Kenya’s top company fears, strengths and strategy to stay relevant in market
Majority of Kenya’s top Chief Executive Officers are uncertain about the country’s and global economy at large due to continued global supply challenges, rising commodity prices and global inflation.
The top bosses fear that the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has driven strong inflationary pressure and could reverse the gains made from the coronavirus pandemic disruption.
They, however, remained optimistic about the growth prospects for their own companies and sectors at least for the next 12 months.
This is based on the Central Bank of Kenya’s (CBK) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) survey on top company bosses and how they see the economy headed for the remaining period of the year.
“Optimism was mainly due to improved business activity following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, continued business recovery from the effects of the pandemic and anticipated favourable weather conditions,” reads the survey.
The survey, however, sort to understand the strength of top companies with their bosses weighing in that digitization was key to drive economic growth by way of managing costs, risks and diversification.
According to the survey, firms’ top strengths have remained consistent since the inaugural Survey in March 2021.
Firms reported trusted brands and product quality, technical capabilities and skilled workforce as well as customer centricity as their top strengths.
Equally important are company values and their history/length of presence in the market
At the sector level, customer centricity and long presence in the market were significant factors for firms in the services and manufacturing sectors, while customer-centricity was a key strength for the agriculture sector firms.
The March 2022 Survey revealed continued business optimism about companies and sectoral growth prospects, largely driven by the agriculture and services sector.
This is anchored on improved business activity following the easing of the COVID-19 containment measures, coupled with continued government spending on infrastructure, and anticipated favourable weather conditions.
Top bosses say that demand and orders, production volumes, and the number of full-time employees are expected to remain at the same level for the majority of firms.
The easing of COVID-19 restrictions and continued resumption of normal operations will support growth in sales, especially for manufacturing sector firms, as firms clear up pent-up demand in the second quarter of 2022.
This even as they exhibited fear of overheated political temperatures in the country in the run-up to the August 9, 2022, general election.
“Increased political uncertainty was of greater concern for firms in the services and manufacturing sectors, while for firms in agriculture, supply chain disruptions were the greatest concern,” says the survey.