How this year's Deloitte Fast 50 companies battle the myth of low productivity

Key takeaways from this year's Deloitte Fast 50: services and social media are helping lead the way and dispelling myths of low productivity, while Aotearoa companies are now helping the nation punch above its weight in the entire Asia-Pacific region. 

Auckland’s Pushpay, a developer of mobile commerce tools, is number one on this year’s Deloitte Fast 50, with growth of 4,574 percent. Auckland-based digital customer relationship management platform Plexure (1,197 percent growth), Christchurch house lifter SmartLift Systems (1028 percent), Wellington brewery Panhead Custom Ales (925 percent) and Auckland travel company All Blacks Tours (822 percent) round out the top five.

The tech and service focus doesn’t surprise Deloitte Private partner Bill Hale. “Historically our Fast 50 is a really good barometer of what’s happening in the SME market,” he said. “Service businesses have been particularly strong the past couple of years.” The continuing rebuild in Christchurch was powering a fair portion of that service growth, Hale added.

Services wasn’t the only high-growth area, either. “Social media is another area of strong growth. A lot of it is underpinned by technology. It’s just that ability to scale.”

The threshold for entry into the Fast 50 this year was growth of at least 225 percent, which is the highest entry threshold since the index was launched in 2001.

Hale also spoke about the effect the surprise resignation of New Zealand Prime Minister John  Key might have on business. “No one seemed immediately disturbed,” he said. “Generally the overwhelming theme [among Fast 50 companies] is ‘we’re going to make our own way.’”

However, he said there would be concern if Key’s departure signaled a period of high turnover among PMs, similar to Australia. “We’ve had some good times with continuity.”

No fewer than 53 companies from the Land of the Long White Cloud also made the Deloitte Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500 list. With the index open to companies from throughout the entire Asia-Pacific region, Hale said that for more than 10 percent of the companies to be from New Zealand was a real achievement, and meant Aotearoa was outperforming countries including China, Japan and South Korea. “The ecosystem [in New Zealand] has got so much stronger over the past decade. We get hammered for low productivity in the OECD [compared to other countries], but that’s not the case in this sector.”

However, as with any index that ranks percentage growth for companies, Hale said the real challenge for businesses was not to be listed on the Deloitte Fast 50 or Deloitte Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500, but to be listed multiple years in a row. “The larger the business becomes, the harder it gets to maintain growth rates.”

2016 Deloitte Fast 50

Rank

Company

Revenue growth (%)

Fast 50 region

1

Pushpay

4,574.4

Auckland and Upper North Island

2

Plexure

1,197.3

Auckland and Upper North Island

3

SmartLift Systems

1,027.6

Christchurch and Upper South Island

4

Panhead Custom Ales

925.2

Wellington and Lower North Island

5

All Blacks Tours

822.3

Auckland and Upper North Island

6

TENCO EBS

750.7

Christchurch and Upper South Island

7

IFS Forestry

721.3

Dunedin and Lower South Island

8

Teknique

607.5

Auckland and Upper North Island

9

Ultrafast Fibre

600.6

Central North Island

10

Whanau Tahi

508.4

Auckland and Upper North Island

11

Snap Rentals

461.7

Auckland and Upper North Island

12

90 Seconds

447.5

Auckland and Upper North Island

13

MajorDomo

435.5

Dunedin and Lower South Island

14

House Lifters

418.1

Christchurch and Upper South Island

15

Acquire Online

406.4

Auckland and Upper North Island

16

MAXRaft

405.9

Dunedin and Lower South Island

17

Cobra Labs

392.3

Central North Island

18

Payless Energy

385.7

Dunedin and Lower South Island

19

Bird on a Wire

362.7

Auckland and Upper North Island

20

Ecoware

354.3

Auckland and Upper North Island

21

CAVIUS Nano

346.3

Central North Island

22

BLIS Technologies

345.6

Dunedin and Lower South Island

23

Future Air Solutions

325.6

Christchurch and Upper South Island

24

Spotlight Reporting

324.2

Wellington and Lower North Island

25

Tax Traders

322.1

Auckland and Upper North Island

26

James Group

311.5

Auckland and Upper North Island

27

Little Island

305.2

Auckland and Upper North Island

28

CMOS

300.9

Wellington and Lower North Island

29

GeoOp

300.6

Auckland and Upper North Island

30

Kowtow Clothing

297.7

Wellington and Lower North Island

31

Southbase Construction

296.8

Christchurch and Upper South Island

32

Uprise Solutions

289.6

Wellington and Lower North Island

33

Protempo

277.6

Auckland and Upper North Island

34

Pacificomm

273.7

Auckland and Upper North Island

35

The Career Academy

270.9

Auckland and Upper North Island

36

The Last Pickle

268.2

Wellington and Lower North Island

37

EverEdge

266.1

Auckland and Upper North Island

38

Vend

265.3

Auckland and Upper North Island

39

PowerbyProxi

257.2

Auckland and Upper North Island

40

The Road Trip

250.5

Christchurch and Upper South Island

41

Josh is a Sparky

249.3

Christchurch and Upper South Island

42

New Y Trading

246.7

Auckland and Upper North Island

43

Compass Agribusiness Management

242.9

Dunedin and Lower South Island

44

OneStaff

238.1

Auckland and Upper North Island

45

Le Bon Bolli Restaurant Limited

237.1

Christchurch and Upper South Island

46

Collective

236.8

Auckland and Upper North Island

47

ZB Homes

236.4

Central North Island

48

Moola

236.2

Christchurch and Upper South Island

49

Touchtech

226.5

Wellington and Lower North Island

50

Optimal Clinical Trials

225.3

Auckland and Upper North Island

National Rising Star: Parking Sense (Central North Island)