Safaricom returned to Fortune’s global Change the World ranking after a two year absence but slotted in 19th position despite topping the list in 2015. The giant telco, alongside UK partners Vodafone, was recognised by the American magazine’s ranking of top 50 companies in the world for the second time in the ranking’s four year history.
[The full list of companies in the Fortune 2018 Change the World appears at the end of the article].
Money transfer innovation M-Pesa propelled Safaricom and Vodafone to the list, with Fortune noting the mobile money sevice now claims more than 30 million customers in 10 countries, mostly in remote areas far from banks.
Fortune wrote on their website,“More than 8 million of those users are in India, where state governments are employing M-Pesa to pay pensions to rural retirees, eliminating the delays and crime risks that come with shipping cash.”
This is the third time M-Pesa is making it onto the list, having propelled Safaricom and Vodafone to top spot in the first ever Fortune Change the World list in 2015. (Fortune is known for its other company ranking, the Fortune 500 list).
As reported by CBS News at the time, Safaricom/Vodafone led ahead of American tech company Google and Japanese car manufacturer Toyota.
In the inaugural list, two other Kenyan companies also made the Top 50. Solar power electricity provider M-Kopa ranked at 27th while Equity Bank slotted in at 32nd.
The three Kenyan companies all dropped out in 2016, but last year M-Pesa made a comeback. Although Safaricom was not listed in 2017, Vodafone ranked 16th on the basis of M-Pesa.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore was elated at the giant telco’s return to the list of companies making an impact in the world. ““It is indeed a great achievement for us to be recognized alongside global firms that are making a remarkable difference in the society.”
A press statement from the telco firm said Safaricom had been recognized as one of the companies that is tackling public health, environmental, economic and other society challenges as part of its every day operations.
The M-Pesa platform is impacting millions of people’s lives, Safaricom added. “We believe that it is our role to bring products and services that will be innovative enough to address the day to day economic and social issues in our society,” Collymore said.
With an estimated value of Ksh1.13 trillion, Safaricom ranks ahead of Apple (24th) which recently achieved a Ksh100 trillion valuation.
Other major companies that rank behind Safaricom are Toyota (31st), Microsoft (39th) and Adidas (47th).
Inidan telco Reliance Jio is ranked first, while Alphabet (Google) is at 12th with last year’s top company JP Morgan Chase sliding to 18th, one spot ahead of Safaricom.
The Fortune Change the World list recognizes companies that have had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy.
Fortune prioritizes companies with annual revenues of Ksh100 billion or more, then evaluates and rank the companies based on Measurable Social Impact, Business Results, Degree of Innovation, and Corporate Integration.
The Full List
1. Reliance Jio (India) – Telecommunications
2. Merck (US) – Pharmaceuticals
3. Bank of America (US) – Commercial Banks
4. Inditex Specialty (Spain) – Retailers
5. Alibaba Group (China) – Internet Services & Retailing
6. Kroger (US) – Food & Drug Stores
7. Xylem (US) – Industrial Machinery
8. ABB (Switzerland) – Industrial Machinery
9. Weight Watchers International (US) – Business Services
10. Hughes Network Systems (US) – Network & Other Communications
11. Danone (France) – Food Consumer Products
12. Alphabet (US) – Internet Services & Retailing
13. Wesfarmers (Australia) – Food & Drug Stores
14. Braskem (Brazil) – Chemicals
15. Intel (US) – Semiconductors
16. Walmart (US) – General Merchandisers
17. VMware (US) – Computer Software
18. JP Morgan Chase (US) – Commercial Banks
19. Safaricom/Vodafone (Kenya/UK) – Telecommunications
20. Johnson & Johnson (US) – Pharmaceuticals
21. NextEra Energy (US) – Utilities
22. Humana (US) – Health Care: Insurance & Managed Care
23. Mahindra & Mahindra (India) – Motor Vehicles & Parts
24. Apple (US) – Computers, Office Equipment
25. Stryker (US) – Medical Products & Equipment
26. DSM (Netherlands) – Chemicals
27. Salesforce (US) – Computer Software
28. Enel (Italy) – Utilities
29. Henry Schein (US) – Wholesalers: Health Care
30. Johnson Controls International (Ireland) – Industrial Machinery
31. Toyota Motor (Japan) – Motor Vehicles & Parts
32. TE Connectivity (US) – Electronics
33. Bidvest Group (South Africa) – Conglomerate
34. Prudential Financial (US) – Insurance: Life & Health
35. 99 Cents Only Stores (US) – Specialty Retailers
36. Grab (Singapore) – Computer Software
37. Levi Strauss (US) – Apparel
38. Natura Cosmeticos (Brazil) – Household & Personal Products
39. Microsoft (US) – Computer Software
40. Bank Rakyat Indonesia (Indonesia) – Commercial Banks
41. Allstate (US) – Insurance: Property & Casualty
42. Barclays (UK) – Commercial Banks
43. Cisco Systems (US) – Network & Other Communications
44. Tyson Foods (US) – Food Production
45. JD.com (China) – Internet Services & Retailing
46. Hilton (US) – Hotels, Casinos, Resorts
47. Adidas (Germany) – Apparel
48. PayPal (US) – Financial Data Services
49. Siemens (Germany) – Industrial Machinery
50. McDonald’s (US) – Food Services
51. Telenor Group (Norway) – Telecommunications
52. Deloitte (UK) – Business Services
53. Didi Chuxing (China) – Computer Software
54. Abbott Laboratories (US) – Medical Products & Equipment
55. Gap (US) – Specialty Retailers
56. Banco Santander (Spain) – Commercial Banks
57. PepsiCo (US) – Food Consumer Products