Over the last five years, hundreds, if not thousands, of Kenya’s companies have had to close down; sending their employees home to begin the tough life of joblessness. The list is long, but I have to mention that the following companies either stopped operating in Kenya or retrenched workers: Nakumatt, Woolworths, Softa Bottling Company, Sameer Africa, Ecobank, and Barclays. Toward the end of 2019, the Registrar of Companies listed some 388 corporations that had dissolved between March and August the same year. Indeed, it is needless to mention that hundreds more firms shut down in 2020; threatened by tough economic times, stringent government regulations, sudden or progressive drop in consumers’ purchasing power, administrative bottlenecks, and corruption scandals among other many reasons. Thus, as analysts predict even tougher times in the coming months, it is important to recognize and celebrate Top 3 Most Successful Companies in Kenya that have made it to 2021 with promising growth prospects. These are the organizations that have beaten all odds and built resilience to continually post huge profits.
In Kenya today, it is impossible to talk about successful businesses without mentioning Safaricom –the country’s largest telecommunication service provider. According to its LinkedIn profile, the company employs over 5,500 staff directly plus an additional 500,000 indirectly. The organization was established in 1993. Since then, Safaricom has recorded consistent growth and expansion. Innovation is one of the group’s key strategy. Safaricom believes in investing in the future and leveraging technology to deliver value to people. Thus, consistent innovation has significantly contributed to Safaricom’s success over the decades of operation.
There are a number of reasons for which Safaricom is successful and has a bright future. The main one, however, is that the company has a widespread investment portfolio including M-Pesa (with more 41.5 million subscribers as of 2019), Lipa Na M-Mpesa, Okoa Jahazi, and Fuliza. During the financial year ending 31 March 2020, the telecom giant generated a cool 784.36 million U.S. dollars in revenue from M-Pesa and M-Banking services according to Statista. In 2019, Safaricom Celebrates 30 Million Customers, but an article on Wikipedia claims the company has since added some 3.1 million subscribers to that number. Regarding voice market and SMS market, Safaricom controls 56.8% and 95.5% compared to other telecommunication service providers.
The commercial bank of Kenya is probably one of the oldest Kenyan companies. The organization was formed in 1896, the same year Charles Dow founded Dow Jones Industrial Average. KCB currently serves more than 16 million customers through its 250 branches across the country. The company also operates in South Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Rwanda. KCB Group generated KShs. 7.6 billion in after-tax profits for the first six months of 2020. According to the bank, the value represented a 40% decline compared to 2019.
Equity Bank is owned by Equity Group Holding. The company claims to have more than 9.2 million customers in six East African Countries. Currently, Equity Group Holding is the largest commercial bank in the region based on the number of customers. Equity Bank started as a SACCO in Murang’a in 1970s and grew rapidly to become one of Kenya’s leading providers of banking services. Currently, the company has 173 of which 38 are located in Nairobi. In 2020, Equity Group’s third quarter pre-tax profit was KSh 18.9 Billion, a 24% decline compared to the same period in 2019 according to Kenyan Wall Street. The parent firm, Equity Group Holding has over 8,959 employees. James Mwangi is the current CEO of Equity Bank. Mwangi is said to receive a salary of no less than Kshs. 65 million annually.