In this fourth year of the Kenya Top 100 survey, we are once again celebrating achievement, resilience, confidence, hope and patriotism in diversity!
For if you are in the right business, and you are doing it right, you are based here in Kenya, employing Kenyans, paying your taxes in Kenya, exporting from Kenya, remitting foreign exchange earnings back to Kenya, and re-investing in Kenya, you are the true Kenyan patriot.
I do not know of a greater demonstration of patriotism than contributing to the wealth of the nation.
Every single company that participated in the survey deserves to be celebrated and recognised! The Top 100 survey, conference and award dinner are designed to celebrate and recognise that patriotism, that contribution to the collective well being of the country.
In doing so, we hope to give you an opportunity to share and learn from each other.
To encourage and inspire each other and to build bonds that will benefit you personally as well as your business.
We are alive to the turbulence and uncertainty in our world today and our focus on ‘learning and encouragement’ is deliberate.
We know that there are complex challenges facing Kenya, Africa and the world.
All these challenges affect the market for our goods and services, the environment we operate in, the cost of doing business and ultimately, the quality of life in our country and the region.
We also know this: challenges and shocks are an almost permanent feature of economic life, of any business, and of life itself.
Our focus on ‘learning and encouragement’ is intended to equip us to continue to succeed in spite of all these challenges.
It is intended to prepare us to adapt and thrive even if more challenges emerge. Learning is intended to prepare us to recognise opportunity, to harness and harvest its proceeds before our competitors can say stop!
Allow me to make some suggestions on how this culture of learning and performance can be embedded in your business.
First, you need to maintain focus! Be clear on the business you are in and stay in it! Do not be distracted or spread yourself too thinly.
If you must expand, expand within your core business. Do not take away from your current business. Hold on to the good you have—especially good people and cash! These can make the difference between poverty and prosperity for your business.
Secondly, invest in the right people. This is probably the most important decision you can make as a leader.
To bring in the people who will help you to see the challenges and opportunities before they emerge.
People who will take prudent actions to overcome challenges and realise the opportunities. Bring wisdom to your hiring and buying of advisory services.
Thirdly, spread the faith you have and unleash your team.
It is clear that you believe in your business. You are passionate about what you do and you have a clear vision of the heights your business can rise to. Spread this faith to all your people, all your customers and all your suppliers and business partners. When you do that, I have no doubt that your dreams will be realised and that you will leave a lasting legacy.
This country will owe you a higher debt of recognition for your contribution to our future prosperity. You are part of Vision 2030. You are the producers and employers, exporters and the wealth creators.
Spread your faith in your business to make that contribution!
Mr Mwaura is the chief executive of consultancy firm KPMG in East Africa
Download the full report here