Seventy-five percent of Kenyans are more likely to buy products/ services from companies that went the extra mile to lend support to Kenyans during the COVID-19 period while a similar percentage will remain loyal to these companies post-Covid, a new report shows.
The report compiled by TIFA for Apex Porter Novelli’s (APN) dubbed What Kenyans expect of Companies in Times of Crisis shows that Safaricom (15%), Royal Media Services (4%), Red Cross (3%), and the World Health Organization (WHO) (1%) are perceived as institutions that put in extra effort to protect the Kenyan population during one of the most testing times in Kenyan history and hence are more likely to reap the benefits in the long term.
Another 74% of Kenyans stated that they are likely to buy shares of companies that provided “adequate” Coronavirus support while 79% of Kenyans expressed admiration for these companies stating that they would love to work for these institutions in the future.
Conversely, business leaders such as Joshua Oigara, Peter Ndegwa and Wachira Waruru may have emerged from the Covid-19 period with enhanced reputations with 71% of Kenyans stating they will remember corporate bigwigs who made telling financial and non-financial contributions during the tricky period.
APN’s research conducted between June 2 and June 15 however controversially ranks the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority -KEMSA- (1%) as one of the institutions that have left a good impression on Kenyans alongside Rivatex (1%), Ministry of Health (1%), Kikotec (1%), KEMRI (1%), KCB (1%), Equity Bank (1%), Bidco (1%).
In April KEMRI was the subject of political back and forth after Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe sacked a senior scientist without a clear explanation. The institution was back in the news in August after an exposé laid bare theft of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma and flawed tendering processes choreographed to steal public funds meant to aid Kenya’s response to the virus.
Early September, Former KEMRI CEO Jonah Manjari caused a storm when he accused Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and his Principal Secretary Susan Mochache of influencing tendering processes which led to theft of public funds through inflated tenders and dubious deals.
In May, The Ministry of Health also came under fire after official documents showed that the government had spent Ksh4 million to buy tea and snacks- wanton extravagance that could not be justified in the middle of a pandemic.
Healthcare companies (30%) are believed to have done the best job in supporting coronavirus efforts, closely followed by media (26%). telecommunications (17%), manufacturing (14%), food services (12%).
According to the report, trusted sources of information include mainstream media (83%), social media (31%), and the Ministry of Health.
“The lower mentions of social media could be attributed to low internet access as the majority live in rural areas and/or do not have access to smartphones,” the report reads.
The report also reveals that Kenyans are most concerned about the impact on the economy and personal loss of income.
“This could be attributed to the fact that many Kenyans have lost livelihoods due to job losses arising from Covid-19 mitigation efforts,” reads the report.
Concerns that Kenyans harbour with respect to COVID-19 include; economy (90%), loss of personal income (90%), closure of schools and other educational institutions, (83%) spread of coronavirus and (72%) voluntary testing for COVID-19.