Steel wool maker wins Top 100 fete


Napro Industries Limited chief accountant Bernard Onyango Odhiambo and his wife, Leahchrista (left), celebrate after the firm clinched first position in the 2017 Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies survey on Friday night. Looking on are Industry and Trade secretary Adan Mohamed (right), Nation Media Group CEO Joe Muganda (second right) and KPMG CEO Josphat Mwaura. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Napro Industries Ltd, the maker of domestic and industrial steel wool under the Ngarisha brand, was on Friday night crowned the overall winner of the 10th edition of the annual Top 100 mid-sized companies in the country.

The firm, established in 1986, emerged tops in the Business Daily and KPMG top 100 mid-sized companies’ competition, which only featured firms that have participated in the nine previous surveys.

Polygon Logistics Ltd and North Star Cooling Systems came second and third respectively in the survey, which recognises small and mid-sized firms that have shown entrepreneurial excellence.

Ravenzo Trading Ltd, Care Chemists, Isolutions Associates, Valley Hospitals, Soloh Worldwide Inter-Enterprises, Super Broom Services and Well Told Story Ltd closed the top 10 positions this year.

Firms which are eligible to participate in the survey must, among other requirements, have an annual turnover of between Sh70 million and Sh1 billion and provide audited financial performance statements for three years.

Industry and Trade secretary Adan Mohamed, the chief guest at the gala, pledged to continue championing policies and laws that support the growth of SMEs.

“We want Kenya to be one of the most attractive places to do business regardless of the size of your business and ownership. This group of businesses probably has one of the most difficult challenges, but probably also complain the least,” Mr Mohamed said.

The 2017 survey was different from the previous nine editions because it focused on how previous participants have grown and transformed their operations in terms of revenue, profitability, jobs, geographical expansion and impact on the surrounding communities.

Some six previous Top 100 firms were awarded for outgrowing the Sh70 million-Sh1 billion annual turnover threshold after they crossed the Sh1 billion mark.

They are Alpha Fine Foods, Bonfire Adventures, Capital Airtime, Dune Packaging, Healthy U Two Thousand and Victoria Furnitures.

“We do much but it is not enough because you are the biggest employers in this country, and if we do not look after you the country cannot grow. A lot of SMEs we have today have grown tremendously,” Nation Media Group #ticker:NMG CEO Joe Muganda said.

“We have some which started small but are now trading on the continent and trading regionally every day.”

This year’s event was pushed back by a month owing to political uncertainty following the annulment of August 8 presidential poll by the Supreme Court.

KPMG East Africa CEO Josphat Mwaura said the outcome of the petitions challenging the October 26 repeat presidential poll outcome and its constitutionality will have less impact on businesses compared to the first one.

“What the (Supreme) court is doing has become business as usual. This is the spirit we preach as Top 100. We celebrate resilience. We know every one of you have gone through these challenges,” Mr Mwaura.