Top 100 mid-sized survey: Building brands that go beyond borders

Monday November 23 2015

Ministry of Finance director economic affairs

Ministry of Finance director economic affairs Lawrence Kiiza (C) hands over a plaque to Mr Joel Aita , the chief executive officer Joadah Consult, and his team during the Top 100 mid-sized comapny survey awards in Kampala recently. Photo by Stephen Otage 

By ISMAIL MUSA LADU

Kampala. When the Top 100 Mid-Size Survey, a brain-child of the Nation Media Group (Monitor Publications Limited) and KPMG was launched, not even the companies that were involved then fully understood its magnitude and impact.
Seven years down the road, the number of mid-size companies voluntarily registering for the ranking is overwhelming despite the rigorous processes and scrutiny the firms are subjected to.
Speaking earlier ahead of 2015/16 Top 100 mid-size gala, Monitor Publications managing director Tony Glencross said the success of this project was based on perseverance. He said: “There will be companies that will not make it but there is always a next year.”

He also attributed a lot of the success of the project to commitment, dedications and transparency of the mid-size companies.
This year, 400 countries registered, out of which 250 were surveyed.
Of the 250, 66 per cent were fully owned by Ugandans, half of which had been in business for at least a decade. And this is not for nothing, considering that companies that would have measured up to the stiff standards in essence are as good as any other firm competing at the highest level in the region and beyond.

This is well demonstrated by the Joadah Consult, an engineering and architectural consulting firm, the overall winner of the 2015/16 top 100 mid-sized company survey.
In a speech after being pronounced the overall winners last week in Kampala, Mr Joel Aita, the company chief executive officer, said for the last three years he has been part of the survey, he has been registering progress.
Last year, the firm emerged sixth and after more hard work, his dream came to fruition this year—scooping the top honours.

And now he has his eyes set on a bigger ambition. He wants to be a member of Club 101.
This is a place for exclusive players who are above the threshold of Top 100 mid-size survey.
The firm is currently carrying out renovation and expansion works at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
In an interview with Daily Monitor recently, the head of KPMG, an audit and advisory firm, Mr Benson Ndung’u, said over the seven years, the survey has raised the game to a different level with Mr Aita being a good example, given his drive to graduate to Club 101.

According to Mr Ndung’u, the Top 100 mid-sized companies over time have improved their governance, book keeping, including tax records and importantly there has been growth in their profitability as well as resilience, given tough economic times.
Another factor that he said was evident is the fact that the companies that have gone through the survey are not only competitive but daring and are much willing to take risk, something he applauded, saying it is an ingredient for growth.

The surveyed firms also showed ability and desire to grow and expand its wing beyond the national boundaries; something some firms are already experiencing in a move Mr Ndung’u said is the essence of the Top 100 mid-size survey.
“We want you to move to another level and build a brand that transcends boundaries. And we want to walk that journey with you as we support you,” Mr Ndung’u said.
Previous winners of the Top 100 mid-size companies attest to Mr Ndung’u idea. The managing director of COSEKE, Mr Josephat Macheta, in an earlier interview said they are looking to establish presence across the EAC region before thinking of spreading their wings further than that.
He also said after being previously ranked as the overall winner of the 2014/15 Top 100 mid-size survey, the mileage of his IT firm suddenly short up and it is on the basis of this achivements that they are tempted to spread across the region.

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He said: “We are moving forward. Our visibility has increased tremendously and so is our credibility.”
However it is worth noting that growing competition has always been one of the most consistent challenges the Top 100 mid-size companies in Uganda are grappling with.
Speaking ahead of 2015/16 Top 100 mid-size gala, Mr Fred Muhumuza while presenting the major issues emanating out of the survey, said mid-size companies should not only consider competition as similar businesses next door but widen the interpretation to even natural calamities.
He said: “El-Nino rains (causing floods) can also be your competition, let alone inflation, exchange rates; lending rates, among other things, are all your competition.”

He suggested adoption of technology and creativity to be part and parcel of the business dynamics or else circumstances will force you out of the business if you’re not able to adapt to changes—some of which and most importantly, are technological in nature.
The good news, however, is that the Top 100 mid-size company survey is willing to walk the journey with the participating companies and give them the platform to build their brands beyond the borders while at the same time drill them through how to deal and stay ahead of competition or better still how to thrive amid growing competition.

The survey
The purpose of the Top 100 Survey is to identify Uganda’s fastest growing medium-sized companies with a view to showcase their business excellence and highlight their most successful entrepreneurship stories.
Participation is voluntary. Any company can participate (with the exception of banks, insurance companies, accounting /financial consulting firms) as long as it meets the following guideline:-
A turnover range of between Shs360m and Shs25b, a three year audited financial track record and is not listed on any stock exchange
The survey is co-sponsored by Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited, Insurance Company of East Africa (ICEA) group and NTV Uganda.

iladu@ug.nationmedia.com

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