Fast-growing consulting firms look to continue momentum

06 January 2024 4 min. read
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Despite a challenging economic environment, a handful of ambitious Australian consultancies have defied the current market conditions to record impressive growth figures over the past three years.

A number of rising Australian tech consultancies will be looking to continue their momentum into the next twelve months, having last year made the various 2023 ‘fast’ growth lists compiled by Deloitte, Smart Company, and the AFR – including Elysium Digital at the top of the latter.

Other consultancies to make an appearance in the upper ranks last year include fellow Canberra-based firm Holan Group, along with Centelon Solutions and Bi3 of Melbourne and Sydney.

Fast-growing consulting firms look to continue momentum

Elysium Digital

Established by former NTT senior executives Ken Westwood, Michael Caldwell and Brett Norris in 2021, Elysium Digital recently topped the AFR’s annual ‘Fast Starters’ list (which ranks companies in operation for less than five years) courtesy of a mammoth three-year CAGR of 3,500 percent.

According to the firm, which has offices in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, it pulled in just $12,000 in revenue during its first few months, but banked upwards of $15 million over 2022-23.

Since its inception, Elysium Digital has attracted a wealth of high-level government and corporate clients to its end-to-end digital transformation services, which include strategic consulting, design and digital & data offerings.

But while the AFR paints a picture of ‘mid-career consultants’ turned plucky entrepreneurs, the founders’ success isn’t such a surprise considering their pedigree and deep industry experience, including as C-suite leaders of NTT acquisitions Oakton and Dimension Data.

Holan Group

Also making an appearance in the top 5 of the Fast Starters list was management consulting firm Holan Group, which has recorded a CAGR of above 2,000 percent over the three years since its 2021 launch in Canberra by co-founders Adam Phelan and Johnathon Holmes.

Now pushing toward the $10 million revenue mark, the consultancy focuses on serving the government sector and industries such as defence & aviation, national security, infrastructure, and health & social services.

In addition to strategic consulting, the firm has also added an incubation platform and recently-launched legal services division, with Phelan and Holmes bringing a diverse background to the mix. Most recently having spent time together at fellow Canberra consultancy Projects Assured, Phelan earlier spent a decade and a half at Airservices, while Holmes is an Australian Army veteran who later served at Booz & Company (now Strategy&) and the Department of Defence.

Centelon Solutions

Topped for the second consecutive year by medical cannabis company Montu, Deloitte’s 2023 Tech Fast 50 rankings meanwhile featured yet another Canberra-based consultancy, MF & Associates, which was recently picked up by global player Fujitsu.

Further up the list though, in sixth spot overall with impressive three-year growth of 2,338 percent, was Melbourne-headquartered IT consultancy Centelon Solutions, which was established at the beginning of 2016.

Since then, Centelon – and its AI financial services offshoot Finnate – has grown to a team of roughly 300 spread across outlets in Australia, Singapore, the US and India, including via last year’s acquisition of ManMech Smart Solutions in Kerala. The team is led by former Capgemini insurance, banking and wealth head Ajit Stephen, who is supported by fellow co-founder and digital lead Manoj Marathe (ex-Capgemini, Infosys and Accenture) among others.

Bi3 Technologies

Another Australian IT consultancy with Indian roots looking to capitalise on impressive recent growth is Bi3 Technologies, which landed in the top ten of Smart Company’s Smart50 Awards for the second year running and more than doubled its headcount to 100 over the period.

Founded in Sydney in 2017 by former Commonwealth bank quartet Rodney Agassi, Thiru Ps, Shahnewaz Khan, and Michael Tanuhardja, Bi3 Technologies’ three-pronged data & analytics offering is centred around integration, insights, and innovation.

With three-year growth of 80 percent and revenues pushing $8 million, Bi3 Technologies also claimed 37th place on the AFR’s premier ‘Fast 100’ list for companies with more than five years of operations, with two of the country’s larger, highly ambitious consultancies also featuring; Argon & Co, which now generates revenues in excess of $25 million following several acquisitions, and Atturra, which through a series of deals has shot to revenues of almost $180 million.