We had the good fortune of connecting with Claudia Mirza and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Claudia, how does your business help the community or world?
At Akorbi, we want to improve the life of our team members, but also impact our society. Helping people connect and be heard is at the heart of our business. We believe this support and success should be shared with the community around us. A specific example of this was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, our CEO Claudia along with other women business owners, spent a significant amount of time and resources repatriating Colombian children, women, sick individuals and elders that were living in inhumane conditions at the São Paulo airport. Our executive team also has dedicated time and resources to supporting interpreters’ organizations, the Genesis women shelter in Dallas, and children who are hard of hearing during this difficult time. Allowing our communities to thrive and get the support they need will always be our passion at Akorbi.

Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
This world is filled with amazing people who support each other. It is incredible that news can inundate us with so much negativity, when in reality there is so much beauty in this world—it is filled with amazing people and organizations. 

The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) has mentored me through the years. They sent me to a three-year program at Harvard and provided me with leadership skills to manage my business. The WPO has not only helped me to grow professionally, but has given me a stronger skill set to more effectively run and develop my business. Professor Lynda Applegate and other members of the Harvard Business School have been very supportive of me as well. 

Running a business can be very lonely. When we are dealing with difficult moments, those are the times when friendships are more important. The WPO is a peer support group that brings together women business owners in a confidential setting. We serve as our own advisory group. The founder of this group is Dr. Marsha Firestone out of New York, and under her guidance we have grown to more than 2,000 women around the world, all united as sisters. Marsha had the vision that if you are running a decent business above certain revenue criteria, no matter the social class, religion, color, disability, or sexual orientation, you qualify for this organization. 

Another influential place for me has been the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce., under the leadership of Carmen Castillo and the International Women Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC). There are many woman-focused organizations, such as the Women Economic Forum under Doctor Harbeen Arora, and the International Women Foundation that have also helped me a lot. 

Another instrumental group of people are my team members who I get to share some of the most challenging and difficult problems and questions with. We go to war together every day and they get to see me operating under both pressure and happiness. They are all very important to me in their own unique ways. 

Finally, my children, Anwar and Kamil. They are my driving force and without their courage and support, I would not have the strength to fight every day to grow both personally and professionally.

Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I am very proud to say that we just became the largest woman-owned language service provider in America. It is hard to find large woman-owned businesses in a male and private equity dominated world. 

What sets us apart is that we are honest and are kind to people. The business world can be very cruel, especially for a woman. We want our clients, vendors, and team members to thrive. We want our families to thrive. We want to be an instrument of change.  We hope that in exchange, our team members remain committed to supporting each other like a family instead of like a corporate business. We are a family making a living by striving for a common goal. In the end, we hope that the compassion we have within our team transcends to our clients and they feel that love as well. 

I am proud to say that what sets us apart business-wise is that we are one of the most diversified language service companies in the world. Our services offering include translation, interpretation in any modality, workforce solutions and multilingual contact center (BPO) support. We are the only woman-owned business in the US offering this diverse mix of solutions to our clients allowing us to support all their global language and operation needs. 

Our team is also diverse and located all around the world, allowing us to provide coverage 24/7 to our clients. We are headquartered in Plano, Texas but we are also doing a significant amount of business in India, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Czech Republic, Argentina, and Colombia. Colombia is a very important office for us. There we employ many locals in need of steady employment. We are proud of our people who I can proudly say share and reflect Akorbi’s values every day.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc. In your view what are some of the most fun, interesting, exciting people, places or things to check out?
I think that North Texas in general needs more iconic places. When people from abroad visit, they want to see cowboys and country. That being said, we love Babe’s Chicken in Sanger, Texas. Babe’s has done a great job to preserve our traditional Texan recipes and culture. We love the music and the country inspired themes. 

We love Van Alstyne, Texas. In fact, we are considering purchasing a Texas style cabin with protected wildlife and trails. We would love to take our friends and do trail rides with our horses out there. 

Similarly, following all things “Texas”, we love the Fort Worth stockyard rodeo on Saturdays and the cattle round up. That is a must-see for our family and friends from out of town. 

Wimberley Texas is also a beautiful destination in Hill Country. The market days with all the local artisans are amazing. 

Finally, we would have to take them to Buckees. It is my go-to stop for any Texas related gifts and souvenirs. 

Akorbi is made up of team members from all over the world. Our company celebrates the diverse mix of cultures and languages as often as we can. We embrace our Texas roots and try to always support any small businesses that are bringing out the best of our culture.

Website: https://akorbi.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teamakorbi/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/79387
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Akorbi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AkorbiUS
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/akorbi-plano
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnUb1S_0mFqC0MxLRAv1IJw

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.