What were you doing in your early twenties?
I was at my first formal engagement at Symphony Group under Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT), an ICT college where I was providing computer user support.
What were you known for at university?
My early engagement at IAT offered me great exposure to technology. This made me a ‘tech guru’ amongst my peers and earned me private assignments for which I would get paid.
How did you strike a balance between your social life and studies?
I spent a good chunk of time between campus, work, and the one-off side jobs I would get. I paid my school fees, so my income was not disposable to allow me to spend it on social life. This forced me to lay emphasis on studies.
What are some of the highlights of your university days?
On my last year at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, I was dropped out after I lost my project.
In the quest to recover the lost data, I discovered the huge demand for data recovery. That unfortunate accident offered me an opportunity to set up the first and the largest data handling company in Africa today. At the moment, we are the only company offering computer forensic services and handling all computer-related crimes in Africa.
What else are you passionate about besides your job?
I have discovered my love for farming. I am convinced that mechanised farming is the next frontier. It will take mechanised farming to feed a growing population of over 40 million people in Kenya in the next 10 years.
Which of your attributes do you owe your success to?
The favour of God and sheer hard work. The Almighty has more to do with my success than anything I have put on the table. My passion for perfected outcomes fuels my commitment and diligence.
What should one focus on to be successful?
• What you are passionate about.
• What you are genetically encoded for – your talents.
• What represents your values.
• Hard work.
• Great discipline.
What does it take to start a thriving business in IT?
It takes a lot of research to look out for a niche area to offer your skills or services and curve out a market space to be amongst the best companies in the world. Having innovative staff who bring in the much-needed wealth of knowledge to offer the best solutions is an asset. Also, keeping pace with technology enhances innovativeness.
What next big thing do you want to accomplish for your business?
Listing in the NSE is on the horizon. Expanding across Africa while focusing on the social impact of the business is of great importance.
What have you learnt about entrepreneurship?
I am learning that social entrepreneurship would be more effective than entrepreneurship. It would have more impact to society and give one more fulfilment whilst still young.
Who is your role model/mentor?
Different people who do not even know each other have greatly influenced my life. My late mother has been the driving force behind me.
Your advice to that young person who admires your accomplishments?
Stay focused on what you are best at. This way, you will find more.
Most interesting book you read lately? Movie?
Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t, by Jim Collins, has had a lingering effect on my life. I have repeatedly watched John Q, starring Denzel Washington.
What do you wish you could have done differently in your youth?
I wouldn’t have gone it all alone. It would have been easier to do it with others. Today the young entrepreneurs are making the same mistake. The love for doing it all alone. To get to the next level, you’ve got to let others flock with you without being intimidated by their greatness. In a collaborative approach, great people can accommodate the greatness of others. Don’t be great by yourself because you diminish your impact and lose the protection that would come from being with other greats.
Lesson that you have learnt about money?
The effectiveness of money is dependent on where it is put. You do not need big money to do great things.