In Their Own Words: Companies share their stories of globalization
Share with others:
A leading provider of integrated microanalysis solutions, Aspex Corp. was founded in 1992 as a response to the limitations and costs associated with traditional scanning electron microscopy. Soon after, it was the first to introduce the personalized scanning electron microscopy. The two-in-one product not only positioned Aspex as a force in the microscopy community, but also gave the company a platform for global expansion.
Today, Aspex Corp.'s systems rapidly and automatically detect, identify and document contaminants in process materials and defects in a product, enabling the user to understand and control the purity of the process. Aspex can support factory floor quality control applications in a wide range of industries such as: metals, aerospace, automotive, forensics, industrial automation, defense and pharmaceutical.
The company currently supports companies like Nucor Steel, the number one recycling steel company in the United States, and Mercedes Benz, a luxury automotive maker in Germany, as well as providing similar solutions to industrial companies in countries such as Canada, Brazil, India, China, Germany, Russia and Japan.
Aspex has grown 60 percent over the last two years through global expansion. The company has not only created over 35 new jobs locally, but has experienced a sustainable 25 percent increase in overall revenue for the last five years, despite the tumultuous economic climate.
In January 2012, Aspex expanded its global reach further after negotiating an acquisition by FEI, the world leader in the production and distribution of electron microscopes. Specifically attracted to Aspex's innovative work in the natural resources market, FEI will be using the company's industrial solutions in North America, Europe, and Asia in more than 50 countries around the world.
Director of Market Development, Aspex Corp., an FEI company
For me, Pittsburgh International Airport is truly my international hub. It is my gateway to the world of Bayer, the family I have belonged to for 22 years. While many people take a bus or taxi to travel from meeting to meeting, I find myself catching another flight to Germany, the home to Bayer's global headquarters. There have been times in my career when I did this every other week, which translates into a lot of interaction with my German colleagues.
Recently, I was at the airport waiting at my gate for an international flight. Most often, I am one of the first to board the plane, as I try to beat the crowd.
As I waited, the carrier announced that families with babies should board first (I can appreciate this, as I am a parent of three). I didn't really pay attention to this announcement, since there generally aren't too many families and babies on these business flights.
Then suddenly, I saw a grinning face of a younger gentleman. He was with his wife and newborn child. This smiling face belonged to a Bayer colleague of mine who worked within my organization and is on assignment in Pittsburgh. While I was traveling on business that day, they were heading to visit family, so Pittsburgh International Airport was their gateway to home.
I grinned back at him, and in that moment, he and I both realized that life in this world -- and at Bayer -- is full of possibility and opportunity.
President and CEO of Bayer Business and
Technology Services LLC
Since 1984, Echo International has helped companies in Pittsburgh and throughout the world communicate in the language and cultural context of their global customers. These companies are now localizing websites and software in addition to documents, translating materials into a growing number of languages, and increasingly recognizing the benefit of having their communications translated and managed centrally instead of by various overseas offices.
We also see more mid-sized and emerging companies globalizing -- aided by the Internet and a relatively weak dollar, and driven by twin needs to reduce costs and find new markets.
To support these changes, our business is changing, too. In the past year, we have launched two significant initiatives.
The first is our new intercultural training division, Echo Insight. Echo International has long provided one-on-one and classroom-based intercultural training. With increased demand for training on navigating business relationships in other cultures, we needed a scalable solution for our clients, available whenever and wherever they need it. Echo Insight provides high-quality cultural training in an easy, engaging Web-based format. The division just launched its first course, Intercultural Awareness: China, which prepares individuals and organizations to successfully do business with their Chinese counterparts.
The second initiative, our content development service, grew from companies' need to get products to global markets faster -- ideally, simultaneously. That means faster or simultaneous multi-language translation of accompanying product/marketing materials.
The most efficient way to translate one product message into many languages is to start with so-called "world-ready" original source language, free of jargon and ambiguities that take extra time to translate. Because not all clients have expertise writing world-ready or simplified English, we now offer pre-translation services, writing or editing our clients' globally focused materials in preparation for efficient multi-language translation.
A leading translation firm, Echo International is headquartered in Downtown Pittsburgh.
CEO, Echo International
Long before India was making headlines throughout the world, J.J. Gumberg Co. and its sister company, Gumberg Global, had already recognized the country's enormous growth potential due to its rapidly growing middle class.
In 2005 facing a faltering U.S. economy and a saturated domestic retail market, a team of Gumberg executives traveled to the subcontinent to study the retail marketplace, existing infrastructure as well as the country's political, social and economic climate. After spending several months analyzing several tier I and tier II cities, the team concluded that India's demographic and burgeoning retail sector presented a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
A year later, an expatriate executive team from Gumberg moved to New Delhi with the expressed strategy of gaining first-mover advantage in the world's largest underserved organized retail market.
To support this ambitious endeavor, the company has now recruited and developed a senior executive team with extensive experience in the design, development, construction, leasing and operations of shopping centers. Key executive positions, including the CEO/Managing Director and CFO, are held by Indian nationals with successful track records in international joint ventures and emerging market segments
Today, Gumberg is committed to becoming the market leader in developing, owning and operating Western-style retail destinations in each of India's strategic markets. These developments will encompass a minimum of 1 million square feet of space, be anchored by major international and domestic department stores and attract a wide variety of retail tenants. Gumberg's first project, The North Country Mall, is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Executive Director of Corporate Affairs, J.J. Gumberg Co.
Continue the conversation by sharing your story at www.post-gazette.com.
First Published March 20, 2012 12:00 am