Nick Underhill, managing director of Keo Digital takes Bdaily behind the business.
KEO digital are a digital media production company and are a division of KEO Films limited. We produce sites and apps that empower the public to make a real difference to their everyday day lives and help organisations, corporations or governments to make positive change for themselves, their audiences and ultimately the world. KEO digital was born out of the development and management of the hugely successful Chicken Out Chicken Out website that accompanied Hugh’s Chicken Run series in 2009. The division has drawn on much of the talent responsible for the digital output of River Cottage, which currently encompasses a community of over 500,000 people on the award-winning River Cottage.net. Since it started KEO digital has created further successful campaigns and projects, notably Fish Fight which has achieved a review of the EU Common Fisheries Policy by gathering over 750,000 names on an online petition, Landshare and our new project Peoplefund it.
What key challenges has your company recently faced?
We are growing! We’ve doubled our turn-over over the last 3 years. This growth means we are constantly sourcing great people to work on our projects, implement systems and processes, whilst ensure we drive profitability.
What is your biggest achievement over the past 12 months?
Fish Fight and its impact on consumers, industry and politicians has been huge. We have had over 750,000 people signing up to our campaign, sales of sustainable fish have soared and the EU is seriously looking into banning fish discards. Creating, managing and driving a campaign of this nature across TV, print, online and social channels is complex and requires people with multiple skills.
What is your biggest focus for the coming year?
Peoplefund.it is our new project which we run in a boot-strap start-up fashion. Its an online platform connecting entrepreneurs who have an innovative idea that creates positive change, with people who want to support it with their spare cash, time and skills. Its proving very popular and since launch a month ago we have had a number of businesses successfully raise funds, such as the Bike Academy who raised over 40,000 in just 6 days.
If you had to choose one top piece of advice for someone just starting out in business, or is currently operating within your industry sector, what would it be?
History suggests that economically there has never been a better time to start a business, so plan for the worst, expect the best and enjoy the journey!
Can you share with us your view of the current landscape of business, in this region or generally and where your organisation sits within it?
We operate out of the West Country and London which means we can run the business as efficiently as possible. Being close to our clients (like BBC, Channel 4, British Gas and Telegraph media) is key, but there is little reason to base production in London where costs are high.