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Design agency predicts continued growth a year after being bought

PUBLISHED: 09:43 04 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:43 04 January 2018

Foolproof cofounder and managing partner Tom Wood. Picture: Foolproof

Foolproof cofounder and managing partner Tom Wood. Picture: Foolproof

Foolproof

A little over a year after being bought by a multinational tech group, a Norfolk design agency has seen its revenues and team grow and is predicting that trend to continue.

Norwich-based Foolproof, which also has offices in Singapore and London, was acquired by Indian IT services company Zensar Technologies in November 2016.

Cofounder and managing partner Tom Wood said the move had given the company the ability to compete on a global stage.

“Becoming part of a bigger organisation and a PLC means there are more people to talk to,” he said. “With an IT services company it is important you are all talking the same technological language but I think we are all on the same page.”

The Norfolk head office has seen staff numbers rise to about 35 employees from 25 at the start of 2017.

Mr Wood said turnover had grown to between £11.5m and £12m, although he expected Foolproof to grow beyond that soon.

“I think we will see between 15% and 20% revenue growth. We’ve got a good solid growth pattern, and also our profit margin is reasonably healthy for a technology business.

He added: “All the signs are that we are going to be a £12m business and I would expect that trend to continue as we get to grips with working with Zensar.”

Mr Wood said he was glad the company had made the move when it did.

“Design is becoming quite a big thing in business and it is good that companies are wanting more professionally-done designs, but that also means there are more competitors.

“Now you have big professional services companies such as EY and PwC that have design teams.

“As an independent 18 months ago, we were trying to pitch against those global giants.”

Mr Wood said the firm had punched above its weight, but with the Pune-based group’s support Foolproof could now build what it designed and ensure everything worked smoothly.

Foolproof has worked with the Post Office and petrol giant Shell as well as tech start-ups in Italy and France, attracted by weaker pound.

One pattern Mr Wood said he expected to see continue in 2018 would be the desire for brands to add personality and character to their products through tools such as chatbots.

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