Zuto CEO and co-founder James Wilkinson is eyeing up more growth after an impressive 2021.

The car finance company has grown its staff to 400 this year and plans to continue recruiting in 2022.

In a far-reaching interview with TechBlast, Wilkinson talks about the impact of the pandemic on Zuto and how having a disabled child has made him a more caring person.

“Profit, growth and margins are important but that’s not what gets us out of bed in the morning,” he says. “What gets us out of bed in the morning is helping Zutonites, helping customers, helping the community and working out how we can do more for the environment. That gives us energy.

“If you are achieving fast profitable growth that’s a great financial story, but if every business made their own small impact on improving the communities around them that would make a much bigger difference.”

A ‘Zutonite’ is how Zuto’s staff are referred to and ‘Zutopia’ is where they work. Wilkinson’s mantra is about doing the right thing for his fellow Zutonites and customers.

Wilkinson agrees that he’d changed and points to his 11-year-old son Jimmy as one of the main reasons.

Jimmy is the eldest of his three children and has a genetic disorder called Prada-Willi Syndrome, which means people with the condition are permanently hungry.

‘Having a disabled son changed my outlook on life’

Typical symptoms include learning difficulties and behavioural problems, including temper tantrums.

The condition gained prominence through reality TV star and ex-model Katie Price talking about her son Harvey, who has Prada-Willi Syndrome.

Wilkinson says: “Every new parent will tell you that having a child changed their life but having Jimmy changed ours dramatically.

“I love him to bits but because of Prada-Willi Syndrome it’s meant Jimmy has been the centre of attention all his life.

“We have two younger daughters and we’ve not been able to do simple things like go out for lunch or go to a kid’s party.

“I think from a personal point of view I became a lot more caring and sensitive when Jimmy was born. That might have come with getting older but Jimmy certainly accelerated it.”