A Visit to Craft Silicon

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!

The Craft Silicon Campus

The Craft Silicon Campus

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..

Craft Silicon From Another Angle

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!)

The Swimming Pool.. I love swimming! That's the coffee bar in the background

Here’s a picture of the interior of the coffee bar.

The Coffee bar. The staff kindly let me take a pic of them.

All in all, it was a fun visit, and if any of you want to work at CS, check out their careers page.

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9 Responses to A Visit to Craft Silicon

  1. Newton says:

    I would also love to see if people really drink during office hours!

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  2. newbie says:

    Hey Savvy………this is weird. I read your blog though i never comment, we went to same campus huko juja boys and since your more techie than me(i can’t program to save my life) but there is a particular course im interested in 4 my masters Information Systems Management. I have tried to look 4 info about it but i’ m not satisfied with what i get. I would like to go data/information way. I know ur busy but any help in this sector nitashukuru. Thanks

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    • Anonymous says:

      the question is, what kind of information are you looking for… where the course is offered, course contents/structure, fees or? I would recommend checking out the local universities’ websites or start with the university you want to attend first. Then look to see if they offer the masters program and if they do, requirements etc. They may be different depending on the university.

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  3. this is a very innovative firm in kenya, i hope other players will follow the same principles .its presences in 40 countries in 10 years of operations is enviable,not even ibm attained that in the first 20 years of its operations.

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