It’s easy to measure a company’s success by its revenue growth. But Araza managing director Victoria Kluth says the company doesn’t have financial targets. So how does the young Melbourne consultancy judge its performance?
“Our business plan is more altruistic then that, and that is to be good to our clients and to ourselves,” says Kluth.
Araza was founded in 2013, and despite financial targets taking a back seat, revenue more than tripled in 2016.
“I just wanted a nice boutique consultancy where I was excited about going in every day and working with five or 10 staff. We’re now close to 200,” says Kluth.
“I don’t think we did anything different last year. We just continue to work with quality clients. Ensuring we’re working with quality clients and partners is what’s kept us successful and viable in a really competitive market.”
Perhaps the biggest success for Araza, according to Kluth, is the company’s diversity in its staff, most notably with its achievement of gender equity across the company. The mindset was put in place when the company was founded, and has flowed into Araza Women: an education program that brings together staff and even industry competitors to hear from guest speakers about their success (a recent event hosted Cheryl ‘Salt’ James from the group Salt-N-Pepa).
“I think people truly appreciate the fact that we are serious and legitimate about gender equality and diversity in general, and I think it’s been a reward in itself. It has nothing to do what it does for the company’s ledger,” says Kluth.
“We get all types of people who support diversity wanting to work with us,” she continues. “We probably do get more women applying for jobs with us because people do want to work for an organisation like this.”
As well as a diverse team, Araza also made the point of not attaching itself to one particular vendor, opting instead for a more generalist approach to consulting. Kluth says that focusing on delivering the best capabilities for clients instead allows Araza to breathe a bit easier.
“Coming from a generalist organisation, we really had to prove ourselves in the client market and grow organically through quality project delivery. The partnerships started coming to us from there, which was really incredible.”
One of those partners is Microsoft. Araza recently became an enterprise mobility partner, and has picked up some big wins by way of implementing Office 365.
While Kluth couldn’t give out too many details, she says Araza has its sights set on robotics and AI in particular. “We’re working with one of our major clients on implementing a series of robotics that will automate their manual processes like key stroking and back-end processing.
“I think there are some really exciting opportunities around AI and what we could do with that,” she says. “The more robotics that go in, the more data that’s generated, so it will be intriguing to see the different things you can program with that data.”