“BIG delivered the building blocks to set me on the path to success.”
Programme: Innovation Support Programme, Integrate, Creative Industries Network & Unlocking Opportunities
BIG Breakthrough: Expanding networks and absorbing knowledge to help advance my business.
Seeking to scale his Richmond-based creative digital agency, 2Toucans, Chandeep Khosa decided to take the first steps to grow with support from BIG South London. Participating in four programmes: the Innovation Support Programme, Integrate, the Creative Industries Network with Kingston University, and most recently Unlocking Opportunities, he shares his experience on how participation was able to open promising new pathways for future collaboration.
“I started as a freelance web developer 15 years ago as a graduate and built up the skills and experience to be lucky enough to work on projects for National Grid, the University of Oxford, United Nations & UNICEF. Over the years I progressively worked in more client-facing roles such as technical lead and project manager, managing teams of developers and found that I enjoyed not only the variety of projects but also meeting new clients, finding out about their challenges and architecting solutions for them.”
“This naturally led me to launch 2Toucans, working with other talented freelancers to offer web development services, digital design, and training in Drupal, an open-source CMS.”
“I love what I do and the variety that comes along with it. However, wearing all the hats from sales, marketing, account and project management, technical delivery, managing developers and finance is certainly a little challenging at times. It can also be lonely and sometimes you just need external perspectives to guide you in the right direction. I also wanted help scaling beyond a solopreneur with project-based freelancers to growing a team. That’s why I wanted to get involved with BIG South London.”
“I knew that I needed to grow my business, but I didn’t know which area I should focus on first or which would be the most logical step. So, I came into the experience with a very open mind – ready to see what extra knowledge was out there to absorb.”
“Last summer, I participated in the Innovation Support Programme which was great for offering a broader look at how I can make 2Toucans more competitive, innovative and different from other agencies around South London. From there, I moved into BIG Integrate with more of a forward-looking view, preparing for when I’ve built my team further and we’re beginning to go for bids, procurement opportunities etc.”
“Following on from this, in autumn I took part in the Integrate programme led by London South Bank University which helped me to learn more about supply chain management, the local business ecosystem and social value. As a result of attending the informative sessions, speaking with buyers, asking them questions and networking, I feel more ready to bid for those opportunities and grow my customer base as I continue to grow the business.”
“Whereas with the Creative Industries Network, my main focus was to start making connections with other peers in the area and look at partners who may be able to support the growth of 2Toucans. The workshops, which included building resilience, bid-writing and digital transformation, made me look at my business differently and I have implemented positive changes as a result.”
“Being able to tap into the expertise of Kingston University and connect with a network of similar-minded creative professionals and academics has been huge both personally and professionally. The network has been very beneficial and resulted in more opportunities opening up, which is all down to the connections built through the programme.”
“Now, I’m in talks with fellow creatives across the South London boroughs and some of those conversations that were started on the programme are already beginning to blossom. We just have to find time in the calendar to meet for coffee and explore our ideas outside of the programme, but we wouldn’t be doing that without BIG South London’s support.”
“As part of the programme, I was also lucky enough to be awarded a student consultancy project with the Kingston School of Art and we’re currently working on reviewing our service offering so that we may optimise our brand identity and marketing strategy as we prepare to launch officially.”
“Last week I excitedly started my journey on the Unlocking Opportunities programme, an innovation and business growth programme run by Studio Zao. I’m looking forward to seeing the revenue growth, market expansion, product development and customer engagement opportunities that they may help me to unlock.”
“Thank you so much for creating such a great selection of programmes, I’m very grateful for everyone at BIG, South London Partnership, the councils and academics that have been involved to make it so successful and help me out so much.”