Stéphane Magnard has been the owner and CEO of AT Language Solutions® since 2015. Since his arrival, he has achieved great milestones such as tripling the size of the company. But the best is yet to come, as his objective is to position the company among the most important in the world. Would you like to find out more? Keep reading.
When did you arrive at AT Language Solutions?
At the beginning of 2015, I acquired, together with my partners, the company AUTOMATICTRANS S.L., which is the registered name of the business to this day.
How has AT evolved since then?
Woah! In every aspect imaginable. When I arrived at AT, there were only 14 employees, all of whom had a technical background. Now, the company is made up of 50 professionals in diverse areas such as IT, Sales, Administration, Marketing and Operations. We have moved from a small company to a fully professional, ambitious company, which has tripled its turnover, and has offices in both Barcelona and Madrid.
What does it mean to you to be the CEO of this company?
Great responsibility and great satisfaction. My professional background is not in translation, but I am fully aware that if the product or service is good, the recipe for growth can be extrapolated regardless of the industry: the best professionals, working on the organisation, redefining processes to improve the business, implementing work tools and, as is the case for everything, enjoying a little luck. I also love to learn every day from my teams.
What has been the most difficult moment you have had to face at AT Language Solutions?
There are two things that particularly stand out. On one hand, like the vast majority of companies, the pandemic, which forced us place many of our employees in ERTE (furlough), which caused us great difficulties. And, on the other hand, the collapse of our Internet service provider, OVH, in March 2021. There was a fire in several of its premises, where our servers, and therefore all of our information, were housed, which meant that AT was effectively paralysed for 10 days. Truthfully, I felt that the company was in real danger and I thought we would have to close. Fortunately, thanks to the work of our entire team, we managed to recover our information and restart our services to clients, who were very understanding in the face of such a complex situation. We learned a lot from the OVH incident! In fact, these events would no longer be a problem for us if history were to repeat itself (although we hope that it doesn't!)
On the other hand, tell us about a lovely moment that you remember with a smile.
For me, the greatest satisfaction is the people who make up AT and watching the growth of our team. Each and every one of them is very committed to their work and to the company. They show up to work each day with enthusiasm and passion. On the other hand, I also want to highlight how supported I am by my management team. They are always by my side and I trust them 100%.
What are the new challenges the company is facing? What can we expect from AT in the next few years?
Despite being a well-established sector, my objective in the medium term is to position AT within the top 5 Spanish translation companies and in the top 100 worldwide. All our work and effort are focused in this direction. How? Extending our portfolio of services with new and innovative products on the market and with the acquisition of competing companies. Finally, we have our sights set on internationalising AT.
Without meaning to be too nosey, can you tell us something interesting about yourself? Give us some insight into your personal life. What is your favourite thing to do in your free time? 😊
Work consumes me so much that on the weekend or during the holidays my priority is to spend as much time as possible with my family. I must confess that I like to sail in summer and ski in winter, so when I can, you'll find my family and I on the coast or in the mountains.
Can you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up?
When I was little, I dreamed of being the CEO of a large international company. I thought that would be exciting and fun. I also had a phase of wanting to be a banker. But finally, I realised that what I really wanted was to do things my way. That's why I decided to be an entrepreneur!
You are granted one wish to travel anywhere you want. Where would you go?
I would love to visit the Philippines, it is a destination I have always wanted to visit, especially because of the beaches. It really appeals to me. I would also love to take a catamaran cruise with my family on the Caribbean Sea.
A book you couldn't do without?
Anything that is an easy read and has a happy ending. An AT employee recently gave me a book that I loved, Who moved my cheese?. I identify myself very much in this story, as I always try to do new things, to innovate, and to avoid getting stuck in "it's how it has always been".
A dish you never get tired of.
I adore oysters, I could eat them every day! And if they are accompanied by nice cold glass of white wine, even better!
Your favourite television series.
Without a doubt, Game of Thrones. I still haven't found another series with such power to reel me in. Any recommendations?
A film that left an impression on you.
Dune by David Lynch.
Something you love...
Good vibes, optimism and people with a positive outlook.
Something you can't stand...
Disrespect, people who create problems out of nothing, lies and people who cannot admit when they are wrong.