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Celebrating 10 Years In Timisoara

Celebrating 10 years in Timisoara

Today we’re celebrating a very special landmark in Lingo24 history – the 10th anniversary of our operations in Timisoara. In true Lingo24 style we held a party earlier this week, where we looked back at some photos of the early days, and discussed how much has changed since then.

Dana Ionescu, one of our longest serving Lingo-ists, believes we have evolved and changed beyond what she can express in the past 10 years, but she speaks for us all in looking forward to the next 10, and then 10 after that. For me, the time has absolutely flown by, I’m amazed at how far we’ve come from our very humble beginnings…

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Early Memories

It’s hard to list everything that has changed in Lingo24 since we arrived in Romania in 2005, but office space is definitely a big one. While we’re now very proud of our current “Lingoplex” office, which more than sufficiently accommodates us all, we used to meet in hotels, restaurants or wherever we could find.

Ovidiana Netedu, who has been with us from the beginning, recalls that her initial training as a Project Manager took place in a nice hotel room at Reghina Blue (a stone’s throw from our current office). “One thing I’ll never forget is the sight of Christian walking barefoot around the hotel lobby.” Thanks Ovi!

Over the years we’ve had treasure hunts, ice cream days and even our own interpretation of company speed-dating to help us all get to know each other!

Challenges

Back then we were just a handful of people working from home: we all knew each other by name, shared successes as a team and communication was easy. As the company has grown though, we’ve had to adapt our communication methods and find new ways to act as a team to maintain our high standards in customer service.

Our approach to quality and maintaining company-wide standards given huge expansion has also been hard work, but with the right people on board, we think we’ve nailed it. Ovi, who is now responsible for this in particular, continues: “We are a lot more organised now. Processes are standardised whereas in the earlier days we had hundreds of word files with dos and don’ts and they were so easy to “misplace”.

Opportunities

With expansion came the opportunity to establish set departments and individual specialist roles. While early on everyone did a bit of everything, now we have clear roles and responsibilities that apply to our strengths and help us develop as people not just professionals.

It’s also given many of our employees exposure to a truly global company they wouldn’t otherwise have achieved. We’ve given people the chance to work in many of our offices around the world for extended periods of time, while many communicate with people in different countries every single day.

We’ve also become more strategic and visionary in having longer term business plans, rather than wondering where our next project will come from!

What has been the best thing?

Claudia Barna, another of our Timisoara founding members, says that for her, the best thing about the last 10 years has been the people she’s met and worked with along the way: “I’ve got to know and work with the best people out there and really understand what loyalty means. It’s been fantastic to see the company go from something so small to where we’re at now and growing up together along the way.”

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Ioana Mihailas agrees: “I’ve always thought that Lingo24’s most valuable asset is its people.” She’s proud to work with such creative, enthusiastic and energetic people who she’s managed to learn a lot from since she started.
Dana also believes the family feel of our business has been very important: “It feels as if we have grown up together, with good times and challenging ones, while having fun or hard at work. I have learned a lot from my colleagues and I hope to have been able to share my own knowledge with them in return.”

And the future?

Claudia is particularly optimistic about the next chapter for Lingo24: “It’s great to know that we can do really well, seeing the confidence of the senior management team in our chances of success, and trusting them to guide us on that path. It’s not easy but it’s rewarding to see things come together while still focussing on our core culture and not letting go of what got us here in the first place.”

Why Timisoara?

I am often asked why I chose to open an office in Romania, but for me the answer is quite simple. Timisoara is a city with some great universities, all producing very talented graduates, many of whom speak multiple languages.

All the people I’ve met and worked with have shown themselves to be very open and internationally-minded and technologically driven, so that’s been a great match for our business. I genuinely believe we wouldn’t be half the company were were today were it not for the intelligence, loyalty, determination and friendliness of the Romanian people we’ve employed in the last 10 years.

Our base in Timisoara is now our largest global office and that’s all thanks to the fantastic Lingo-ists working there. I’d like to say a big thank you to all our customers, suppliers and Lingo-ists past and present who have helped make Lingo24 in Timisoara what it is today.

Christian Arno, Founder and President, Lingo24

Christian Arno is Founder and President of Lingo24. He started the company in 2001 after graduating from Oxford University with a degree in languages. He has won numerous awards including HSBC Business Thinking and International Trade Awards (2010), and TAUS Excellence Award (2012) for innovative technology. He contributes to leading industry publications and has been featured on the BBC, in the Financial Times and other media around the world.

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