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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Simon Gargaro


Exposure to the building game from a young age ignited a passion for the industry in Simon Gargaro.

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Gargaro completed a Building Engineering Degree at Victoria University while working alongside his dad in the family business.

In 2009, he teamed up with his brother and two friends to lease a premises in Gillman and United Precast was born.

The company quickly grew from six staff and a turnover of $2 million in its first year to $13 million and a staff of up to 40 in 2014.

United Cranes and Rigging became the second company in the United Group in 2011. It purchased a 100-tonne crane to assist United Precast and now has a fleet of seven cranes and employs 12 staff and 10 subcontractors.

Gargaro became managing director in 2014 and has overseen United Precast’s move into a new manufacturing facility in Ottoway in 2016. Since the move, the company has almost doubled its annual turnover while United Group now employs a total of 105 staff.

The 37-year-old was named a winner at InDaily’s inaugural 40 Under 40 Awards in June.

Gargaro also volunteers as vice-chairman and treasurer at Croydon Kings Soccer Club, where United Precast is a major sponsor.

We asked him some more about doing business in South Australia.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

There is less competition than in the eastern states and it’s a lot easier to gain exposure when you have good products.

South Australia still has a business population ‘mindset’, which values building strong relationships and loyalty between fellow business owners to improve the growth of the state.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

Due to the generally small market size, it’s easy to get a poor reputation, which can spread quickly compared to larger markets.

Do you see your future in South Australia?

Yes of course: there is no other state I would live and work in. South Australia is on the verge of becoming the next state to be ‘on the move’ and I want to be part of it.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

The state needs to encourage big businesses to establish their head offices in Adelaide. Career growth in many industries is limited in South Australia. It’s one thing to promote the lifestyle, but for many young leaders, the career opportunities will outweigh the lifestyle opportunities.

More about 40 Under 40

An assessment panel representing the South Australian business community judged hundreds of nominees for the inaugural 40 Under 40 awards, which aim to identify and promote a new generation of local leaders under the age of 40.

The final 40 includes a hugely varied collection of South Australian talents, who are making a mark in fields such as health, technology, the media, property, social innovation, agriculture, finance, the law, and much more.

For the full list of 40 Under 40 winners go here.

40 Under 40 is an InDaily initiative supported by the following partners:

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