Andovar is a global provider of multilingual content solutions. Established in 2007 by Conor Bracken, Andovar set their headquarter in Singapore, and then built the largest production office in Thailand. Its services range from text translation and content creation, to audio/video recording and turnkey localization.
As for the founder and CEO, Conor Bracken, he comes from Dublin, Ireland. He has been living in Thailand since 1992, and speaks Thai fluently. With a diverse range of technical and management positions worldwide, he built this company to take advantage of the new possibilities of global cooperation afforded by the internet and emerging multimedia technologies.
This year, IMGA extended to Southeast Asia and partnered with Andovar to translate the content of our new website. We are happy to interview Conor Bracken to have a closer view of him and his company.
Can you introduce yourself and explain us why did you choose Thailand for growing your business?
I am a long time resident of Bangkok, so initially I chose Bangkok because of a combination of lower labor costs, relative ease of doing business and stable infrastructure. I also speak Thai, and since Thai translation was one of the first services we offered, Thailand was naturally where I set up for business.
There’s also a large expat community here, which helps in recruiting international talent. Thailand is a preferred long term destination for many expats and most of our non-Thai staff are here for the long haul.
That said, 95% of Andovar’s business comes from outside Thailand and from the beginning we always saw ourselves as an exporter of services.
Andovar is not just a translation company. What makes your company different?
We are full service localization company. Translation is a core service, but we have diversified into many other areas. This includes advising our clients on which languages and which target markets to choose, adjusting the layout of software and games to fit the translated strings, recording audio and adding subtitles in any languages, as well as on-device testing of the localized product, and researching appropriate keywords for the different locales.
Outside of gaming, we also localize software, mobile apps, technical manuals, movies and websites and notably work with Fortune 500 companies to localize their eLearning courseware. Andovar also does video production and we write original content in many languages.
You have offices in Singapore, Thailand, Colombia, USA and India. What is the key to success when cooperating with different cultures/ countries?
From the outset we intended to be in multiple countries so we chose cloud software wherever possible. This helps a lot in rolling out worldwide systems without needing to set up on site servers. Secondly, our company culture emphasizes incentives over controls, and independent decision making over top down decisions from me! You can’t directly “control” what happens in offices the other side of the world, so it has been critical to hire leaders who can impart the same working culture in all our offices. Finally, we do try to bring as many of our overseas staff to Bangkok as possible because there is no substitute to meeting face to face.
Why did you choose to become a partner of the IMGA?
With over 60 clients in gaming ranging from indie developers to big publishers like LINE and Huawei, we’re something of a specialist in gaming localization. We also do a lot of work as a subcontractor to larger game localization providers who often struggle with complex challenges posed by the languages and scripts of emerging markets. At the same time, not everyone is aware we have extensive experience in localization into all languages and the full range of services we offer.
Over the years, IMGA has established itself as a well-known brand among the mobile gaming community and this partnership provides Andovar with a channel to reach game developers and publishers directly. We were especially keen to join hands with IMGA when we heard about the launch of a new division devoted to Southeast Asia. While Andovar works with clients from all over the world and offers localization into all commercial languages, our HQ is in Singapore and our largest production office is in Thailand, which means that SEA remains our home and the languages of the regions are our specialty.
What do you have to offer to the mobile gaming industry?
Andovar was founded in 2007 and over the years we have gained extensive experience in localization of games, as evidenced by the long list of clients from the industry (http://www.andovar-game-localization.com/list-of-clients/). As mentioned before, we offer a full suite of services and work with all commercial languages of the world, which means we can handle complete localization of a title from start to finish and do not need to outsource any work to other providers. Our clients have one point of contact at Andovar and there is transparency about who does the work and what the status is at any time. Opening offices in emerging regions of the world (Southeast Asia, India, and Latin America) not only allows us to keep operating costs low, but also gives us expertise in languages of some of the fastest-growing regions in the world, both in terms of GDP and mobile penetration.