Empowered, but no power dressing

Features Posted 21/06/19
MD of fast-growing tech agency Kayo attributes success to his dedicated team, a relaxed dress code and a peaceful, attractive workplace.

A relaxed attitude to business wear, but full focus on the job in hand is the ethos behind technical agency Kayo Digital’s success.

MD Richard Pilton sums up the office dress code with a phrase he shares regularly with staff – “never trust a techie in a suit”, commenting that his team can regularly be seen dressed in shorts and flip-flops.

Don’t let that fool you into thinking that a job at Kayo is a doddle, however. Richard expects complete loyalty and dedication from his team of 11, as he explains: “I strongly believe in people owning their allotted task. I need them to take responsibility for the entire project they are working on, not to sit back expecting someone else to take over.”

Richard believes this strong work ethic empowers people and his management style certainly appears to have paid off. The company’s turnover has grown by an astonishing 65% since it took over two small web design agencies – Interactive Red of Canterbury and Squidders of Maidstone – in 2018, and Richard is confident this can further increase by 25% within the next year or so and that the 2018 figure will be doubled by 2021.

Richard’s progress into the world of tech began with a degree in physics from the University of London, followed by several years working in the petro-chemical industry.

“I have always worked for small companies, because I feel they make better use of individual skills and capabilities,” he tells me. “I became interested in the world of computers and learned a great deal from the software consultant where I worked, before moving into the mobile phone business in the 1990s.”

As he rose through the ranks of the parent company, becoming a board member and managing director of MoCo’s software division, Richard saw it taken over by Daisy, a mobile phone distributor. It was making a “stable income”, but he felt his talents for developing small businesses needed more attention. After founding the bespoke software company MoCo Software Solutions in 2010, he bought the two small companies and rebranded as Kayo last year.

Despite its relatively new arrival on the Kent digital scene, Kayo boasts a staff with a combined experience of more than 20 years in the tech industry, as well as “an excellent track record and an impressive client roster”, says Richard. He is supported by business director Ian Robinson, production director Justin Wanstall and head of design Kris Jeary to offer a number of digital services, including web design, software development, eCommerce, mobile apps and cloud hosting.

Kayo has no sales team, preferring to attract business by reputation, or via the website. Clients on board so far include Nato, the NHS in Kent, mobile phone provider Three, Kent Police and Kent County Council.

Richard is confident his team can meet the company slogan “If you can dream it, we can build it” and they await the next challenge at their offices on Kent Science Park, south of Sittingbourne.

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