Top 10 Biggest Companies in Kenya 2023

The Kenyan economy has experienced significant growth, positioning it as one of the leading economies in East Africa in terms of GDP. As a result, numerous companies from around the world have chosen Kenya as a base to leverage the abundant opportunities in the thriving market. This article provides an overview of the biggest companies in Kenya based on their size, influence, and economic impact. Here are the ten largest companies in Kenya:

1. Safaricom Limited:

Safaricom is the leading mobile network operator in Kenya. It was one of the first mobile network operators to establish a presence in the country, revolutionizing mobile phone usage for Kenyans.

Founded in 1993 as a department of the Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation, Safaricom has been led by three CEOs: Michael Joseph, the late Bob Collymore, and currently Peter Ndegwa.

The company’s headquarters is located in Westlands, Nairobi, with branches across urban centers nationwide. Safaricom has over 5,000 employees and approximately 29.5 million subscribers. In 2019, Safaricom reported a net profit of Ksh. 63.4 billion and M-Pesa revenue of Ksh. 74 billion.

2. East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL):

EABL is a prominent company in Kenya and one of the oldest, founded in 1922. Over the decades, it has experienced exponential growth.

EABL specializes in the production of beer, spirits, and non-alcoholic drinks, with its leading brand being Tusker.

The company also contracts farmers for barley cultivation, paying a total of Ksh. 1.2 billion. EABL has branches not only in Kenya but also in Tanzania, Uganda, and South Sudan. In 2019, EABL recorded a profit of Ksh. 11.5 billion after tax.

3. Equity Bank:

Equity Bank is a significant financial provider and investment bank in Kenya. With 173 branches nationwide, including 38 branches in Nairobi alone, Equity Bank was founded in October 1984 as an Equity Building Society.

Its primary objective has always been to finance customers in the low-income bracket. Under the leadership of CEO James Mwangi, Equity Bank has achieved remarkable success, garnering recognition locally and internationally.

In the first half of 2019, Equity Bank posted a profit of Ksh. 12 billion, reflecting a 9% increase from the previous year.

4. Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB):

Kenya Commercial Bank is another major financial institution headquartered in Nairobi. It was initially established in 1896 as a branch of the National Bank of India in Mombasa and later became majority-owned by the Kenyan government.

In 1970, the bank was renamed Kenya Commercial Bank Group after the government took over ownership.

KCB offers a range of services such as loans, mortgages, and savings for individuals and corporates. It boasts a network of 250 branches in Kenya.

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5. Co-operative Bank of Kenya:

The Co-operative Bank of Kenya is a commercial bank that has a significant presence throughout the country.

It was registered under the Co-operative Societies Act in 1965 and began operating in 2008 under the Company Act. The bank runs three subsidiaries: Kingdom Securities Limited, Co-op Trust Investment Services Limited, and Insurance Agency Limited.

In the first half of 2019, the Co-operative Bank recorded a profit of Ksh. 10.44 billion.

6. Kenya Airways Limited:

Kenya Airways is the leading airline in Kenya, founded in 1977. The airline is jointly owned by public and private entities, with the Kenyan government holding the largest share. Its headquarters are situated at Jomo Kenyatta Airport, from where it operates flights to more African countries than any other airline.

7. British American Tobacco Kenya Limited (BAT): BAT is the largest company in Kenya engaged in the manufacturing of cigarettes for both domestic and export markets.

It has been operating in Kenya since 1907 and has experienced significant growth, becoming a leader in the cigarette manufacturing industry.

8. Standard Chartered Kenya:

Standard Chartered Kenya is a licensed financial institution regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya. It is a subsidiary of a British multinational financial company and is known for organizing the Stanchart Marathon annually.

Being the oldest financial institution in Kenya, it was established in 1911 and currently operates 32 branches across the country.

9. Bamburi Cement:

Bamburi Cement is a major player in the cement industry in Kenya. Established in 1951 and commencing operations in 1954, the company is headquartered in Nairobi.

Bamburi Cement is located in the limestone-rich coastal region and produces high-quality cement for export to various countries. It employs over 800 people and serves clients in Africa, including Comoros, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Congo, and Seychelles.

10. Absa Bank

Barclays Bank, which recently rebranded as Absa Bank, has been providing financial services in Kenya for over a century. It has grown to operate 120 branches and 234 ATMs across the country.

Apart from traditional banking services, Barclays Bank offers mobile banking and a 24/7 call center to enhance customer satisfaction.

The bank’s services include credit cards, personal banking, corporate banking, investment banking, wealth management, and investment management.

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