to them, rather they extend a partnership. “As a CEO, I think like a relationship manager. I constantly meet with important clients and try to put myself in their shoes and understand their problems,” she says. According to Nour, this discipline is spread across the company and has helped them retain key clients for many years.
We also asked Nour about the Middle East’s startup ecosystem and what it needs to further support current and aspiring entrepreneurs, where she told us that the most important factor are investors who believe in entrepreneurs and their ideas. “When you look at many success stories across the Middle East such as Careem, Souq, Namshi, Dubizzle, among others, you realize that the region has the potential to build startups that impact the world,” Nour states.
She continues saying: “What you have in common across all successful startups are investors who believe in entrepreneurs, believe in the idea, and ready to support them with funding, mentorship, introduce them to the right partners, and guide them to success.”
She reflects back on her own startup journey recalling that she launched Tarjama alone back in 2008, and for the past 10 years, she’s met, hired, and worked with a lot of brilliant talents and mentors that she considers today as her closer partners and confidants. Nour tells us, that recently, she has realized the potential of the company and where Tarjama can be if they joined forces with active investors. “That’s why in 2019, we raised our Series A from an exceptional Saudi Investor (Inova) in order to scale our business into the kingdom,” Nour says.
“When you look at global VC and their portfolio, it’s not a coincidence that most -if not all- of their funded startups succeeded. Those VC firms work hard at their investments and make sure they have all the tools and resources needed to take them from zero to one,” she explains.
Of course, for any startup to thrive and continue growing, its founder should be constantly thinking about how to enhance their platform and services. Nour tells us that they have ventured into technology to offer their clients with a more agile approach to build their translation capabilities. “We’re currently rolling out our (TarjamaMS™) proprietary Translation Management System that offers our customers a powerful tool to manage their translations seamlessly,” she shares.
Finally, Tarjama has recently raised $5 million in Series A round, and Nour shares that with the fund they’ll expand their tech solutions to build an enterprise-grade SAAS translation solution, in addition to scaling Ureed.com. “We’ll soon be relaunching our content marketplace “Ureed.com” with a refreshed design that will make it easier for clients to hire expert freelance writers,” she concludes.
So make sure you stay tuned for that!