Bharat Mahtani: An Insightful Journey Through Language Associates, Leadership & Expansion | CEOInsights Vendor
Bharat Mahtani: An Insightful Journey Through Language Associates, Leadership & Expansion

Bharat Mahtani: An Insightful Journey Through Language Associates, Leadership & Expansion

  Bharat Mahtani,   President

Bharat Mahtani


Effective communication plays a vital role in today's society, whether in professional or personal settings. It enhances our comprehension of individuals and circumstances, allowing us to navigate differences, foster trust and mutual respect, and establish an environment conducive to exchanging innovative thoughts and addressing challenges. A meticulously designed language program can serve as a catalyst for intricate strategies, enabling companies to expand their global footprint. Language Associates represents a prime example of such an entity. While Language Associates is involved in translation assignments, its central mission revolves around providing language training to elevate the communication skills of its clients. Language Associates specializes in equipping both individuals and organizations with the essential resources for effective communication, making it the core foundation of their business. Bharat Mahtani, holding the position of President at Language Associates, is a distinguished expert within the language services sector. His unwavering dedication is evident in his provision of language training services to clients, assisting them in achieving their communication goals at the highest level.

In a candid interview conducted with us, he opened up about the inner workings of the industry and their relentless pursuit, since day one, of becoming industry leaders.

Can you provide a concise overview of your professional history and the experiences that have shaped it? What is the driving force behind your daily activities?
I arrived in Paris, France in 1987 as a computer science student with a BSc from India. After completing my post-graduation in computer science, I began working in 1991, developing software programs for a company involved in media, particularly the press. I specialized in the press sector and created software still in use by major French newspapers. This marked my initiation into the IT industry, which I pursued for seven years. I then transitioned to a large company,ACCOR, with 110,000
employees worldwide, and assumed the role of an international project leader, extensively travelling across continents for seven years. During this period, I evolved into management, organization and logistics, experiencing significant promotions. Eventually, I decided to leverage my skills for myself, shifting into communication and language training in 2004-2005. Drawing from my multilingual background, I recognized the need for effective communication in diverse languages during my global travels. This realization inspired me to establish Language Associates, a company I currently own and lead as CEO, alongside another venture called CANSPEAK, where I serve as CEO. These companies share the same focus on language education and training, with Language Associates having a six percent ownership stake in CANSPEAK. In 2017, I was unanimously elected as the President and CEO of CANSPEAK, tasked with its management and advancement, a role I have held since then. Both CANSPEAK and Language Associates engage in identical activities.

We analyze the specific needs of individuals who wish to learn English or any other language, taking into consideration their availability and preferred learning locations

Could you provide a description of Language Associates as a company and its current standing within the market?
To provide some context, it's important to note that the competition in the French market is quite fierce. Language Associates operates exclusively in the corporate sector, focusing on business-to-business (B2B) services. Our clients are companies, and we specialize in enhancing communication through language training, translation, and interpretation for their employees.In France, there's a substantial amount of funding allocated for training purposes, with an annual budget of approximately 32 billion euros. About 16 to 17 billion euros of this budget is dedicated to various forms of training, while the remaining portion is managed by government entities to oversee fund allocation. This unique setup enables companies to utilize these funds to train their staff. At Language Associates, we cater to a wide range of clients, from top-level executives to middle management and even entry level employees,
helping them improve their language skills, particularly in English, to excel internationally.

Could you share insights into your leadership style? What principles or methods do you adhere to as a leader?
This alliance comprises 22 distinct language service providers across various locations in France, with Language Associates being one of them, holding a 6 percent ownership stake in CANSPEAK, among others. Within this alliance, 17 share holders possess different percentages of shares. Managing such an organization demands strong leadership skills due to the independent nature of each member company. To ensure coherence, a clear vision is essential, persuading and guiding members toward shared goals. The establishment of standardized rules is also crucial for seamless cooperation among 22 different entities. This management approach has proven effective and contributed to our growth. Our primary focus involves responding to national level public and private tenders. When we secure projects, we distribute the workload among the 22 members. Effective leadership requires vision, the ability to rally members around a common goal, and a tailored training approach. What sets us apart is our customized training, tailored to the unique needs of individuals rather than relying on a one size-fits-all classroom approach.

What is the future destination you are headed towards?
We have definite plans for expansion, particularly in Europe. While we are currently based in France, we aim to replicate our successful business model in countries like Belgium and Germany. We did make an attempt at this about a decade ago, but the market and training landscape were less conducive then. Now, with a more mature approach, we are actively pursuing partnerships as a means to expand. This expansion into other European countries is our immediate focus. Additionally, we operate on a five year planning cycle, and our most recent plan was devised during the COVID pandemic, extending until the end of 2025.

Bharat Mahtani, President, Language Associates
Between 1998 and 2005, Bharat Mahtani engaged in collaborations with companies across all continents. He interacted fluently in five different languages and communicated with over 40 nationalities. Over a span of 18 years, he gained an inside perspective on companies' languagerelated strengths and weaknesses.

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