Adelaide boutique Bailey Abbott eyeing national expansion

12 March 2024 3 min. read
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Founded in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis with four staff based in the Adelaide Hills, boutique digital consultancy Bailey Abbott has since grown into a flourishing business with an 80-strong team.

Boutique digital transformation consultancy Bailey Abbott has been quietly growing as a force in Adelaide, with ongoing revenue growth in the high double-digits and its ranks swelling to around 80 full-time professionals in the three and a half years since its late 2020 launch with just three members.

Remarkably, co-founder and CEO Thomas Carlton was only prompted to establish the business after finding himself out of work due to Covid-19.

Adelaide boutique Bailey Abbott eyeing national expansion

Previously serving as a business development executive with ASG Group – a subsidiary of Japanese-headquartered consultancy NRI – Carlton together with his fellow co-founders reportedly raised $1 million in capital in the space of six weeks to establish Bailey Abbott, with the gamble returning almost $10 million in revenues last financial year. Adding further to the unlikely story, the firm was originally set up in the Adelaide Hills, well beyond the hustle of the CBD.

Now based across the park lands in Unley, Bailey Abbott serves clients on business improvement and digital transformation projects across a wide range of industries, including the government, defence, energy, finance, transport, manufacturing and retail sectors among others. The firm credits its optimistic and innovative approach to tailoring customised solutions for its success to date, along with its keen focus on developing a people-first culture.

“I thrive on fostering creativity and connection among our team and know that with the right mindset, skills and culture, anything is possible,” Carlton states on the firm’s recently updated website, which now includes a wall of artworks painted by its fresh consulting recruits during introductory bonding sessions. He concludes; “My belief in what we can not only deliver for our clients, but for our team, has only grown over these past few years.”

With an initial strategy of picking off the top talent let go by other consultancies due to the pandemic (the Big Four alone shed somewhere in the region of 1,500 staff in the lead up to the firm’s launch in October 2020), Bailey Abbott has now grown its team to around 80 professionals, including managing director and former Accenture state boss Mark Ochota and the many others who share a background at the country’s biggest consultancies.

Now, a national expansion is on the cards, with the firm having relocated to its new Greenhill Road offices and updated its branding last year in preparation. Yet, while Bailey Abbott has so far grown at a rapid clip for the most part outside of the national spotlight, the firm has received some accolades along the way, including recognition on CRN’s Fast50 list and a personal nod for Carlton as ‘First Among Equals’ in InDaily’s ‘40 Under 40 Awards’ in 2022.

Speaking on the occasion of the firm’s third anniversary, Carlton stated; “Over the past three years we have demonstrated that there was room for a challenger brand in South Australia which approaches problems differently and puts people front and centre of everything we do. Our remarkable growth from a team of three to a robust workforce of 80 across three businesses and 37 clients is truly one of the South Australian success stories.”