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Leeds-based language services company and company of Connect Yorkshire EIR Larry Gould, thebigword has brought in a new director to spearhead the growth of its defence and international security division.

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

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

He 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.

“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, added: “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.”

Thebigword’s 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.

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