Twelve companies received awards at the annual Top Company Survey awards, held virtually last week. The prestigious awards, powered by Old Mutual Zimbabwe, defied all odds following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The awards ran under the theme "From surviving to thriving: reimagining business after the pandemic", as Zimbabwe's companies are shifting to reach new heights despite the unpredictable environment. The awards celebrated companies that have elected not only to survive, but to seize current adverse conditions to reshape mindsets and behaviours, embracing the opportunity to innovate fresh solutions and make bold bets that spur growth.
The Top Company Survey recognises companies that are listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, as well as in the banking and insurance sectors. The survey considers a range of quantitative and qualitative aspects in order to determine and award the winning companies. In 2020, an entirely new evaluation model was created, that is adjusted in line with the hyperinflationary environment. The model was put to the test this year, and it demonstrated its resilience, robustness and functionality. Additionally, the insurance sector and banking sector models were adjusted in order to increase their relevance to the operating environment, enhance quality and increase objectivity of results.
Samuel Matsekete, Group CEO of Old Mutual Zimbabwe reinforced the significance of the theme and the impact of Covid-19 on the business environment. "We all appreciate the difficulties and abnormalities that have been created by Covid-19. We are in a third wave, which has brought with it new vicissitudes and created uncertainties in the markets," he said.
Referring to the adage "nothing is constant except change", Mr Matsekete said that threats to the endeavours of businesses are more real and more pronounced under the conditions such as those induced by Covid-19. More and more, businesses need to make increasingly difficult decisions faster, under conditions that are extremely volatile, uncertain, and often with less information. "Change is a constant and we cannot escape it. In a way, crises are adrenaline for innovation. Present and future times demand that our mindset truly embraces fast change so that these constraints feed the creativity in us. Necessity and urgency unleash in us the ideas and innovations to dissipate inertia and to spur us on," said Mr Matsekete.
By solving challenges, striving to make lives easier, and working to make communities look and live better, businesses create value. Old Mutual believes that the value created from doing business needs to benefit wider communities, as well as customers, shareholders and other stakeholders. When business entities invite the public to participate in value creating activities, that fosters wider and inclusive economic growth. By listing on an exchange, a business exhibits even more transparently what it has to offer for the benefit of wider communities and stakeholder groups. As Old Mutual navigated through the Covid-19 pandemic, the business learned that agility is key to success. It allows the business to quickly respond to the sudden and constant changes in their customers' needs- as they also respond to the changes in our environment. Agility defines who falls and who survives in troubled waters.
Lillian Mubayiwa, Old Mutual Zimbabwe's Group Marketing and Innovation Executive, shared Old Mutual's responsible business mindset, which underpins its operations even in turbulent times. "As a responsible business, Old Mutual believes that crisis begets opportunity. The company will continue to put its best foot forward, to be creative and to find novel solutions to customers' problems. We will continue to reimagine the way we run our business, to deliver in-person experiences online and engage the customers in new ways," she said. "We have committed to do great things always, by maintaining the forward momentum to partner with institutions that share the same philosophy." While this year's awards celebrated governance, profitability and corporate social initiatives, the occasion also marked the solid and enduring relationship between Old Mutual and the Financial Gazette, as the Top Companies Survey has been running for 41 years. "Our collaboration with the Financial Gazette on the Top Companies Awards is testament to our support of customers, who have continued to achieve greatness in the face of Covid-19," Lillian Mubayiwa said.
An efficient and reputable stock exchange is anchored by companies that create real value. Old Mutual has committed to continue to play its role to support efficient and transparent financial intermediation. The company's products and services continue to adapt, to respond to the voice of the customer, and are designed to support the development of the wider economy. Old Mutual congratulates all the winners of the Top Companies Survey 2021, as well as all companies who have continued to innovate and grow in these trying times.
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