Pharmaken wins as service firms dominate Top 100 survey

A Mombasa-based pharmaceutical company has clinched the top spot in this year’s survey of 100 fastest-growing mid-sized companies in Kenya with the top ten list being dominated by service firms.

Pharmaken Ltd, which is involved in a wide range of health products like medicines, ambulances and equipment, was on Friday night declared the winner of the survey having improved from position seven last year. It has 52 workers and has been in operation for nine years.

Half of the top 10 firms emerged from the service industry — ICT, cleaning, travel and business logistics.

Pharmaken chairman and CEO Samier Muyravvej said the award had injected fresh impetus to the firm’s quest of growing its turnover past the Sh1 billion mark next year.

“Last’s year recognition really helped us to grow our portfolio. We now plan to graduate to Club 101 next year,” said Dr Muyravvej during the fete at the Carnivore Grounds in Nairobi.

This year, eight previous participants joined the elite Club 101 after their annual revenues grew above Sh1 billion.

The Top 100 survey, which is run by the Business Daily, a publication of the Nation Media Group (NMG) and audit firm KPMG, is open to small and medium-sized enterprises with an annual turnover of between Sh70 million and Sh1 billion.

To participate in the survey, mid-sized firms are required to submit at least three years of audited financial statements in order to determine their pace of growth and cash flow stability.

The award is a tool for strengthening the broad based SME sector, which is a key engine of the country’s growth and jobs creation.

This year’s competition, which was conducted between June and September, attracted 1,900 firms but only about 200 made it to the finalists’ list with half the number feted.

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The coveted top 10 list comprised Professional Clean Care, which is involved in cleaning services (position two), followed by Izmir Enterprises (supplier of military and police armour equipment and apparel) and Warren Concrete (civil works) in position four.

Bonfire Aentures Ltd (travel and events organiser), Superior Homes Kenya (developer of Greenpark estate in Athi River) and Lean Energy Solutions also made it to the top 10 list.

Others are Superbroom Services, involved in cleaning, Software Technologies (ICT) and Hipora Business Solutions (logistics).

KPMG East Africa CEO Josphat Mwaura said that the survey has provided small SMEs with a platform to benchmark their practices with market leaders, in order to continually strive for growth and avoid being rendered obsolete by changing market needs.

“These awards serve to remind businesses on the need to stay relevant in a fast-paced market defined by changes in technology and customer needs,” said Mr Mwaura.

Previous participants acknowledged that apart from sharpening their competitive edge, the award had served as a powerful marketing tool, making their brands more visible.

The survey showed that eight clubs graduated to Club 101 this year, after their annual revenues grew past the Sh1 billion mark.

These include Vehicle and Equipment Leasing Ltd, Trufoods Ltd (maker of Zesta jams), Brollo Kenya (steel manufacturer) and Eldohosp Pharmaceuticals.

Others are Mega Pack Ltd, manufacturer of packaging cartons, Sigma Supplies (poultry supplier), Kenya Builders and Concrete Ltd and Canon Chemicals Ltd – maker of Price brand of dish washing paste, air fresheners and Valon brand of jelly and lotions.

NMG chief executive Joe Muganda said the survey would be broadened to help diversify scope, critical for generating reports for a wide array of sectors.

The survey, which was launched in 2008, separately covers firms from Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.