Repositioning for Success

20-05-2024

On March 1st, waste management and recycling services specialist Roydon Recycling rebranded as Papilo. In our recent interview, Papilo CEO Paul Hodgkiss shares insights from the recent rebrand, its positive impact on the business, and highlights from his career.

 

Paul, it’s been over 13 years since you assumed the role of CEO. How would you assess the journey so far?

In September 2010, I started my role as the Business Development Manager at Papilo (formerly Roydon Recycling), overseeing a team of six staff members. At that time, the company had a turnover of £3 million, a relatively modest client base, and a strategic emphasis on cost reduction through innovation, spend control, and optimisation of service levels, among other factors.

In June 2015, I was promoted to the position of Managing Director when the company’s turnover stood at £9.2 million. By the end of the fiscal year 2020, we successfully exited at £16 million. Fueled by a challenge to the team, asking, “Where can we get to?” we collectively set ambitious goals and embarked on the next stage of our journey. The outcome was nothing short of astounding – by the conclusion of the fiscal year 2023, we had doubled the business, reaching an impressive turnover of £32 million. This remarkable achievement not only highlights the strategic planning and vision we embraced but also underscores our team’s exceptional talents and dedication, particularly within the dynamic landscape of food manufacturing.

 

In your capacity as CEO, you’ve overseen the strategic aspects of the company rebranding project. Can you share insights into its progress and when we can anticipate the official launch?

During our initial discussions about rebranding, I sensed the hesitancy on people’s faces, given that “Roydon Recycling” held various meanings for different individuals – it represented pride in Roydon’s longstanding values, cherished memories, and the connections with friends who hadn’t transitioned to the “new Roydon” post the investment. As we delved into our current position and evaluated the industry landscape alongside the evolving services offered by Roydon Recycling, it became evident that a refresh was necessary. The brand felt outdated and no longer accurately reflected our current scope of services. This rebranding process not only allowed us to assess our present state but also played a crucial role in defining our future direction. Our revamped services now encompass the following;

  • Compliance – a fully audited supply chain.
  • Innovation – at the forefront of technological advancements.
  • Bespoke Environmental Impact Reporting – industry-leading reporting, including Scope 3.
  • ESG and sustainability initiatives – actively engaged with SMEs, integrating social enterprise into our supply chain, exploring re-wilding projects, and being involved in environmental and sustainability efforts.

We officially unveiled our exciting new brand on 4th March 2024, and our name is now Papilo. The feedback has been incredible, and we look forward to a bright future as Papilo.

 

Reflecting on the rebranding process, what lessons have you learned, and how do you anticipate its positive impact on the company in the upcoming months?

Engaging with the companies we connected with during the branding process has made the entire journey immensely enjoyable. They challenged us and brought ideas that played a significant role in shaping the Papilo brand. Our new name is a play on words with “Butterfly,” encapsulating the transformative journey – Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalis, Butterfly – symbolising our past and our aspirations for the future. We hope this rebrand not only reassures our current clients that it’s business as usual with an added touch of innovation but also invites new companies to connect with our new brand. Our goal for those unfamiliar with Papilo is to provide an opportunity for them to improve their environmental performance with a fresh, modern and forward-looking company.

 

The investment from Palatine PE has played a role in supporting changes and growth. Could you elaborate on the impact of this investment?

When considering Private Equity for investment, we evaluated four PE Funds. Palatine was the first we met, and they significantly outshone the others, aligning closely with our values, proving easy to work with, and possessing everything we required to propel the business forward. They assured us of having experts in each of our focus areas; to date, they have fulfilled every commitment. From enhancing Client Experience, IT Systems, Sustainability, and Financial governance to refining Sales strategy and Account Management tools, they possess comprehensive resources. Crucially, if they don’t have the resources in-house or through another portfolio company, they have a strong network of external consultants and contacts we can work with.

 

Reflecting on your career, what has been both the most challenging and enjoyable aspect to date?

Reflecting on my career journey so far, I can distil it into three challenging and enjoyable aspects. The first enjoyable experience has been witnessing Papilo’s continuous growth, especially our expansion into Europe, which has been a source of immense satisfaction. Being part of a team that navigated and contributed to this expansion has been professionally rewarding and provided a platform for personal growth.

The second enjoyable aspect has been promoting internal talent within the organisation. Identifying individuals with potential, watching them embrace new roles, and flourishing with guidance and support has been an incredibly fulfilling experience. It highlights the importance of fostering a collaborative and growth-oriented work environment.

The third enjoyable element centres around the post-investment phase, where our employees’ enthusiasm, acceptance and understanding of the changes we are implementing create a positive and dynamic atmosphere. This collective spirit contributes significantly to the success of the company.

On the challenging side, starting my career in waste at Biffa in 2000 presented a steep learning curve as I endeavoured to navigate an entirely new industry. However, overcoming the initial hurdles laid the foundation for valuable experiences and insights.