Big hire for thebigword: Language services provider appoints leading Middle East networker for defence division

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Language services provider thebigword has appointed one of the best-connected networkers in the Middle East to spearhead the growth of its defence and international security division.

Zia Mir with senior vice president commercial development, Clare Riches.

Zia Mir joins as business development director and will use his longstanding experience and contacts within the region to advise the group on sales opportunities.

He previously held business development roles at SAI Global, a risk management business, and IHS Global, for its Jane’s defence and security information services.

Mr Mir said: “Due to the rapid expansion with projects such as Expo 2020 in Dubai and Qatar’s plans for the World Cup, the foreign presence in the Middle East is significant and increasing.

“Businesses from Europe and the Americas are working and investing in the region.

“The desire of the collective leaderships of the different countries in the Middle East is to create a better and more cohesive society.

“They want to build new Smart City developments with the latest technology.

“We aim to be the leading language services provider to governments, businesses and contractors to help drive this social, economic and technological transformation.

“As the region continues to transform we look to work with military, government and local security industry in the development of language solutions that address the Middle East’s security challenges.”

Larry Gould, founder and chief executive of thebigword, said: “We are delighted to welcome Zia to thebigword and believe that his experience of the Middle East will be a great asset for our group.

“He has a deep cultural understanding of the area and extensive knowledge of our potential customer base. Zia has great contacts and is an excellent networker.”

The defence division had sales of £8m last year and provides face-to-face interpreting, telephone interpreting, written translation, cultural advice and language training.

The division has 150 interpreters deployed in UK, Germany, Ukraine, Iraq, Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and northern Africa.

Notes to Editors: thebigword is the largest interpreting services provider in Europe and is in the top 20 language companies in the world. It works with a range of major government departments, including the Ministry of Justice and the NYC Department of Education, as well as blue chip companies and brands on a global scale. The company has 11 offices around the world, employs over 600 staff and has more than 15,000 linguists. The company handles 1,000,000 minutes of telephone interpreting a month and 17,000 face to face meetings, as well as half a billion words of translation. For more information about thebigword, visit

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