Entrepreneurs urged to learn from peers to drive growth

Kenyan entrepreneurs have been urged to show their mettle by benchmarking against peers for the right market positioning that will help drive the next phase of their growth.

Consulting firm KPMG’s regional senior manager for Marketing Knowledge and Communication Abijah Kanene said such positioning can be gained through participation in the Top 100 medium-sized companies’ competition that is currently receiving entries from qualified firms.

Ms Kanene said participating in the annual survey that ranks Kenya’s fastest growing companies would not only put the medium firms under the rigour of intensive peer to peer competition but also open the doors to networking and alliances that are critical to the growth of every business.

The Top 100 medium-sized firms initiative ranks companies with annual turnovers of between Sh70 million and Sh1 billion. 

Participating firms must submit three years of audited financial records. They must not be banks or saccos and also not be listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

Ms Kanene spoke at the Mombasa Serena Hotel during the launch of this year’s survey in the port city on Thursday evening.

Ivan De Souza, a Mombasa-based entrepreneur who runs the Coast Industrial and Safety Supplies and was on the Top 100 list last year, said participating in the survey had enabled his company to re-invent and expand its reach.

Mr De Souza said that since his company featured on the Top 100 list, a number of financiers and suppliers had knocked on his door with attractive credit lines besides the numerous networking opportunities in the subsequent forums.

READ: Hunt for top 100 mid-sized firms begins

“Being recognised among the Top 100 companies has led various firms to associate and do business with us,” Mr De Souza said, adding that the peerage had also seen the company employ best management practices besides setting up a pension and medical scheme for his workers.

“We can now attract talent and skilled employees because we have a structured way of motivating them to grow,” he said.

Participation in the survey is voluntary and companies that are not willing to complete the financial questionnaire still get a performance report against their industry peers.

The Business Daily managing editor, Ochieng Rapuro, urged companies to take aantage of the media platform that Nation Media Group offers them to build their brands and interact with larger constituencies.

Mr Rapuro said proper positioning of the media was the best way to build brand equity besides marketing products and services to a much larger consumer base.

“We have been in Uganda for five years, Tanzania for four years and Rwanda for three years giving the competition a truly regional outlook,” he said, adding that entrepreneurship was the only way Kenya will manage the twin tasks of building a modern economy and creating the millions of jobs needed to deal with mass unemployment among youths.

The survey will be conducted by Research Solutions Africa and the Top 100 companies will be declared at a gala dinner in October.

The survey will be launched next month in Machakos and Thika.