Mombasa firm tops SMEs fete


Diamond Property Merchants limited representatives receives a trophy from KPMG CEO Josphat Mwaura after the company emerged position 3 during the Kenya Top 100 Mid-sized companies during a Gala Dinner hosted by The Business Daily and KPMG, at the Carnivore Restaurant on the night of November 23, 2018. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

Mombasa-based logistics firm, General Cargo Services Limited, was on Friday night crowned the overall winner of the 11th edition of the annual Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Survey competition.

The company that has been operating for more than 40 years won the crown at its sixth attempt as the country’s leading 100 small and medium sized companies competition celebrated various winners at the Carnivore Restaurant grounds.

Clothing firm Vivo Activewear Ltd and Diamond Property Merchants came second and third respectively in the survey that recognises SMEs for their entrepreneurial excellence.

Haji Motors Ltd, Questworks, Orange Pharm, Syner Medica, Nywele Creatives, Trublaq Ltd and Mandhir Construction closed the top 10 positions at this year’s gala.

Nation Media Group (NMG) chief executive officer Stephen Gitagama and his KPMG East Africa counterpart, Josphat Mwaura, graced the event.

"As we celebrate the winners this year, I want to thank Nation Media Group for supporting KPMG to tell the stories of these hard-working Kenyans," Mr Mwaura said.

Mr. Gitagama congratulated the SMEs for their resilience in a tough operating environment last year that was marked by a prolonged electioneering period and continued difficulties in accessing credit after banks shunned entrepreneurs following the capping of interest rates.

He, however, challenged more companies to enlist for the survey next year, adding that it has helped firms raise their brands besides growing both locally and across the region.

Vivo Activewear founder and managing director Wandia Gichuru was named the female CEO of the year to cap a great night for the economist who has also worked with the World Bank.

Georgina Kirungo, founder of luxury hair chain, Nywele Creative was named the youngest CEO of the year.

Transport services firm, Easy Coach a previous winner of the competition joined the Club 101, which features companies that outgrow the Sh50 million-Sh1 billion annual turnover threshold after it crossed the Sh1 billion mark.

Nation Media Group and KPMG lowered the entry mark for this year’s competition to Sh50 million from Sh70 million in annual turnover, to attract more SMEs.

The move saw 121 firms with an annual turnover of between Sh50 million to Sh69 million enlist for this year’s competition.

The survey seeks to identify and recognise the country’s fastest growing medium-sized companies and celebrate some of the most outstanding entrepreneurs.

Participants must have had their accounts audited for the last three years, not listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange and must not be in the banking, insurance, accounting or audit industries.