Tag Archive for: business in Budapest

As we shared with you last year, Inter Relocation’s owner was once an aspiring musician; so when new Budapest-based band Tuesday Night Rodeo, contacted him to talk about corporate sponsorship, they received a friendly reception. Inter Relocation has taken the decision to continue this fruitful cooperation throughout 2017.

We talked to lead singer Terry Etheridge and Inter Relocation’s owner, Stuart McAlister about their cooperation, music and how Tuesday Night Rodeo has moved on since the last time we spoke to them.

Budapest’s Newest Expat Rock God - Tuesday Night Rodeo

Although Tuesday Night Rodeo was formed just last year, you’ve already achieved great success. Could you summarize the major milestones thus far?

Terry: Every new band wishes and hopes for airplay and a label deal, Tuesday Night Rodeo managed to secure a label deal and release within the first year, soon after RadioRock in Hungary gave us our first airplay, and to achieve daily rotation was a big wow for us!

Stuart, was it even a question for Inter Relocation to continue sponsoring the band?

Stuart: Honestly, yes. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy involves different elements and whenever we support a cultural project there must be real value in the support we give. Tuesday Night Rodeo is a great example of cross-cultural cooperation, a group of Hungarian musicians with a Brit on lead vocals and guitar, playing ostensibly American music. This is what attracted us to the project, a truly international blend of nationalities and musical backgrounds, coming together in Hungary to play yet another style of music. 

You have musical background, mostly pop and funk. Why a country-rock band?

Stuart: I’ve known Terry as well as Joey from Paddy and the Rats for several years and when I heard about this new musical direction that they were taking together, I was very excited. Country rock isn’t a genre that has featured much in my life but artists like Sting have dabbled with country music and knowing Terry the way I do, I knew that the songs they write will be a little different from what I might typically expect country rock to mean. I was not disappointed!

How exactly did this cooperation start? Sure there is a bit more insider information.

Stuart: Well, inevitably, it started in the Caledonia Pub. Terry and I had had a casual conversation about this new band project over a beer and then he contacted me formally to express that the band was looking for founder sponsors. We explored the cooperation together and it made sense for me both from a CSR and business perspective. I’ll hand over to Terry to give you his side of the story. 🙂

Terry: Indeed, it did all start over a beer, or was that two? I’d known Stuart for several years and also knew he was a fellow musician. When the idea of sponsorship came up Stuart/Inter-relocation were obvious potential partners.  Stuart’s business has been built supporting the local community and newcomers to Hungary. We chatted about the possibilities and soon realised the mutual benefits. Tuesday Night Rodeo are very proud to work in partnership with Inter Relocation.

What has changed in the band’s life since we last spoke to you? Are there any new or unique directions TNR is taking?

Terry: Joey and I have already started writing the next Tuesday Night Rodeo album. There will be focus on writing more up tempo material. Joey also just had the good fortune to record the new Paddy & The Rats album with an American producer Cameron Webb, who has produced the likes of Sum41 and Motorhead. We are already applying some of the guitar recording techniques Joey learnt to the demos for the new artist that Joey and I are managing and writing for, AGGI.  So expect the new album to be a much bigger sound.

What is the biggest success in the band’s life to date?

Terry: Obviously such a fast album release, but now we are gaining airplay abroad too. The Album has been picked up by several country radio stations in the States and in the UK.

Your YouTube channel is pretty successful. There are comments like “I’m really digging this!”, “Very unique sound and vocal style!” and “I’m impressed!” What makes the band unique?

Terry: The band members all come from very different musical backgrounds, we didn’t take a look at the ‘Rule book for writing Country songs’. We wrote what we felt would make a new fresh approach to country, and then hung on to our hats.  Being from London and living here in Budapest it seems that we can re-write the rule book, It’s almost expected. I’m not sure that would be the same for an American band.

Who are the current members of the band?

Terry: Myself, Joey & Sam from Paddy and the Rats, Stephen and our newest addition is bass-man Danny Cser who joined us just in time for the Inter Relocation birthday party back in March.

Summer is a big outdoor concert season. Where will we have the chance to see TNR?

Terry: We are still working on dates at the moment….   You will be the first to know

What’s the next big step for the band?

Terry: The next album. We plan to add songs from that in to the set early to make our live performance more “up”. There are also plans for a new video release, but again, it’s still in the planning stage.

There are some people who quietly go about their business in the background, almost as an “éminence grise.” They work away and live their everyday lives while improving the fortunes of others.

Scottish-born Douglas Arnott, owner of  a professional translation office and a translator/interpreter himself by profession, is one such person. Besides his significant daily workload, he is the Chairman of the Robert Burns International Foundation.

Alongside the Burns Supper charity event, he regularly participates in other charity activities. He puts just as much heart and soul into helping as he does into his profession of translation.

We sat down for a chat about expat life, his career, and what motivates a professional like him in Hungary.

Today, you’re a father to three children, the owner of a significant translation agency, and the chairman of one of the largest charity foundations. Twenty years ago, is this where you thought you would be today?

20 years ago, I was still coming to the end of my degree in Edinburgh and hadn’t put much thought into what I wanted to do with it.

Having been trained in translation and interpreting, working abroad was clearly an option, even a likely option, but I don’t think I really believed I would still be here after almost 20 years.

You are renowned for your precision and high professional standards. Did you start your career here in Hungary?

After graduating, I spent another 4 weeks in Scotland before catching a flight out to Budapest, ostensibly to start a job here, which eventually came to nothing. Rather than head back home, I decided to set up shop by myself, establishing EDMF initially as a limited partnership (Bt.).

I used up the rest of my student loan to buy a PC, a printer, and a fax machine, and I waited for the phone to ring. So it was a slow start to the business. Translation is very much a service based on trust, and that trust has to be earned, which is difficult when people have no idea who you are.

Back in 1998, the online translation industry was nowhere near as developed as it is today, so initially EDMF was quite reliant on “local” business, but things soon picked up.

‘Cherchez la femme’ – as the saying goes. I believe an exceptional lady “enticed” you here to Hungary and has since become your wife.

Zsuzsa is well-versed in the profession too, and you run your translation agency together. How did you divide up the work with Zsuzsa?

That’s right, there was a reason for me jumping on the plane to Budapest back in 1998! I spent a year with EDMF and then almost six years working in-house at the translation department at KPMG Hungary before leaving in 2005 and devoting myself fully to EDMF again.

It was probably a couple of years after leaving KPMG and after our three kids arrived that Zsuzsa began to help out with the firm. I handle the professional side of the business; she coordinates the admin and back office, including marketing and social media.

Many people have said to us that they couldn’t imagine working side by side with their spouse. While it’s not always plain sailing, we have a system that works in the office, and more often than not, we’re able to leave our work minds behind when we head home.

How would you describe your everyday life?

Active! EDMF is growing, but we all have to be great at multi-tasking as everyone has not just one or two but many different tasks that need to be completed every day.

My time in the office is limited by when I have to drop the kids off at school in the morning and when they need picked up in the afternoon following whatever extracurricular activities are scheduled for that day, and there are a lot of them! This means the time spent in the office has to be as efficient as possible.

There are also periods of the year when the Robert Burns International Foundation takes up a lot of my time, giving me a few more balls to keep in the air. This is when I need to be particularly good with how I split my schedule, and Zsuzsa plays as much of a part in the RBIF from that point of view as I do.

EDMF, which you own, has today become one of the most professional translation agencies, operating for 19 years with clients in more than 20 countries and with 150 translators. How did you build up such a prospering business in Budapest?

We made a decision early on that quality would be what stood us apart on the market. This meant we concentrated on working with smaller teams of linguists, as opposed to the mass approach followed by many other companies in the industry.

Consequently, we were able to pay close attention to meeting our internal standards, and clients came to appreciate and value the consistent level of quality we provided. Over the years we have enjoyed steady growth that has enabled us to adapt and adjust to as we see fit, without having to take radical or risky decisions.

I think stability and reliability has been one of EDMF’s key factors of success over the last 19 years.

Do you consider yourself successful, what makes you happy?

What makes me happy – is sipping a glass of wine at home in the garden too simplistic an answer? It’s not that far from the truth though, what with our three kids, the company and the foundation, our lives are anything but slow and boring.

I grew up in Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, and loved it, but over the years I’ve come to value living outside the city. Etyek, from that point of view, is perfect. And the fact I can enjoy living there with everything we need as a family I guess means I can tick success off the list as well.

Besides your family and your business, you also participate in charity activities. These are clearly important to you. Do you want to give something back to the community, or does something else motivate you?

I grew up in an extended family full of doctors: a GP and a plastic surgeon for grandfathers, an uncle as a vet, and my sister and brother-in-law are both consultant physicians in the UK. While the medical genes passed me over, when I learned the Robert Burns International Foundation supported sick and underprivileged children in Hungary it just seemed like something I should be doing.

That was back in 2012, and now as Chairman of the RBIF I’m proud of what we have achieved over the last five years and indeed what we continue to do.

Last year we supported hospitals in Budapest and around the country as well as joining forces with the Caledonia Bar to help a nursery in a very poor village in northern Hungary. We have also launched a scheme helping SMEs get involved in supporting charitable causes with the help of the RBIF, with Inter Relocation the first company to sign up, on the initiative of Stuart McAlister.

As expats I think we can live quite a sheltered existence sometimes in Hungary, and it’s with projects like these where we can and certainly should do as much as possible to better the lives of those who have not been as fortunate as we are, especially when it comes to enjoying good health.

What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Let me see, in twenty years’ time, preferably retired and on an exotic golf course somewhere.

More realistically, I’ll be happy if EDMF has continued to go from strength to strength. I took up wine-making as a hobby a few years ago and will soon be bottling my fourth ‘vintage’.

The problem with making wine is that when you mess up you need to wait a whole year before trying not to make the same mistake again. I should know, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. Slowly but surely though I feel happy for others to taste the end product. Not enough to contemplate a career change though, I’ll leave that to the professionals.

Stuart McAlister, owner and Managing Director of Inter Relocation has been named as the new Vice-President of the European Relocation Association.

He will hold this prestigious position for two years. Then he will have served the maximum six years that EuRA board members may serve. His time with the executive group of EuRA will end.

Inter Relocation Receives Commitment to Excellence Gold Award

Stuart will assist and work closely with EuRA’s new President, Andrew Scott and the rest of the EuRA board. He hopes to helps its management team further the causes of the world’s greatest representative organisation for Destination Service Providers.

Stuart was quoted as saying “I’m delighted to have been nominated as EuRA Vice-President for the next two years. The development in this amazing organisation that I have witnessed over the last four years has been phenomenal. I hope my time as Vice-President will allow me to further the goals of making EuRA a global representative for companies in the relocation industry.”

About Inter Relocation

Founded in March 2002, Inter Relocation is a provider of relocation destination services and immigration compliance in Budapest, Hungary.

Now the company covers 23 countries and is Central and Eastern Europe’s premier provider of services to expatriates.

The company also provides comprehensive relocation service – assignment planning, preview visits, home search, move management, immigration compliance, settling in, tenancy management, departure support.