The world we live in comprises of technical and technological advancements that have made lives better. It’s where getting any bit of information from around the world is on the tip of our fingers, and sharing details over the internet has become a seamless task. Therefore, another revolutionary tool has to be the internet and the advantages that it has unfolded upon us. Taking advantage of this, several advertising campaigns, marketing jargons have successfully taken place that has shed light to various innovative and extraordinary services and products from around the globe. But then, with advancements made in the technology sector, there have been many developmental phases and programming challenges that one has to overcome. But why worry as you have a company named Kilowott that is your one-stop-shop solution for all your technology and development-related problems.
Kilowott is the brainchild of Aaron Fernandez which is greatly involved in the surplus services of the digital era we live in. it’s a company that takes on development projects, digital marketing, app and software development, consulting strategy, product design, digital technology development, digital content design and much more. the company is quite diverse and has constantly delivered its deliverables since 2015. No doubt, the company has propelled its way to the top in scaling globally as well. To learn more about the company and its offering, inception, and services that it proudly supports, Bangalore Insider got in touch with the CEO of Kilowott, Aaron Fernandez, to have a quick chat on this and understand more about it the company and its operation. The interview has been provided below.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Kilowott offers consultancy and strategic support in customer journey mapping, customer experience process assessment and surveys, consulting, assessment, roadmap ideation and modelling with use cases, brand positioning and go-to-market strategies, brand identity development, concept design and prototyping. All strategies are customized as per real data analytics and right down to the minutest detail generated through innovative coding.
Kilowott’s vision is to blend digital and design seamlessly to craft enduring digital user experiences that have a direct impact on customers’ business outcomes. The company is led by the core philosophy of the founders, ‘to offer cutting-edge digital solutions in a global marketplace to enhance digital customer experience.”
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
Kilowott recognized that there were very few companies who offered a whole spectrum of services within the IT sphere. That’s where Kilowott steps in. Kilowott’s USP lies in its consolidation of different services to create one single platform where the clients can get diversity of services. Our impeccable insights generated through in-depth understanding of core markets gives us an advantage over various other generalists.
Kilowott creates customised digital interfaces and operational solutions by using design elements like CX, AR and VR as well as latest technologies like analytics, AI, IoT and others to ensure customers’ business growth and profitability. Kilowott uses an amalgamation of cutting- edge technology and innovative approach to offer consulting and strategy services in customer journey mapping, customer experience process assessment and surveys consulting, assessment, roadmap ideation and modelling with use cases, brand positioning and go-to market strategy, brand identity development and concept design and prototyping. The desired outcome is achieved on the basis of real data analysis, down to the minutest details which are extracted through innovative coding. It helps the customers enjoy desired marketing, revenue generation and profitability success.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
Kilowott’s journey to where the company stands right now, spread over three continents, is rooted in the sands of Goa’s beaches, where co-founder Aaron walked about as part of his first-ever job in 2002.
17-year-old Aaron was on a summer break from high school when he signed up for a gig, which involved distributing flyers along Goa’s gold coast — the Sinquerim-Baga beach stretch – to promote a restaurant. His pay check at the time was just INR 1,000 a week. It wasn’t a cushy job by any means, but it was an opportunity to earn some pocket money. And Rs. 1000 in the early 2000s was still a princely sum for a young student.
This stint implanted an idea in young Aaron’s mind. The ‘flyer distributor’ decided to scale up a trajectory, Aaron would soon familiarise himself in his journey as an entrepreneur years later.
He took up the responsibility to become a coordinator for the flyer delivery service, getting his friends and colleagues from college to sign up as flyer distributors.
Soon, more coastal restaurants and clubs joined his client portfolio. Aaron scaled up again. This time he started a small design firm, which would design flyers, which his team would distribute. What followed was a cutting-edge event aggregator website, called Pablo, which collated a comprehensive and a constantly updated listing of events in Goa.
Despite its advantages, the project didn’t take flight. Clients were not familiar with online advertising and SEO was unheard of. The concept was ahead of its time and didn’t find takers. Though his first website failed, the learnings from it were immense.
All these developments were just the early pit stops in his entrepreneurship journey for the co-founder of ‘Kilowott’, before his brothers Judah and Caleb joined in.
After college, he migrated to Norway, where he took up a job with a design company. He cloaked his entrepreneurial ambitions for the time being. It was a new country, a new culture and a new work environment. It took getting used to. What struck him most, was the unique Scandinavian knack for incorporating an element of finesse which is often associated with their philosophy of life.
