Story of Kilowott - Design & Technology Powerhouse!

Jeenal Jain Jeenal Jain
Jul 31, 2021 13 min read
Story of Kilowott - Design & Technology Powerhouse!

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Kilowott.

By realigning some of its verticals - Creometric, Kodework, Fat Hamster Studio, and Nine Stack. Pooling its strength into one, Kilowott is now a design and technology powerhouse that offers digital transformation services, innovative solutions to digital challenges, and best-in-class user experience design to craft enduring customer experiences.

Kilowott is headquartered in Goa and operational across three continents. The company has already clocked more than 2000 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.

StartupTalky interviewed Mr. Aaron Fernandez, Co-founder of Kilowott to get insights into the Startup Journey and Growth Story of Kilowott. Know all about Kilowott's business model, how Kilowott started, its future plans, founders, competitors and more in the article ahead.

Kilowott - Company Highlights

Startup Name Kilowott
Co-founders Aaron Fernandez, Judah Fernandez, Caleb Fernandez
Headquarters Goa
Industry IT Solutions
Team size 150+
Website kilowott.com

Kilowott - About and Vision
Kilowott - IT Industry Details
Kilowott History - How it Started?
Kilowott - USP and How it Works?
Kilowott - Startup Launch
Kilowott - Founders and Team
Meaning of Kilowott & Logo
Kilowott - Business Model and Revenue Model
Challenges faced by Kilowott
Real-life Example on How Kilowott Helps Clients
Kilowott - Growth and Current Status
Kilowott - Funding
Kilowott - Advisors/Mentors
Tools used by Kilowott
Kilowott - Future Plans

Kilowott - About and Vision

Kilowott offers consultancy and strategic support in customer journey mapping, customer experience process assessment and surveys, consulting, assessment, roadmap ideation and modeling 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.”

Kilowott - IT Industry Details

India is already an IT powerhouse and there is a robust presence of skilled professionals, innovators, and access to the most advanced technologies in the world. The startup ecosystem has not lost momentum even after the pandemic outbreak, and it is going to evolve rapidly in the new normal. Even during pandemic times, a large number of new startups have come up and many of them also joined the unicorn club. The startups will contribute significantly to help India achieve the goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy in the years ahead.

Spearheaded by a strong leadership team, Kilowott is poised to achieve its goal of being a global tech powerhouse while being rooted in Goan soil. The team is keen on transforming ‘Kilowott’ into a 500+ employee company, something the company’s COO Nitish Raikar, formerly associated with Infosys and IBM, is helping us inch towards.


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Kilowott History - How it Started?

Reminiscing the start journey of Kilowott, Aaron Fernandez (Co-founder of Kilowott) says -

"I found my first fortune in the Indian coastal state, Goa’s most popular stretch of sand. And a sense of purpose too. In 2002, I was on a summer break after completing my final year at high school and grabbed an offer from my father’s friend to distribute flyers along Goa’s gold coast – the Sinquerim-Baga beach stretch – to promote a restaurant. My first brush with entrepreneurship earned me 13 USD a week, good money for someone just out of high school.  I roped in a friend into the venture because the beach stretch was a long one and I could do it with help. While the entrepreneur in me was still coming to the fore, back then, the word ‘company’ meant companionship and not a business enterprise; many of which I would come to start years later"

End of college and the salad days brought along new opportunities with the potential to broaden Aaron's professional horizon. Let's dive into the next chapter! Aaron continues -

"I moved to Norway to work as a graphic designer, a new country, with new ways. I adapted to the new environment. Some years later, the media company I was employed with at the time, as part of my day job, had a large requirement of design and development chores. I stepped in and pitched them design services by outsourcing them from India, which was already a world-renowned BPO market. The media company agreed and became my first client. What followed was one of the most successful startup stories Goa has witnessed

We started with KodeWork, a website development firm that was born out of India’s city of dreams, Mumbai in 2014. Despite being a metropolitan city, establishing a dedicated team in Mumbai turned out to be a challenge due to several reasons. We then decided to move the entire team to Goa in 2015 and started afresh. It took a while to even out the transcontinental chinks. Work cultures in India and Norway were different, so were expectations in terms of quality and meeting deadlines. But over time, things fell in place.

In late 2020 the various companies established by me with my siblings Judah and Caleb were consolidated and brought under a single banner - Kilowott. The company today has partner deals in Norway, Holland, India, France, Switzerland, and the US.


