This past Friday, we took time off our busy schedule and got into the Strathmore bus to visit the Craft Silicon Campus. Craft Silicon is said to be the biggest Kenyan IT company. Started over 10 years by the CEO Kamal, they now export software to over 40 countries, mostly Asia, Middle East and some countries in Europe/Africa. (P.S. I was trying to look for Kamal’s second name, and when I checked out their About us–>Management, it is under construction! Let’s check it next week and see if that’s the situation! Hmm.. anyway, Google tells me it’s Budhabatti.)
Craft Silicon’s core business is providing software solutions for the banking industry. These include banks, micro-finance institutions etc.
Kamal visited us one time at Strathmore and talked to us about his company.. that’s a story for another day though. He’s a simple guy who doesn’t like dressing up. He told us how the work-place at Craft Silicon is ideal for developers.. the set-up sounded like what Google offices offer. He said how you can even drink at work as long as you deliver (I don’t know if he was joking at this part.. said you can even find beer bottles lying around!). There’s a gym, a basketball court, etc. It’s a free space where you can come in at any time and leave at any time as long as your work is done.
Then he told us we could go visit any time.. we made arrangements, and on Friday, landed at the Craft Silicon Campus. I was impressed.
Situated in Westlands, just near Deloitte, the campus has one big glass building, a parking lot full of cars (every developer there drives?), and a separate building that has a gym. There’s the basketball court and swimming pool. Next to the pool is a coffee bar that looked cozy especially in the current cold Nairobi weather!
Kamal welcomed into a large meeting room, then gave a short presentation about his company and what they do. He then talked about ELMA, which I will blog about later. In short, it’s a mobile application that does almost everything.. from banking transactions to payment of bills to news updates. Download it on your phone from here
We were then given a tour of the place. The first floor is where developers do their thing, the second floor is for non-tech staff and the third (and topmost) floor has an eating space and a kitchen. It’s a very spacious place..
The place was very quiet though. We didn’t get to see the techies at work typing away. They must be very disciplined or the work environment is not as free as touted.. I’m believing it’s the latter. The whole time we were there, we hardly saw anyone walk around, shoot a basketball, or swim (ha, not with the cold weather! We should visit on a sunny day!)
Here’s a picture of the interior of the coffee bar.
All in all, it was a fun visit, and if any of you want to work at CS, check out their careers page.