Before long, the entrepreneur in him rose to the fore, as he utilised the skills he had picked up in Goa to the benefit of his Norwegian employer, a retail company. Before long Aaron set up an e-commerce division and moved the product stores online which saw a steep hike in revenues.
When pink slips were handed to several employees, including Aaron, amid a cost-cutting drive, it was Aaron’s business wit, which helped him change track in time and put him on a fast track of entrepreneurism.
The media company he was employed with at the time, as part of his day job, had a large requirement of design and development chores. Aaron stepped in and pitched them design services by outsourcing them from India, which was already a world renowned BPO market. The plan worked.
In 2014, Caleb, Aaron’s youngest brother moved to the Indian commercial capital of Mumbai, after a stint in Norway, where they set up ‘Kodework’, a website development firm, primarily to execute work outsourced from Norway.
Their first major website development firm was ‘Kodework’. The IT company was started in 2014 in Mumbai after they landed with their first major outsourcing opportunity with a media company based in Norway. Aaron and his brothers Judah and Caleb relocated the company to Goa in 2015 and started operations from scratch from a 700 sq. mts office space in Porvorim. As the client-base spread across continents, they started a clutch of other IT firms like ‘Nine Stack’, an app development agency, ‘Creometric’, a digital marketing agency, ‘Bootcamp’ a mentoring and training firm, ‘Fat Hamster Studio’ an animation and virtual reality studio, etc as well as Nordic Hub India, a start-up accelerator, in 2018.
In 2020, the world changed and they decided to realign some of their verticals into a single entity – ‘Kilowott’. The core philosophy however, stays the same – to offer cutting-edge digital solutions in a global marketplace to enhance digital customer experience.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Kilowott is headquartered in Goa and operational across three continents. The company has already clocked more than 2500 projects all over the world and works with various Fortune 500 companies, governments, international agencies and has a strong association with the Norwegian Diplomatic Mission in India. The company has recently consolidated all its diverse businesses under a single banner of Kilowott. A 700 square meter office was launched prior to the pandemic and another office is under construction. The company is currently 150+ strong and there are plans to make it a 500+ team with global footprint. The company’s long-term plans are to become a global tech powerhouse rooted in Goa.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
We are not paranoid about anything to be honest. We know that we offer a cutting-edge service which few others can match up to, but we are confident that we are headed in the right direction. We siblings, Judah, Caleb and myself, built this company from the ground up in a short span of seven years from two resource members to 150+ employees working for the company from across countries. We are immensely proud of where we are today and the future looks bright.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
For me work and personal life blends into one. My work is a big part of my life. I reside in Norway with my wife and four children. My wife Elise and I have a great partnership and we manage to strike a balance.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If not then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
Currently we are bootstrapped. But yes, we are always open to the opportunity.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
A common misconception people have of the company is that we largely service clients in India. In fact, over 85% of our clients are based overseas across continents. Personally, one misconception people have about me is that I am a very serious guy and not approachable which is contrary to the fact.
What gets you excited about this company?
I’ve always had a spark of entrepreneurship in me. Our dad encouraged us to take up summer part-time jobs where we were young and instilled in us the values of commitment and dignity of labour. While still in college I got involved in digital marketing which was still at a very nascent stage in India. I realized that working in the space of design, IT and entrepreneurship excited me.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
Living with four children, all aged below 10 years translates to busy days for my wife and me. From the time I wake up at 6 am when my youngest wakes up, till the time we retire for the night, the day is packed with things to do from business and review meetings with my team to making a snack for my kids. Unlike in India, we don’t have house help in Norway which means we have to squeeze in daily household chores into our schedule. Having said that I enjoy every part of my hectic day. I do manage to make time to have a good cup of strong black coffee when I crave a break in the schedule.
Tell us about the founding team and how did you meet each other?
Kilowott is co-founded by the three Fernandez brothers, Aaron, Judah and Caleb. Together we have built this company from the ground up and today have 150+ employees working on incredible cutting-edge projects. We aim to be a 500+ employee company in the near future, something the company’s COO Nitish Raikar, formerly associated with Infosys and IBM, is helping us inch towards.
The work culture at Kilowott displays the iconic Goan vibes to the hilt. There are no formal rules related to attire and appearances and the focus is solely on the timely delivery of quality performance. Whether someone walks in with dreadlocks or shorts is of little consequence at Kilowott. We did hold great parties though, pre-pandemic!
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