Dar es Salaam. The Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies Awards survey has been cited as an important initiative by Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL).
The project has seen some of the participating companies growing and venturing into foreign markets and also getting to understand the importance of paying taxes in full and on time based on their audited and certified annual reports.
This is according to the MCL managing director (MD), Mr Francis Nanai, who emphasised the fact that MCL was proud to be one of the event’s organisers, which helped companies to grow and prosper as a matter of course.
Elaborating, Mr Nanai said it was with great pleasure that he recently met with officials of one of the award’s winners, Kipipa Millers, who won it two years in a row.
During the meeting, the MCL chief said he came to understand that the owner of Kipipa Millers, Ms Oliva Matemu, had grown her company to the extent that it had ventured into foreign markets. In that regard, the company now sells its products in both the domestic and export markets, including Rwanda and Burundi within the East African Community (EAC).
“Oliva was one of our better candidates who won the Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies Awards two times in a row. She has a milling business in Mwanza Region, and when we met recently she told me of her success. MCL is truly proud to have nurtured her business – and, thus, given her a chance to excel in her business,” said Mr Nanai.
During their brief meeting, Oliva proudly informed the MCL chief that after starting to participate in the annual survey, she has been taking advantage of the Top 100 logo, using it in her business. This accords the business recognition as a fully-fledged enterprise that enables her, not only to secure loans more easily, but also popularity at both the local and international levels.
Mr Nanai also revealed MCL’s immense pride for Advent Construction Company’s performance. The company participated in the Top 100 Survey as one of the candidates contesting for the Award.
“In due course, it has become a valuable sponsor of the event.
“All in all, we are proud of all our candidates – especially as we see them grow from strength to strength,” he said.
He noted that MCL has been collaborating with KPMG to organise the event, which has been largely successful. Mr Nanai said: “The main aim is to identify mid-sized companies across Tanzania and promote them within the business community. We also give them the Top 100 logo to use in their dealings – something that has helped them to become successful in business, as well as make it easier for them to access loans.”
The Top 100 event sensitises participating businesses on the importance of having a functional leadership structure, being transparent, and having annual audited records. All the foregoing is good for business, he said.
However, a majority of the participating companies are not listed at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) because they start with a small capital. Most of them are owned by families who avoid venturing into the bourse for fear that their controlling shares would be diluted by new shareholders who are not family members.
He also noted that the mission to educate businesses on the importance of transparent operations, having audited records and paid taxes in full and on time, is not an easy task. But, the task must be done and, little by little, the companies understand the need for these ideal operating standards.
“There is a need to make the business community aware of the benefits of listing with the stock exchange. These include accessing finance without necessarily having to go to the banks, and entering into partnerships with local and foreign investors to enable the companies to grow,” Mr Nanai explained.
He noted that the Top 100 programme had been a good catalyst in ensuring that companies adhered to business ethics by conducting trade professionally. This will aid them in winning the prestigious Top 100 Mid-Sized Companies Award, he added.
However, the MCL chief cautioned that there was a need to expand the scope of businesses wishing to participate in the survey. Currently, intending participants are required to have a capital base of not less than Sh1 billion, and not more than Sh20 billion.
In this regard, Mr Nanai said, there is a pressing need to reduce the capital base criterion so as to allow more companies to participate. If nothing else, this would help more businesses to understand trade semantics and grow from one level to another.
In another development, the MCL boss said the government’s development agenda for Tanzania to become a semi-industrialised, middle-income economy by 2025 needed the support of farmers in the country.
According to him, 70 per cent of the Tanzanian population were farmers who needed to be brought on board the ‘Top 100’ initiative through their products that were needed as raw materials in the industrialisation drive.
“At the moment when the industrial drive is yet to take off, the government should help farmers to fully access both local and foreign markets so that when industrialisation develops sufficient momentum, they would then be in a better position to produce quality products in sufficient quantities to feed the domestic industries.
Finally, Mr Nanai informed the general public to expect better things in this year’s Top 100 Survey.
Furthermore, this time round, the event will be aired not only via the traditional mass media platforms, but also via social networks, including Instagram and Twitter – thereby giving the general public more avenues to participate directly.