In Summary

Azam Media is changing its approach in its involvement with the Tanzania Mid-Sized Companies Survey this year.

Instead of participating only through live broadcasts as it has been doing for the past four years, the Pay-TV company will, among other issues, be conducting documentaries on individual companies by showing their journeys since they were established

Dar es Salaam. Azam Media subscribers can expect much more as the Pay-TV company plans to change approach in its involvement with this year’s Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Survey.

Company’s chief executive officer Tido Mhando told The Citizen that the firm would shift from the ‘business as usual’ approach and offer its subscribers innovative products to make the event truly memorable.

While Azam Media has been participating in the event through live broadcasts for the past four years, Mr Mhando said subscribers should this time round expect new products from the company. Among them will be documentaries on individual companies showing their journey since they were established to the day they decided to participate in Top 100 Mid-size Companies surveys.

He said the decision was reached after the company agreed during an internal meeting that there was a need for more active involvement in the event by Azam Limited. This would entail interviews with the top winners and other participants which would result in more comprehensive documentaries.

“Azam has been a partner in (the surveys) for the past four years; but we were not very active – mostly airing only the final activity. However, after last year’s event, we met as a company and decided that there was a need to have a one-on-one with the participating firms, thus enabling us to prepare a documentary on their profiles aimed at highlighting their entire journey to the final achievement,” Mr Mhando said.

Noting that the decision was reached after the company’s management evaluated the programs aired on the Top 100 project, Mr Mhando said they discovered that they had high feedback from the public clearly indicating that it was among the highly-viewed programs – with people wanting to learn more from the candidate companies.

“It is one of our most viewed local programs, as our weekly evaluation of the program has proved this,” he said.

The Top 100 Mid-size Companies Survey was initiated by the Nation Media Group (NMG), and is organised in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda on an annual basis. In the event, Tanzania has been improving its presentation to a point that more businesses are clambering aboard the bandwagon as candidates join every succeeding year.

“The annual project is among the programmes that are looked to with such great anticipation by the general public and prospective candidate companies that they can hardly wait to which of the participating companies had improved in business, as well as which would emerge winners,” he said.

Further noting that the Top 100 Mid-size Companies Survey was a good project that aimed to build the capacity of midsized companies, Mr Mhando said that some of the companies were still struggling to achieve success… But, most of them were failing to succeed because they were not well-versed with the right business management, including the importance of audited financial reports and legal structures, among other criteria.

In view of this, he said, the survey helps to nurture the companies by pointing them in the right direction in order for the businesses to realise their worth.

Indeed, midsized companies play a pivotal role in the country’s economy and, as such, they should be nurtured in order to help the government realize its goal of becoming a semi-industrialized, middle-income economy in terms of the National Development Vision-2025.

However, the project is huge requiring lots of preparations which entail encouraging eligible companies to participate in the Survey; deciding which company should be declared the overall winner; identifying sponsors – and, most importantly: encouraging companies that were reluctant to join for fear of their company records being made public to take the plunge.

Despite the challenges, Mr Mhando nonetheless called upon the survey organisers and sponsors to continue the good work, never losing heart.

In that regard, he stressed the needed to continue with the project because it helps to identify the best companies as candidates, and nurtures them into becoming full-fledged businesses when they might otherwise have not made it.

According to the Azam chief, the Top 100 Mid-size Companies Survey is an effective agent of change, transforming businesses from how they had been operated in the past into prosperous, profit-making and sustainable businesses.

He further said that the survey organisers have excelled in the project. This is in view of the fact that – throughout its eight years of existence since it was inaugurated in 2011 – there has never been a single complaint from the candidate companies regarding the way the survey was conducted, or how the winner was determined.

He nonetheless noted that there is a dire need for changes that would include innovation to encourage more candidates to participate.

Mr Mhando has been an ardent supporter of the Tanzania Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Survey, largely because he believes the event has what it takes to help Tanzanian businesses to get smarter, shaping themselves into more professionally operated and, eventually, effectively grapple with global competition starting with East African regional cluster and further afield.

He is of the view that, apart from being a healthy platform for exercising corporate social responsibility, the survey also stands as a perfect networking forum that engages the Tanzanian business community with fellow businesses that are fast-growing and high-flying.

One of the key reasons why MCL and KPMG decided to establish the Tanzania Top 100 Mid-sized Companies Survey was to contribute to sensitizing businesses to observe professionalism, and to develop greater self-confidence.

The survey encourages more investments with organized funds control while improving the capacity to access bank loans and healthy business partnerships – as well as positive behavioural change towards aggressive penetration of international markets.