Etel tops Fast 50

19 Dec 2002

Telecommunications provider Etel was named this year’s winner of the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 Award.

The company topped the ranking based on an average aggregate growth in revenue of 1,173pc over the past three years.

Taking second place and topping the list from Northern Ireland was The Data Warehousing Practice (TDWP), the business process management software and services provider which recorded growth of 975pc. In third place (for the second year running) was another Northern Irish firm, web developer Biznet Solutions (781pc). Fourth and fifth places went to Macalla Software and Webtrade respectively.

The Technology Fast 50 programme ranks the fastest-growing technology companies in the Republic and Northern Ireland. Announcing the winners, David O’Flanagan, partner with Deloitte & Touche, said: “The Fast 50 programme shows that despite the difficult global environment Irish technology companies are continuing to grow with average turnover growth of more than 240pc in a three-year period.”

There were a number of notable achievements in this year’s listing. Five companies – Softworks Computing, VistaTec, Connect Global Solutions, Parallel Information Technology and Qumas – have made the listing in all three years the awards have been held.

Andrew Ferguson, managing director of Softworks Computing, commented: “To win this award three years in a row is a great achievement for Softworks. Since our establishment in 1990, we have grown to be leaders in the time and attendance markets in both Ireland and the UK.”

Another of the companies to achieve a hat-trick of appearances is Cork-based Qumas, which develops regulatory compliance systems for pharmaceutical companies and employs some 85 people. Chief operating officer David Grimes told that Qumas – which occupies tenth spot in the Fast 50 ranking – plans to expand its European business to sustain the growth. “Europe is going the same way as the US in that any company that manufactures in Europe and wants to export to the US must be FDA [Federal Drugs Administration] compliant,” he said.

He added: “We’ve always had good growth and each year we’ve grown by a minimum of 50-60pc.”

Another unique achievement came from Dublin-based QMS, which was the sole vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) software to make this year’s listing (in 21st place). With well known names such as ABB and Cable & Wireless on its books and annual growth of 216.5pc under its belt, QMS has firmly bucked the trend of stuttering CRM firms. Its flagship product, Ulysses, runs the service management function of companies of all sizes. “In Ulysses we seem to have a product that the market wants and is prepared to pay for,” noted Frank Cole, executive chairman of QMS.

All Irish Fast 50 winners were automatically entered into the European Fast 500 programme, the results of which were announced in London on 2 December. This programme is seen as an opportunity for Irish companies to assess their competitive position internationally. Ireland’s Fast 50 winner, Etel Group, was ranked 34th, followed by TWDP and Biznet Solutions, ranked 46th and 59th respectively.

By Brian Skelly

Pictured: Sean Melly of Etel