Australian consultancies in AFR’s fastest growing companies | starters

25 November 2022 6 min. read

The Australian Financial Review has revealed its list of Australia’s fastest growing companies and start-ups, with several management consulting firms making the prestigious 2022 cut.

Published annually since 1990, first in BRW Magazine and since 2016 in the Australian Financial Review (AFR), the Fast 100 and Fast Starters lists recognise the growth of fast-growing Australian companies.

The list is ranked by CAGR of revenue over the previous three financial years, the majority of which must have been generated organically and be from more than one customer. To ensure financials are robust, entrants must provide third-party verification of revenue from an external accountant or auditor.

The Fast 100 list recognises the growth of Australian standalone companies which started trading before July 1, 2017, and recorded at least $5 million of revenue in 2021-22.

Meanwhile, the Fast Starters list recognises the growth of Australian standalone companies which started trading on or after July 1, 2017, and recorded at least $500,000 of revenue in 2021-22.

An overview of consulting firms in the Fast 100 and Fast Starters lists:

Argon & Co

The highest ranking consultancy in the Fast 100, Argon & Co is a global strategic operations and supply chain consulting firm with offices in 15+ countries.

The Paris-headquartered group first entered Australia in 2018, and has accelerated over the past year on the back of organic growth and two acquisitions: Pollen Consulting group in Australia and Intent Group in New Zealand.

Paul Eastwood, the CEO of Argon & Co for Australia and New Zealand said: “We are delighted to be listed in AFR’s fast growing companies list.”

Smart WFM

Smart WFM is a human capital management consultancy specialising in digital transformation. The company’s service offerings include advisory, implementation and support. Smart WFM also offers solutions focused on the human capital management domain.

Operating out of Australia, with offices in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, Smart WFM in recent years also expanded internationally, setting up shop in India and the United States.

Essence Project Management

With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, Essence Project Management is one of Australia’s fastest growing property & construction project management consultancies. The firm works for clients across sectors.

Commenting on the recognition, managing director David Nicholas said: “This is the second year in a row that Essence Project Management has been recognised in the AFR’s fastest growing companies list. In just six short years, we have gone from a start-up to a rapidly growing construction project management business with locations in three states.”

“Our purpose is to create trusted partnerships to deliver enduring places where people and communities prosper, and sustainability is core. Thank you to the Essence team and our clients for their ongoing support.”

Mane Consulting

Having landed a spot in the fast growing start-up list last year, Mane Consulting has this year made the fastest growing companies list. Founded in 2016 and based out of Sydney, the consultancy supports clients across five lines of business – data, digital, finance & risk, cybersecurity and project management.

“Last year we were delighted to be recognised as one of Australia’s fastest growing startups for 2021. To be named as one of the nation’s fastest growing companies outright is a massive honour and testament to our efforts over the last few years,” said Ieuan Williams, director and cofounder of Mane Consulting.

“We would like to thank all of our employees, contractors, clients and candidates for all of your support. From a personal level my fellow directors and I know that we wouldn’t be at this stage of our development without the unwavering support and guidance of families, friends and colleagues.”

Sententia Consulting

Founded as a two-person firm on the eve of an international pandemic in 2020, Sententia Consulting has seen rapid growth in the past few years, generating over $5 million in revenue in 2021/22 and expanding to 18 employees. Sententia Consulting ranks at 28th on the Fast Starters list.

“We are thrilled to be recognised as one of the fastest growing start-ups in Australia”, said founding Partner Mark Harrison. “This achievement is a testament to the hard work, commitment, and talent of our team, as well as the trust and support of our clients. We believe that our ability to build trust, think differently, and provide candid advice to help our diverse clients solve unique problems has been central to our success.”

Sententia Consulting's clients include state and federal government agencies and non-profit organisations. The firm’s services include strategy & risk management, probity & integrity, financial management & accounting, and project management.

Sonar Consulting

Sydney-based Sonar Consulting is an Australian owned and operated firm delivering engineering and technical testing solutions to organisations. The firm offers solutions across functional testing, performance testing and automation.

Launched by founding duo Michael Glynn and Trung Le (who met at AMP, where they ran a team focused on testing services), Sonar Consulting grew with a CAGR of 219% between FY20-22 and currently has a team of around 15 staff.

“At Sonar Consulting, our reputation means the world to us. We lead the market in quality engineering, testing and automation and have a proven track record in fixing short-term problems and providing proactive long-term strategies to keep our clients’ digital infrastructure online,” said Glynn and Le.


Sydney-based Twiyo is a venture capital and corporate advisory firm. In the consulting space, the firm offers advisory around three topics: finance (including a CFO as a service offering); management with a focus on board and senior management support across strategy, governance and change; capital raise services.

Twiyo works with companies of all sizes, from start-ups all the way through to medium-sized and large businesses. The firm’s venture investments focus on the SME landscape.

Overall winners

Overall, the top rank in the Fast 100 list was taken by Naked Life Non-Alcoholic Spirits, with Fellr leading the Fast Starters list. Previous companies – now household brands – included in the lists are: Atlassian, Booktopia, Boost Juice, Carman’s Fine Foods, Herron Pharmaceuticals, Lonely Planet, Seek, WebJet and Worley Parsons.

The 2023 edition of the AFR’s Fast 100 and Fast Starters lists was supported by Pemba Capital Partners and PwC.