I am hiring. I have prepared a FAQ based on the usual questions I have been getting. If you are still interested after reading this, please use the form at the end to get in touch with me.
1. What is the position you are hiring for? What are the qualifications?
Generally speaking, it is a designer*, with an asterisk. The best way to answer this question is to first look at the qualifications. You should have at least 3 years of working experience. You should have a good understanding of design, and should be specialised in one thing – it can be graphic design, UX or UI, motion, publication, and stretching this further – it could even be space design or service design. Or you could be a writer, who doubles up as a self-taught designer.
Most important, is having a flexible and adventurous mind – the willingness to move from one familiar discipline to an unknown. For example, if UI is your “thing”, you should be ready to apply the same design principles and work on a 200-page book, and the reverse applies – a graphic designer should be excited about the idea of jumping into UI projects or motion design projects.
If the idea of “unknowns” trouble you, and you just want to grow in the area you are specialised in, then this position is not for you. A better arrangement is for us to explore freelance engagement, where your skills can be better used.
2. What do you do? What kind of clients do you work with? What kind of jobs will I be doing?
To start, take a look at Fish Do It and Some Early Birds. Unfortunately, websites are documentation of output but do not explain what we do. In short, we build events and digital & print platforms from the ground up.
Our projects are normally long term engagements – giving us ample opportunities to experiment with content, marketing and design.
As an example, Kyoorius is a platform dating back to 2005. Over the years, one part of the project is on content curation for the platform and the events, the other part is to deliver high impact visual experience to complement the content. This covers printed materials, digital platforms, event experience and a variety of designs.
We are currently working with some of the biggest corporations in India, and we anticipate an increase in workload, hence this recruitment requirement.
3. What do you look for specifically in a candidate?
2 qualities – Curiosity and entrepreneurship.
Curiosity. Not siloed.
You need to be interested in all possible forms of design and communications. If you are looking for a pure career in graphic design, please look elsewhere. More importantly, you need to be curious about business and marketing. Our industry is one of the most unique – it gives us access to all kinds of industries, where experts will patiently explain to us their business in full detail. How fabrics are made. How waterproofing can be done. How loans and financing work. How remote health monitor works. Or hard-hitting questions such as what are the options when one is ageing and dying.
Entrepreneurship. Not scope-of-work, but what-can-I-do.
One of the best definitions of entrepreneurship is “the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.” For us, entrepreneurship can never be defined by a job scope. If you see an opportunity to create something meaningful, you will pursue it. You are willing to take ownership, find the right people to work with, or sometimes get your hands dirty and quickly acquire a new skill set. You are prepared to bear some risks and be prepared to occasionally fail.
This is not to say we will hang you out to die. On contrary, we will support you as a team. What is really important here is that you have the attitude and determination to make things work.
4. Is this a full-time position? Can I work part-time? Can I just freelance? Is this a remote working arrangement?
All three options are possible.
I prefer full-time.
We can discuss further if you rather try a part-time arrangement. I am aware that because of the pandemic, many have become freelancers and over the course of two years might have picked up a couple of clients who are providing a healthy stream of income – the guarantee of security and stability. You may not want to let this go for the sake of an untested employment relationship.
I have always been working with freelancers. Please tell me what do you do best, and I will look for you when there are suitable projects.
For a foreseeable future, the working arrangement is remote although there might be occasions where meeting clients in their offices may be more productive.
5. How big is your team?
Currently 4, never bigger than 5. Reasons? Read this. This will give you the reason why we are never bigger.
6. How much do you pay?
For the full-time position – between Rs.50000 to Rs.75000. But, you can convince me to go more, and vice versa, if you don’t have much experience but really want to give this a shot, you can offer to go lower.
Summary? I am hiring a designer who wants to be more than a designer. I see it as a creative partnership – a self-initiated, driven person who wants to own and drive projects; who wants to work in a team; and who genuinely values relationships and is ready to walk with us through many unknown journeys. Is that you?
What is it like working with you?
This is a question that most people want to ask but usually don’t. It is important to know the person you will be working with. I do that all the time. I google and check out LinkedIn profiles before heading into a meeting with people I have never met.
I asked a few people whom I have worked with to give the answer. Uncensored. You could reach out to them and ask more.
Learn, unlearn, discover, doodle, explore, laugh, solve. I grab any opportunity to work with this design thinker. – Swati Dua
Super fussy, but not very controlling, there’s a lot of creative space to think around a specific problem. Always fun. – Ashish Satapathy
It was a lot of fun to work with Kay. Because of the kind of freedom I would always get while working on the projects with him, the process was very exciting and the outcome was always unique! I would always get lost in his insane book collection! He introduced me to ‘The Elements Of Typographic Style’ book and I can’t thank him enough for it. – Urvi Shah
Kay doesn’t beat around the bush – his feedback is very direct and gets straight to the point, and can also do severe damage. He always demands more from you and pushes you to be better and think bigger. – Genevieve Vanspall
You need to have a reasonable logic for everything you do with Kay, but if he finds something you can’t explain… he will give you a look that will send chills down your spine and you’ll be doing the walk of shame with your work. BUT. After two conversations he’s a lil puppy. – Hafsah Parkar
Working with Kay has always felt like being in a creative playground where you are free to experiment, fail, learn, discover your own potential, take risks, get inspired, create fantastic stuff, and have a crazy amount of fun. PS: He is really funny! – Payal Khandelwal
Open to engaging with unconventional ideas, metaphors and materiality. Be ready to see them through to their smallest details. Working with Kay will never be boring! – Viniyata Pany
Kay is the most energetic, enthusiastic and eclectic person I’ve met. He knows way too much about way too many things – keeps ALL conversations interesting – and hilarious. My 2 fav things about working with Kay were that 1. he always approaches design with an open mind (which is a rare quality), and 2. Cake is very sacred to him – Ishika Mukherjee
Kay Khoo is brilliantly creative with an eye of a hawk. Every time we come together magic happens. We did a bunch of experimental films together. When we do he reminds me of “a smile in the mind” book. A witty thinker. He creates an environment for the team where there is no room for mental sweat but pushes you to explore the unseen. – Rajesh Thomas
Still reading? Maybe you are interested. Please use the form below to get in touch.