We have been in the localization business since it started in Russia, initially as a team of experts working for large software distributors. Our first project was the localization of Time Line 4.0 into Russian in 1990, and it proved to be a success. Symantec sold more than 3,000 copies of this project management software in Russia, and it was an extremely high figure at that time. Soon everyone realized that localization demands a specific approach, type of management, skills, etc.
As a company specializing in localization, Logrus was founded in Russia in early 1993, only a year after Russia proclaimed independence from the USSR and private property was recognized by the state for the first time in 70+ years. It became the first privately owned and independent localization company in the country where software localizations were just getting their initial momentum. The company employed four people (two working in the office and another two working from home) and owned three stand-alone computers and a used laser printer... Since then, our life has never been boring.
1993 was one of the harshest years in recent Russian history — the year of a serious constitutional crisis and an attempt of a communist coup d'etat, with fights and tanks in the streets of Moscow. However, for us it was the year of our first successfully fulfilled projects for such serious companies as Microsoft and Lotus, our first achievements and our first developments.
From the start, we had a team of skilled professionals most of whom were former employees of Russian research institutions with a strong technical background. In the early 1990’s, a significant portion of such specialist suddenly found themselves looking for another job when both academic and special institutions started shrinking due to lack of state funding. We used this situation to our advantage, hiring competent people with a background in physics, mathematics and computer science. Logrus is probably the only company in the industry that employs seven people with Ph.D. degrees. While some people might view these people as overqualified for the job, in our opinion this has given Logrus a unique potential for innovation and flexibility.
Software sales in Russia were growing rapidly by approximately 100% each year and topped $100 million in 1997. This could not but stimulate the nascent localization market, and Logrus was growing together with it offering software localization and technical translation into Russian. By 1998 the company had gained the reputation of a reliable single-language vendor (SLV) with above average technical skills working with a relatively wide variety of clients, including three large companies.
1998 was a critical year for us: the Russian government's default became the last in the series of events demonstrating that being a strong SLV, even a well-established one, was not enough. As a result, Logrus started its expansion into the market of multilingual software localization, engineering and testing. We were sure that, with all the advantages we had, such as the abundance of highly qualified resources with a profound technical background and a lower cost of engineering work in Russia, this was exactly the course we must follow. We expected that engineers whose native tongue was other than English (with extended characters only!) would have a deeper understanding of globalization issues (encoding, sorting etc.) and would treat these more carefully. We proved to be right: Logrus has become an established provider of multilingual engineering and testing solutions for a number of leading software publishers. Today our hi-tech services account for more than 35% of the company's revenue.