45 Cadssurvey


More than $15 million




Troy Harper, 42

Head Office


Year Founded








Since appearing in last year’s Smart50 at number 27, Perth-based surveying company CADS Survey has had yet another lucrative year in the industry.

Jumping from a $9 million turnover in 2012-13 to more than $15 million in 2013-14, the company achieved more than 60% growth in just 12 months.

Founder Troy Harper was on holiday in New Caledonia in 2007, when he realised he could turn his experience in managing multiple teams into an efficiency boosting business offering surveying services through trained and managed construction surveyors.

“My line of expertise frequently took me away from home to remote areas for prolonged periods of time,” says Harper.

“After a time, I looked at this as a young man’s game and started to put together plans for my own business. My particular areas of expertise lay in the areas of large-scale pipeline and jetty construction and hence I decided to launch my company with a particular focus on these fields.”

Today, CADS has a far more diverse offering, branching into a range of areas in construction surveying including 3D modelling and aerial mapping.

Harper says the two biggest challenges in starting a business are time and money.

“It is incredible how time can be eaten up with the day-to-day running of a business and many hours are spent just ‘greasing the wheels’ to ensure a smooth ride,” he says.

“For the first few years, money – or lack of – presented a significant hurdle and I had to manage my money closely to ensure necessary funds were there to pay the bills and for when opportunities for growth arose.”

The company is now looking to expand through key acquisitions and is identifying companies Harper says are “good at their game, tried and tested within the market as a great opportunity for expansion”.

“Our goal is continual growth and sustained success,” says Harper, who has no plans for a near-future exit of the company.

“But I do subscribe to the opinion that in business everything has a price and a reason.”

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