A chat with 5 Kenyan CEOs on what will Keep them awake at night in 2018

Being the Chief Executive Officer of a company is not an easy task as there are many things to be kept in mind. Of the many things, leading your team is always the number one priority. Other than this, a CEO needs to set certain goals that will help a company stay ahead of the competition.

2017 was arguably one of the most difficult years for the country’s business community mainly because of the long electioneering period.

Five CEOs leading some of the largest companies in the region gave their viewpoints on what to expect in 2018 going forward.

  1. Ronald Ndegwa, Managing Director Savannah Cement

“The year 2018 promises to be a very promising year for players in the building and construction sector. We have seen good recovery in the last quarter of 2017 which underpins our corporate optimism. The government’s focus on the big four development agenda particularly on the manufacturing sector is already giving us confidence that the year 2018 will act as a Launchpad for accelerated mid-term growth. Already incentives such as the 50% power tariffs slash for night term production are providing us with the necessary impetus to anticipate growth. At Savannah Cement, we welcome the tariff reduction among other incentives as it will reduce cost of production and make us more competitive in East Africa region moving forward. We are already exploring capacity enhancement programmes to enable us meet forecasted growth and demand. We are also excited at the development pace on a key project such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Second phase to which we are supplying quality cement products. In the first SGR Phase, Savannah Cement products were used for concrete works on the Makindu-Kambu section, Emali Section and at the Nairobi Terminus (Syokimau Station) architectural masterpiece. In the second phase, Savannah Cement Products will also be used at several construction points including the Embulbul Tunnel which is a first of a kind civil engineering masterpiece in sub-Sahara Africa.”

  1. Mugo Kibati, Group CEO Sanlam Kenya

“The year 2017 has been a momentous year for Sanlam Kenya. We have managed to make good progress on our efforts to integrate and unify all our businesses under one brand to afford our clients convenience in solutions and services. We also managed to undertake changes on our distribution model for the life business and even added a feather in our cap by retaining exceptional human capital to accelerate our growth. Looking ahead, the year 2018 for Sanlam Kenya provides a very good platform for business growth. We are in the midst of our corporate strategy rollout and with it a good opportunity to consolidate the gains we have achieved this far following our recent rebranding exercise. That said, we shall be expending significant energy and resources in market and demand creation efforts for our range of non-bank financial services. Among other efforts, this will involve financial literacy efforts as part of our commitment to nurture a savings culture in this market. The year 2018, will also see us moving to our new home at the Sanlam Tower, along Waiyaki Way.”

  1. Margaret Mbaka, Managing Director Dalbit Petroleum

“At Dalbit Petroleum, we are looking forward to a productive 2018; fueling regional growth. The year promises to be a good one with renewed economic confidence in the local and regional markets. The anticipated political stability and improving economic policies in the region point to a business-friendly environment that will facilitate growth. Having recently made significant investments in our infrastructure, we are looking forward to a more efficient operation in all our markets from Kenya, Tanzania, DRC, South Sudan and Zambia.”

  1. Dr. Anastasia Nyalita, Chairperson Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry

“The local pharmaceutical industry is looking forward to a bright 2018 with an opportunity to expand our contribution to national good. The government’s focus on Universal health coverage is a welcome development that will help scale up effective access to healthcare services including quality pharmaceutical products. At KAPI, we are committing to play a key role in advancing and supporting the government commitments through the stringent application of our code of practice and technical partnerships.”

  1. Dan Githua, Group CEO Tusker Mattresses

“The year 2017 has been quite rough for the retail sector with many ups and downs. The resilience of the formal retail sector has been severally tested. However, I am optimistic that 2018 will provide a rebirth moment for the sector with bright prospects ahead. Going by the positive performance already registered this festive season, we are looking forward to even better performance through the year fueled by renewed economic confidence and reduced political uncertainty. We are happy with government clarity in terms of the four areas of focus, for the next year. On of the focus areas is manafacturing. As supermarkets, we provide organized market for manufacturing sector. Manufacturing gets strong when retail is strong, thats why we are asking government policy makers to continue giving support to local retailers in 2018”