Founders: Robert Evans, 44, Jennifer Evans, 46, Andrew Crampton, 45
Head Office: Western Australia
Industry: Information technology
Velrada doesn’t dig anything out of the ground itself, but this West Australian company has successfully ridden the mining boom to snare second spot in the Smart50 list both last year and this year.
The “boutique systems consulting and systems integration firm” was founded by Jennifer Evans, her husband Robert and former colleague Andrew Crampton when they spotted the demand for information management services within the ever-growing resources sector.
“We had all worked together in a previous life, so it was taking those experiences and expertise and understanding where there were potential gaps in the market,” Jennifer Evans says.
With clients in the natural resources sector across South East Asia and Australia, Evans says while there are fears the boom is coming to an end, Velrada will continue to grow.
“When it comes to iron ore there’s a lot of commentary about bigger expansion projects being put on hold or mothballed. But we have diversified in terms of our client base, we now have resources clients in oil and gas and we have also been doing big, high profile projects in some of the government agencies,” she says.
“The resource companies are going through a lot of change but they are still engaging us to deliver projects because our focus is on delivering outcomes of value.”
Velrada sets itself apart from its competitors by focusing on developing intellectual property to complement its offerings and by creating a degree of customer “lock-in” and longer-term repeatable solution offers and contracts.
“Our strategy is to have very long-term, value-add relationships with our customers by focusing on the more complex and challenging problems,” says Evans.
“Consulting is not new but the way we approach the whole business is driven from a customer point of view and a people point of view.”
Velrada’s team is crucial to its business and Evans’ advice to fellow entrepreneurs is to “hire smart people, and then hire more smart people”.
The business has worked hard to recruit top talent, including regular overseas trips to recruit in the UK and South Africa in particular.
Velrada now has a full-time “talent person” focused on its employees, and among its 85 staff now counts 18 nationalities.
“We are truly a global company in that sense,” says Evans.
Evans says the industry is constantly changing with the “massive influence” of major capital projects in resources and energy.
“Cloud computing and the impact of consumer information technology is making things more possible in business and shows a key need for the right resources,” she says.
However, Velrada isn’t going to change its strategy and is sticking to its core strengths, marketing its existing business and capabilities to new clients.“We are still focused on attracting the top talent and then being able to deliver complex projects for our clients,” says Evans.