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Kilowott - USP and How it Works?

The company creates customized digital interfaces and operational solutions by using design elements like CX, AR, and VR as well as the latest technologies like analytics, AI, IoT, and others to ensure customers’ business growth and profitability.

Kilowott uses an amalgamation of cutting-edge technologies and innovative approaches to offer consulting and strategy services in customer journey mapping, customer experience process assessment and surveys consulting, assessment, roadmap ideation and modeling 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. Kilowott’s USP lies in its consolidation of different services to create one single platform where the clients can get a diversity of services. Our impeccable insights generated through an in-depth understanding of core markets give us an advantage over various other generalists.

Pivot from Initial Offering -

Aaron's time spent in Norway paved the path for his entrepreneurial journey. Their first major website development firm was ‘Kodework’. He 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. Their clients grew organically across Europe.

As the client-base spread across continents, the brothers 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 we decided to realign some of our verticals into a single entity – ‘Kilowott’.

Their core philosophy, however, stays the same - to offer cutting-edge digital solutions in a global marketplace to enhance the digital customer experience.

Post-2020,  they pivoted the business strategy to focus outward, servicing clients outside of the country, mainly across Europe, Scandinavia, and the US. The operations continue to be rooted in India where Kilowott employs some of the best creative and tech talent.


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Kilowott - Startup Launch

The media company, Aaron was employed within Norway, as part of his day job, had a large requirement of design and development chores. He stepped in and pitched them design services by outsourcing them from India, which was already a world-renowned BPO market. The plan worked. And thus, began the journey. He swiftly kept adding clients to its portfolio as his brothers Judah & Caleb joined in.

Once Kilowott started getting regular business, the team realized that scaling up now becomes imperative and for this, they had to address major challenges. They realized that clients have to scout for various agencies to get different solutions. Thus, Aaron, Judah & Caleb decided to bring everything together for them and that worked. They addressed the pain points for most of the clients.

Kilowott - Founders and Team

Kilowott is co-founded by the three Fernandez brothers -  Aaron, Judah, and Caleb Fernandez.

Kilowott Founders and Owners
(R-L) Aaron, Judah and Caleb Fernandez - Kilowott Co-founders

Aaron, the eldest of the brothers looks into the overall strategy and direction of the company. Judah spearheads business development and talent acquisition while ensuring quality control and timely delivery systems.  The youngest brother Caleb is a commerce graduate who takes care of the company’s backend operations such as administration, finance, taxation, legal, and compliance.

"Thanks to my brothers Judah and Caleb, the office space and office culture are far removed from a ‘cut and dry’ atmosphere" Aaron added.

The company's office in Porvorim reflects that spirit. Caleb was involved in every aspect of setting up the office space, right from drawing up the blueprints to picking furniture and designing every corner of the office space. It is spread over 700 square meters and is beautifully designed.

When it comes to the motivated workforce at Kilowott, appearances matter little in terms of the delivery of targets. The company has a great team of 150+ employees and a fantastic leadership team who love what they do. Some quotient of informality was already brought in by their early crew members, who had walked in with dreadlocks and shorts. The work culture at Kilowott is fun and celebrations have been epic.

Since the pandemic hit, the company has adopted a Work-From-Home model. It's a challenge to keep the work culture alive while adopting this model but the team has found their own ways. From virtual fun team sessions, festive celebrations, coffee meet-ups, and contests, they keep the fun element alive!

The company was named Kilowott as it is inspired by “kilowatt - which denotes a unit of energy” and the team believes very much that the energy one brings to work is very critical. If a person is pumped and motivated he can always do wonders even with the smallest of details or resources. The logo also denotes the same, the power icon.

Kilowott
Kilowott Logo

Kilowott - Business Model and Revenue Model

The business model of Kilowott is simple. It is entirely a tech service company and offers cutting-edge tech services to clients across verticals.  The startup charges a fee from its clients for services and collaboration.


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Challenges faced by Kilowott

Aaron had been working in Norway for a number of years, and when he launched his startup in India, the transcontinental differences had to be dealt with. The work culture and approach in India are very different from Norway, and there were challenges in terms of quality and timelines.

