GALA think! India event organized on 21st Nov 2014 in Bangalore was a second GALA event I attended in India. The day at the conference began with a review of the current landscape of the Indian market for language services and technologies. As the purchasing power of consumers in India grows, many international businesses aim to sell their products and services to the nation’s linguistically diverse population. At the same time, many large organizations in India seek to expand into other markets. With the stated diversity and ever increasing internationalization, businesses and companies extending in India depend heavily upon local language service providers (LSPs).

The event was represented by GALA Ambassador Mr Biraj Rath. He discussed the ways GALA can bring the global industry community together and provide valuable resources and visibility for regional translation and localization industry professionals. GALA think! events are focused on examining what it means to do business in, and with, a particular region of this market. The series enhances the visibility of regional GALA member companies and highlights topics of interest to the localization market both in and beyond the region.A very interesting presentation was made on Indian Languages and Their Under-explored Potential, which highlighted the fact that there is lack of excitement about localization into Indian languages and why we still don’t see major deployments in India. Considering the vast diversity in linguistic, ethnic, social, cultural and geographical plurality in India, localization should be the salient feature of companies here. But reality is far from this ideal.

A special emphasis was made on localization of eLearning courses and the best practices that should be followed. Another topic discussed was MT (machine translations) and how the lack of proper knowledge and planning can do more harm than good in using the technology. The panel discussion on Standards, Ethics, and Best Practices with Local Languages, was a beautiful representation of the client’s perspective on issues related to privacy, intellectual property, industry standards, and other best practices as they apply to working with local languages. Interacting with the veterans from the industry and getting more insight into the latest trends in the industry was a lovely experience. I was intrigued to learn how competing companies are collaboratively working on projects from the same clients and the competition only brings the best out of them.

I was probed by many participants at the conference as to why Andovar opened an office in Kolkata as opposed to Maharashtra, Karnataka or Delhi where the Indian localization industry is traditionally based. To this I would say we took a mitigated risk to do something different. Our CEO Conor Bracken has pointed out six reasons for our presence in Kolkata in this blog post.

Next February will mark one year of successful operation and careful expansion of Andovar’s Kolkata office as we continue to hire professionals of diverse domains, experience, age and industry knowledge. We are committed to maintaining and growing our presence in India next year and beyond.