17 May 2011

Kenya: Top 100 Companies to Be Feted in October

Nairobi — The fastest growing mid-sized companies will be up for different awards at a gala night slated for October. But first, the companies will be evaluated from June 6 for the fourth edition of Top 100 mid-sized companies sponsored by audit firm KPMG and the Nation Media Group.

The Top 100 Survey seeks to identify Kenya's fastest growing medium sized companies to showcase business excellence and highlight some of the country's most successful entrepreneurship stories.

A Top 100 Mid-Sized Company is one, which ranks ahead of its peers in terms of revenue growth and profitability.

KPMG chief executive officer Josphat Mwaura and NMG's managing director, Nation Newspapers Division Tom Mshindi called on more companies from rural areas to participate in the annual survey.

The companies are required to fill a general questionnaire that includes number of employees, give financial statement for last three years and have a turn over of between Sh70 million and Sh1 billion.

They would further share lessons how they have managed the expanded East African Community market, handling of increased cost of doing business and attraction of finance.

Research firm, Synovate Ltd, will be responsible for receiving and analyzing the completed general questionnaire while KPMG will receive and analyse the financial one.

Since the survey started four years ago, six companies have crossed the Sh1 billion turnover and joined 'Club 101'.

"Our first objective is to carry out a credible professional survey," Mr Mwaura said at Nation Centre in Nairobi.

The Nairobi Stock Exchange has shown interest in working with the good performing firms.

Kenyan, Uganda and Tanzania firms have been participating in the survey but the organisers are also targeting Rwanda.

In 2010, Mr Mshindi said, the Top 100 companies contributed Sh65 billion to Sh80 billion in turnover.

"In terms of employee size, over 45 percent of businesses employ between 11-50 staff members. The number of businesses with over 50 staff members has been growing steadily since 2008 by an average number of 12 new staff members per year," Mr Mshindi said.

He said business leaders of mid-sized companies demonstrated that they have a higher business confidence level compared to that of large corporate business leaders.

The survey aims at enabling medium sized companies to benchmark themselves against their peers, highlight to policy makers their contribution to economic growth and to support the firms by linking them with service providers.

The audit is also aimed at facilitating networking amongst the companies and to create platforms for the firms to engage individually and collectively in activities like promoting entrepreneurship education amongst the youth.

Any company that is not listed in any stock exchange with exception of banks, insurance companies, accounting/financial consulting firms and law firms are allowed to participate in voluntary exercise.

The survey also captures the characteristics of the companies such as their business confidence outlook, talent management policies, involvement in corporate social responsibility, corporate governance and the role played by innovation in their operations.

The survey will culminate in a conference and exhibition for the Top 100 companies on October 6 followed by a Gala Award Dinner on October 7.

The conference and exhibition will provide networking, marketing and educational opportunities as well as an opportunity to listen to a successful entrepreneur.

Awards will be given to each company that makes it to the list of the Top 100 companies. There will also be additional awards for special categories including Leading lady entrepreneur, Revenue Growth Champion, Industry Champion and best rural based company.

The survey will open an opportunity for participants to attend special forums and networking events and exclusive discounts on services provided by sponsors, training events and other resources to aid their in business growth.

The Top 100 companies are also supposed to sign an integrity pact not to engage in corruption, conduct business with highest standard of integrity and institute a Company Code of Conduct.

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