In a rare business performance feat, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe last Thursday won back- to-back Top Company of the Year Awards, maintaining the top spot it won last year, at a glittering virtual event held by The Financial Gazette and Old Mutual.
The telecommunications company came out on top ahead of the rest of the other Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed companies, to win overall best performing company on the local stock exchange.
According to the 2021 Top Companies Survey, Econet was dominant in areas of earnings quality, financial health and size, social responsibility, leadership, corporate governance, and environmental and sustainability factors.
Beverages giant Delta Corporation and Simbisa Brands were first and second runners up respectively.
Econet Chief Executive Officer, Dr Douglas Mboweni could not conceal his delight at the accolade as he accepted the prestigious award.
“As an organisation we are pleasantly surprised that we have once again been awarded to the Top Position this year. And I want to express my appreciation to the Financial Gazette and Old Mutual for recognising our efforts,” he said.
“I also want to express our gratitude to God the Almighty, for it is he who has given us the capacity to be where we are today. I also want to thank our customers, without whom the business would not be in existence. As we go into the future, we have no doubt that we will continue to walk together. And as an organisation we will continue to break new ground, be innovative and come up with solutions that meet to our customers’ needs,” Dr Mboweni said. He also paid tribute to the
Econet founder and group chairman, Mr Strive Masiyiwa, for his “wisdom and counsel”, as well as to his board for its continued support.
Dr Mboweni said most businesses in Zimbabwe were battling with the twin challenges of a coronavirus pandemic and a tough operating environment, which are making it difficult for companies to thrive. However, despite these challenges Econet has found a winning formula to navigate through the choppy waters of the local business operating environment.
“As Econet we have perfected the art of execution, emanating from the 4DX strategy. The concept covers four key areas that, when combined, help leaders and teams execute business strategy. For example, when you are looking at your target, irrespective of your operating environment, you need
to understand the LEAD measures. And when you understand these measures, you become pedantic, specific and audacious in pursuing your targets.
The Top Companies Survey organizers noted that last year was undoubtedly a difficult year for most companies, but Econet’s business model emerged as the most relevant for its business interests, with the company showing itself to be a responsible corporate citizen through its social
“It should be noted that the 2020 period was made equally difficult by the quality of financial statement disclosures that were issued as almost all listed companies had ‘qualified opinions’. As such, the published results for most companies noted accounting errors in arriving at the financial standing of the companies. The adjudication process took care in picking out the relevant inputs for 2020 to minimise the shortfalls that accounting financial statements had for the survey period,” read part of the report.
It said in 2020, Econet rolled out tailored business packages to respond to the massive jump in internet, connectivity and data demands given the new normal as more people worked from home. The company managed to grow its statement of financial position size and market capitalisation
during the year and retain its dominance as a blue-chip company on the Stock Exchange.
“The consistent contributions to Zimbabwe’s pressing social needs by Econet contributed as well in its ranking towards being a Top Company for 2020. A number of these initiatives would not have been possible without leadership foresight and it is no surprise that Econet scored highly in the area
of leadership in the 2020 survey,” the survey report read.