Simon Kay, CEO of Aerospace Technologies Group, Inc., which was named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch for 2016, combines his interests in aviation and entrepreneurship as the leader of ATG, a specialist in the rapid design, development and production of innovative, aerospace grade interior components and systems. "We are exceptionally good at three key things," Kay said. "Understanding a market opportunity; quickly developing a truly brilliant solution; and then employing the philosophy of continuous improvement. These three tenets keep us ahead of the pack, both initially and on an ongoing basis."
Kay joined the company as Chief Operating Officer in 2002 right after it had developed and certified its first product, a business jet window shade. At that time, the company only had nine employees, and outsourced nearly everything because it had no manufacturing capabilities. "I was initially in charge of operations and sales," he said. "I set up manufacturing and then developed and grew the window shade product line. In 2007, I was promoted into the role of President and CEO. Today we have over 150 employees in multiple locations. We are a Tier One supplier to the world’s aircraft manufacturers that has diversified into multiple product lines and continues to develop new ideas into products. Our rapid growth rate is leading our annual sales towards $50M."
Kay is honored the company has been recognized by GrowFL as a Company To Watch and is feels it will benefit the company is several ways. "It means a lot," he said. "Being recognized by an important institution means we have achieved success, and that is an important reward for our whole team – sometimes receiving that recognition itself can be the most important thing for some people. External awareness and recognition will spur further creativity, energy and enthusiasm internally. And further, being on the list means that outsiders, in particular other successful or creative people, will become aware of our success and become interested in either working with us or working for us, helping us to further grow and expand on our successes in future."
Kay's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is that business success is all about people, connecting with them, inspiring them and surrounding yourself with the best of them. "Talk to others who have been through the experience, and learn from them," he said. "It makes your business life so much easier if you have an idea of how others have already dealt with similar issues. Secondly, the most important asset you will have is your team. Surround yourself with capable, experienced, energetic players who will be there to support your vision and ensure it gets implemented. And lastly, make sure you and your team have fun. If you or your team doesn’t enjoy what you are doing, then you, and they, will not be motivated to succeed. I actually have having fun listed as my company’s number one strategic objective."