July Member Spotlight – Omni Tech
What is your business industry category or specialty?
There are two interlocking parts to Omni Tech. The Learning & Development side of our company creates a variety of training content and training-support systems for the pharmaceutical industry, both in the US and in Emerging Markets. The Translation and Localization side of Omni contributes to the multilingual deployment of the training that we develop, and also performs a lot of work for the Defense/Aerospace industry.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
Despite the formality of being the CEO of Omni Tech, an employer and an entrepreneur, I think more in terms of the imagination and culture of my company. I don’t even think of it as particularly MY company. I am surrounded by very talented, creative, hardworking and capable people, my wife being our client-facing rock star. I lead the company by staying out of the way when I should, by coaching and challenging my teams, by steering the ship, and also by being willing to occasionally clean out the coffee maker.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition?
What makes you unique?
Our competitors are located in the San Francisco Bay area and in Massachusetts, and they typically are single-location regardless of size. Being headquartered in Atlanta gives us access to a well-educated, young and enthusiastic workforce without the sky-high salaries, taxes and overhead of similar agencies. This has made it possible for Omni to be very competitive while delivering innovation and quality to our customers on an ongoing basis. Pharmaceutical products are sold and distributed around the world and Omni Tech is structured to assist our clients with international deployments, training and marketing strategy. We have contributed to the launch of major drugs in the US and Europe, in Latin America, Asia and the Middle-East.
How was the business started?
The origins of Omni go back to 1991, when we started a translation/communication department for an Atlanta-based lobbying firm, with clients ranging from UPS to BellSouth and Motorola. I took over the company in 2006 with emphasis on Defense and Aerospace clients, who we still work with today. I saw a business need in 2015 and we (my wife comes from the pharmaceutical industry in Europe) expanded Omni into the life sciences sphere in 2015, and this is where we now see the most growth and opportunity for us.
How many employees does the business have?
Omni currently has 17 full-time employees, in addition to a team of freelance writers, linguists and developers who contribute special skills as required. The majority of full-timers are in Atlanta, with the rest in France and Vietnam, where we maintain offices that give us access to on the ground know-how and the ability to work on projects around the clock.
How did you end up in Atlanta?
I came to Georgia when I received a college scholarship as an exchange student, after completing a baccalaureate in France. I am originally from The Hague. Atlanta has been home for many years, even though my wife and I have our feet on both continents and regularly travel to Europe.
What is your number one business goal over the next year?
My team and I have spent the past couple of years building infrastructure and refining processes for our clients. I am surrounded by bright and dedicated young people and we have made the company both flexible and scalable. We hired a Chief Strategy Officer this past year and 2019 is under the sign of “growth and sustainability”.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with Americans/Dutch?
I try to listen as much as possible. Very extensive material has been written about conducting business in different countries and cultures. In the end though, people are not all that different, no matter where you go. Everybody wants to be treated fairly and one of the best pieces of advice was given to me before walking into a hostile meeting: “We keep our voices down to be heard, we keep things simple and go for the best compromise.”
Any other personal information you would like to share, e.g. hobbies, special interests, family etc… Being the father of two cool kids, 20 and 23, founding Omni Tech in 1991, purchasing and reorganizing the company in 2006 and running it ever since with the help of very talented teams on 3 continents are the adventures of a lifetime. Not to mention that I try to stay current on everything and enjoy classic British cars, everything associated with aviation, vintage engines, music from Rave to Opera, high-fidelity audio, and all things that are steam-powered.
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