Fast Fwd Multimedia Ltd.

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Fast Fwd Multimedia Ltd.'s best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Fast Fwd Multimedia Ltd. is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Kishen Hawkins, chairman and
High impact website and app
Birmingham-based fastfwd is a thriving digital agency with
huge exporting success – something which they attribute
to their market-leading design, development, marketing
and consultancy services. They are of the firm conviction that
Britain is still a major player in manufacturing, not only in terms
of physical goods but also in terms of the thousands of people
employed in software development around the country – all of
whom are hard at work building digital products that, although
less tactile, are no less tangible and are contributing significantly
to the British economy. Acting as a spokesperson for both this
topic and fastfwd, the company’s chairman and founder, Kishen
Hawkins, writes the following article.
Our company’s purpose
Fastfwd was founded in 2010 with the simple purpose of producing fast and
effective web design. In an industry that is largely creative-led, fastfwd sought to
offer a unique selling point: “technical creativity” – that is, lasering in on the latest
advances in technology and understanding how they can be creatively applied to
customer requirements.
In the years that have followed, fastfwd has repeatedly won contracts with prestigious
global clients such as UnitedHealthcare, Condé Nast, Leica Microsystems and RBI,
building in the process an enviable reputation as the digital agency that – put simply
– gets things done. As such, most of fastfwd’s new business comes through referrals,
meaning that our satisfied client base is also our greatest, most valued asset.
»Chairman and founder:
»Established in 2010
»Based in Birmingham
»Services: Digital strategy,
web development and online
»No. of employees: 15
»Key industries: Fintech,
insurance, publishing, retail
and e-commerce
Highlighting best practice
I’ve always reflected on my own
experience as an IT director, and have
tried to put myself in my customers’
shoes. I ask myself, “what do they
really want from fastfwd when they
call us up?” Each and every time it
comes down to two questions: is this
agency going to deliver on time and
on budget?” and “are they going to
make us look good?” Our customers,
after all, have budgets that they need
to spend wisely according to their
organisational objectives. At fastfwd
we offer our customers, usually
marketing managers or IT managers,
the reassurance that we are going to
deliver the best balance between cost
and quality, but also the reassurance
that they benefit personally – benefit,
that is, both in terms of their
careers and from the halo effect of
delivering a highly successful, often
transformational project.
A culture of innovation
Being based in Birmingham (in the
picturesque and historic Jewellery
Quarter, a hub for creative and digital
agencies) is not just coincidental; we
genuinely take pride in being here. Our
managing director, MatthewJensen,
routinely makes this apparent by
referencing the analogy between
Birmingham’s role in the 19th century
in bringing about the Industrial
Revolution, and its transformational
role today. Indeed, to us, this is part
of a new digital revolution. The people
who work here are really proud of
creating goods, and it feels entirely
natural to do so here amid all this
history and culture of innovation,
perpetuating this heritage. Birmingham
once relied on its canal network
and then on its (and the country’s)
first motorways to get products to
markets both home and abroad.
Today, Birmingham’s digital exports
rely on the city’s ever-improving
fibre optic internet infrastructure to
reach customers around the world.
Fastfwd has always had a global
mindset, reflecting the reality that,
in the digital world, it makes little
difference if a client is based in the
Midlands or Minnesota. As such, a high
proportion of our company’s turnover
is from exporting software solutions,
consultancy and marketing services.
Staying at the cutting edge of digital
technology has always been a
cornerstone of fastfwd’s competitive
Industrial heritage
To us, digital
services are
part of a new
strategy. In 2012, we completely
embraced responsive design, going
“mobile first” at a time when mobile
traffic was approaching 25 per cent.
It was plainly apparent to fastfwd
that developing new websites which
provided for mobile visitors was
essential for any agency claiming to be
forward thinking. It is painful to think
back on the poor UX of pinching and
zooming over large web pages using
an early smartphone – a state of affairs
that had to change. Today, just about
all websites are responsive and most
web traffic is mobile based.
More recently, fastfwd engineers
have been researching innovative
ways to exploit emerging blockchain
technology, introducing it into their
clients’ projects. Our technology
director, Shashi Saurav, pointed
out that a large proportion of
our customers are in fintech and
insurance sectors. We believe these
organisations can benefit enormously
from transparency, fidelity and smart
contract functionality that blockchain
tech provides – including an immutable
timestamped record of all transactions.
We are very enthusiastic about the
opportunities this technology presents.
Fastfwd’s stellar track record of
project delivery makes for satisfied
clients, and these relationships are
the key pathway to future growth.
Rishi Lakhani, our executive director,
who is spearheading the growth
strategy, is emphatic that having
excellent relationships with highly
successful global companies is one of
our stand-out features. Currently, we
only bill a small percentage of their
total spend on digital services, but by
focusing on using our in-house skill
sets, we create new digital services,
and have immense success bringing
clients on board with search engine
marketing. The great thing about
selling online marketing services is that
they generate such great ROI that our
customers always want more.
Moving into the future
The agency has focused on expanding
its portfolio of marketing services
and this has generated significant
growth for the agency. We’ve been
working closely with Condé Nast, the
publishing group that owns Vogue,
GQ and other well-known brands.
This sizeable programme, which
reaches across our digital portfolio,
is a significant recent success for the
agency. These developments, in turn,
create employment opportunities for
talented graduates that traditionally
gravitate to London at the start of
their careers. Our directors point out
that sourcing talent locally is difficult;
London is a big draw for people with
the skills we need. As such, the agency
team is a vibrant mix of talented Brits
and skilled digital professionals from
the EU and beyond.
What’s next for fastfwd? We are
pressed for space in our current
location so a move to larger premises
is on the cards. Our attachment to the
Jewellery Quarter means that we will
not be moving far. Additionally, the
agency has always wanted to expand
globally, so we are very positive about
opening a satellite office in another
country within the next few years.
Fastfwd has
always had a
global mindset,
reflecting the
reality that, in
the digital
world, it makes
little difference
if a client is
based in the
Midlands or
Attracting talented
minds from the UK and

This article was sponsored by Fast Fwd Multimedia Ltd.. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister