On the 22nd April 2022, Kitomba Salon and Spa Software celebrated its 20th birthday.
The company, which started as a small startup in New Zealand, has grown over the last two decades to become one of the largest salon and spa software solutions in the New Zealand and Australian market, helping hair and beauty businesses to streamline their day-to-day processes, increase their revenue and achieve success.
Now it its 21st year, Anita Quade sat down with the Kitomba team to take a trip down memory lane to see how their system has evolved during this time, the values that drive them, and Kitomba’s plans for the future.
Let’s take a look back at the journey of Kitomba Salon and Spa Software:
Tom Murphy, a budding entrepreneur and engineer started a company called Magic Pulse in his bedroom. The system was originally a text message reminder service.
The bedroom didn’t last long and Tom soon moved to a small office in the Wellington Botanic Gardens. At the same time, Al Quinn, an adventure sports fanatic and talented software developer, joined Tom at Magic Pulse.
Tom and Al noticed a lot of their customers were in the hair and beauty space, and after getting to know them, realised they needed a more comprehensive solution for managing their businesses. So, they started developing a solution for them; one that eventually became Kitomba – a full business management system created specifically for the hair and beauty industry.
Kitomba’s first employee joined the company and decided to secretly build a game into Kitomba – this game is still hidden in the software and you can still play it today if you know the secret access code!
The company was growing rapidly, and at one point the office was so full they had an employee working out of a cupboard! It was clearly time to move to a new office with a bigger space.
A major milestone for the company; Deloitte named Kitomba as the 24th fastest growing company in New Zealand, with a revenue growth of 294%!
Kitomba started to expand outside of New Zealand. It was an exciting moment for everyone at the company when their first UK customer came onboard.
2009 was a big year for Kitomba… This was the year they flew across the ditch and launched in Australia!
The company launched Kitomba 1 in 2011; a cloud-based solution that allowed their customers to access key features from anywhere on any device.
Kitomba caught the attention of Jonas Software (ranked in the top 100 software companies in the world) and in September, Kitomba decided to join their group.
In June, Al Quinn was appointed as Kitomba’s new CEO, succeeding the founding CEO Tom Murphy. Having previously worked in every part of the business, Al had a thorough understanding of the company and a strong appreciation of its customers.
Mike Henton was appointed as Kitomba’s new CEO in January 2021. Mike had over 15 years of experience in the software industry, most recently working within the health and leisure sector. Kitomba co-founder Al Quinn left after 17 years at the company, including his last three years as CEO.
Kitomba continued to grow and develop over the years, and realised they needed a general manager to help oversee and drive Kitomba to success. They were excited to bring Alyssa Dowsett, who had been at Kitomba for over seven years, into the role.
“I’m very excited for the future of Kitomba! We have an incredible team supporting our customers, an ever-growing passion for our industry, and some pretty big developments underway,” said Alyssa Dowsett, General Manager of Kitomba Salon and Spa Software.
“Our aim is to build brand new features and functionality that will make managing your salon, spa or clinic even easier, help you grow your business and revolutionise the interactions you have with your clients.”
This article was sponsored by Kitomba Salon and Spa Software.
This is a cut-down version of an article was originally published in Professional Beauty’s March-April 2023 print issue.
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