When the pandemic first hit, language service providers (LSPs) had to act fast to adapt their business models to the new environment and meet their clients' changing needs. Companies of all sizes increased their digital offerings, added new platforms, features and services, restructured their internal operations, worked on integrations, and received completely new types of requests that fueled innovation. It was stressful, it was scary, it was exciting. We can say without exaggeration that the pandemic kicked off a new chapter for the global labor market and that things will never return to the way they were before March 2020.
Fast forward to 2022, it seems the language services market is better set up than ever before to meet the increasingly complex demands of buyers and is reaping the rewards of the efforts put in at the start of the pandemic. That the language services industry is coming out stronger is reflected in the strong growth the top 100 LSPs experienced in 2021 - through both mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and outside investment, as well as via organic growth.
It is fair to say that 2021 was an exceptionally great year for the language industry and that factors such as a backlog demand (from the 2020 lockdowns) in sectors like government and media, as well as the continued boom in e-commerce and e-learning heavily contributed to this fact. However, even after this exceptional year, we can expect that the industry will continue to grow at a faster pace than before. The global market has changed, and at this point in time LSPs have adapted well to it and are ready to meet and exceed the new requirements. We have long said that our industry is impervious to crises. The latest developments show that what significantly contributes to this resilience is the incredible agility of the individual companies in the market.