They were the first Kenyan companies to hit the billion dollar revenue mark but today they offer a study in contrasts.
While Safaricom appears to be on pace to post the largest profit in the region this year, KQ appears headed to post the worst loss.
Safaricom last week announced a Sh11.5billion pre-tax profit for the half-year ended September 30, 2012, KQ reported more than Sh6bn in pre-tax loss.
They both are in the business of connecting Kenyans to the world. Safaricom makes the bulk of its money from in-country operations (voice, MPESA) while KQ makes barely 10 per cent of its revenues from the country. It's most profitable routes are West Africa, Middle East and Europe.
While both have developed into bureaucracies, Safaricom has undergone a business restructuring while KQ's idea of restructuring has been to lay off workers. The top suites have not been changed and business seems to continue as usual.