He started off by hiring freelancers from various locations - Israel, Ukraine, Vietnam, Poland, and India. What the team noticed is that the communication with resources from countries other than India as well as deliverables was a constant challenge. They then moved to work largely with Indian resources on technical aspects. However, things have since fallen in place.

"Opportunities have been plenty. We are blessed to have a great team of 150+ employees and a fantastic leadership team who love what they do and we are proud to have them all be a part of this Kilowott journey" says Aaron.

Real-life Example on How Kilowott Helps Clients

This is just one of the many examples of how the Kilowott team used market insights, client preferences, business objectives, creativity, and cutting-edge technologies to ensure that its clients stay ahead of the competition.

One of the clients was the ‘Wendell Rodricks' brand, a renowned fashion label from India. The fashion designer label wanted to expand their global digital reach and improve online presence with youth as a target segment. Wendel Rodricks has been an icon, pioneer, and visionary in many ways. Hailing from Goa, he was deeply connected to the culture of the state. Aaron continued - "The world lost a wonderful human being with his (Wendel Rodricks) passing away a while ago. We are deeply grateful to be able to have worked closely with him and his team."

In order to build the desired online presence for the client, the design and creation of a custom-made website were undertaken in collaboration with Kodework, the web development agency the team had at the time. In 2020, they realigned some of the verticals including Kodework into a single entity - Kilowott. Subsequently, a website with press articles, blog posts, and information about the client’s latest collections was launched. It also had a fully functional E-shop integrated into it. In essence, a feature-rich website offering a blend of a museum and a boutique was created for online visitors.

The brand awareness was boosted by digital campaigns to connect with luxury and slow fashion enthusiasts. Social media marketing, brand positioning, and ad campaigns were used to drive traffic to the website. While designing the website and creating social media strategies, it was felt that the client’s social media presence was not strong and impactful enough. Thus, alongside generating the traffic for the website, a holistic revamp of the existing social media pages of the client was carried out. The content’s aesthetic appeal was beautified to match the impact that matched the brand’s work. A combination of grids and minimalistic color palettes was deployed to transform the 'brand's look on Instagram.

Kilowott - Growth and Current Status

"There is a significant uptick in the quantum of interest in brands wanting to expand their digital presence across geographies. We saw an opportunity and have realigned our strategy to meet the needs of the global business community" says Aaron Fernandez, Co-founder, Kilowott.

The company has realigned some of its verticals - Creometric, Kodework, Fat Hamster Studio, and Nine Stack. Pooling its strength into one, Kilowott is now a design and technology powerhouse that offers digital transformation services, innovative solutions to digital challenges, and best-in-class user experience design to craft enduring customer experiences. Kilowott claims to have done more than 2,000 projects globally. Some of its prominent clients include Craft, Bosch, Mazda, Netflix, and Nickelodeon to name a few. Today Kilowott has a 150+ employee workforce. In the near future, it aims to grow to a 500+ workforce and the leadership team is aiding Kilowott to inch towards that target


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Kilowott - Funding

The bootstrapped startup initially worked on a freelance model. Over the years since the Fernandez brothers set up this company, they have largely invested in themselves. In 2014, when they took on projects from clients based in Europe, it started off by being based in Oslo, Norway working with freelancers from Israel, Ukraine, Vietnam, Poland, and India. What they noticed is that communication with resources from India as well as deliverables was far better with professionals based in India.

"Moreover, we are from Goa so we wanted to set up our headquarters in the sunny state. When we moved to Goa we made a transition from the freelance model to hiring a small team working full-time out of a rented apartment" Aaron added.

Steadily business and revenues grew. Down the line, the team decided to take a loan to be able to scale up and build a team in-house. At every stage, they have reinvested the profits into the company. Today Kilowott has a 150+ employee workforce. In the near future, it aims to grow to a 500+ workforce.

Kilowott - Advisors/Mentors

"My father Donald Fernandez has been a constant source of strength to us and has mentioned us through our journey. The ethics and morals imbibed by our parents Donald and Jessyl Fernandez from childhood are what held us in good stead while we built this company from the ground up" Aaron says.

Tools used by Kilowott

Kilowott uses design elements such as CX, AR, VR, and futuristic technologies like analytics, AI, IoT, and others to create digital interfaces and operations that boost the customer’s business growth and profitability.

Kilowott - Future Plans

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 a global footprint. The company’s long-term plan is to become global tech powerhouse rooted in Goa.

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