No.3: Araza, 2016 CRN Fast50

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This article appeared in the December 2016 issue of CRN magazine.

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No.3: Araza, 2016 CRN Fast50

For CRN Fast50 first-timer Araza, its success in this year’s awards was all the sweeter because the company achieved it all on its own. 

Managing director Victoria Kluth says the startup IT consultancy, founded in 2013, needed to build a successful reputation before partnering with any big software companies. It’s done that, growing 263.65 percent from 2015 to 2016, without being tied to specific vendors.

“Being a young company, we didn’t have much to bring to the partnership table. Today, you really have to prove what you can do as a partner so you’re able to apply for the partnership, and even then it’s not a done deal,” says Kluth.

Araza has proven itself by signing two big outsourcing contracts, including one for a Microsoft Office 365 implementation. The deals lit a fire under the company and drove its significant growth in the past year. 

Melbourne-based Araza posted $11.8 million in revenue for its 2016 financial year, an $8 million increase on 2015. Some 94 percent of its business comes from the enterprise sector.

The business started with two people and one client. Today, it has more than 110 employees, an office in Melbourne and presences in Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney.

In 2015, the company achieved its first position on a government panel when it was appointed to the ICT Services Treasury Portfolio panel. Araza is now a member of six panels.

A few months after getting started Kluth saw an opportunity to create
a gender-equitable company. Araza was able to achieve this by improving the recruitment process, says Kluth. The policy reaches from top to bottom. “It is significant to note we are a 50 percent-women company without using quotas,” says Kluth.

One initiative is Araza Women. That community, initiated with educational purposes, runs regular functions with special guest speakers. Araza doesn’t only welcome staff to these events, but also industry competitors. “It is a really great way to hear powerful stories,” says Kluth.

Kluth was a finalist in the 2016 Telstra Business Women’s award, in the Victorian Entrepreneur category. Being a finalist opened doors to CIOs and helped Araza secure a meeting with one of the big banks.

Kluth, who worked as director of mobility solutions at UXC Professional Solutions before starting Araza, says the biggest change in the past financial year was the company’s expansion into new capital cities. “Our Australian spread was a direct response from our clients’ requests for our services in their similar locations. We are Melbourne-based and currently have a footprint in Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.”

The expansion hasn’t stopped there, she says. The IT consultancy has plans to open new offices in Sydney and Brisbane in early 2017. Araza is also in discussion with software vendors regarding opportunities to expand its solution implementation capabilities.   

Pictured above: Victoria Kluth, managing director, Araza


FAST FACTS

Founded  2013
Key executive  Victoria Kluth
HQ  Melbourne, VIC
Growth  263.65%
2016 revenue  $11.8 million

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