Jyoti Mukherjee on founding Africa’s foremost ICT company and succeeding as a techpreneur
- StartUp Africa
- Start Ups & Companies
“From my earliest days of starting Software Technologies Limited 29 years back and building STL into one of the largest and most successful software companies in East Africa, I have realized that
“From my earliest days of starting Software Technologies Limited 29 years back and building STL into one of the largest and most successful software companies in East Africa, I have realized that success is down to six key attributes; planning, focus, self-belief, a positive attitude, love for those around you and working tirelessly and patiently.” Jyoti Mukherjee
Entrepreneur, trendsetter, technocrat and nurturer
Jyoti Mukherjee founded Software Technologies Limited in 1991. As the Group CEO, she has paved the way for the company’s continuous growth.
Jyoti was born in India and her much-loved father, Laxmichand Kinger was a freedom fighter alongside Mahatma Gandhi. She picked up her core values from him and started to develop her understanding of the foundations of success. She learnt the philosophy of ‘Simple Living, High Thinking’ and working persistently to reach your goals. These values have been at the forefront of every aspect of her life.
Women in Technology:
Jyoti says, “As a woman in Africa, when you start or try to do something big, there is a perception that you must be a daughter or wife of an influential person. I believe women are not weaker and God did not give us male or female brains. You can be either a strong person or a weak person. My experiences, family and our STL team have helped make me a strong person. After working long enough with confidence in world of diversity, gender profiling is never my fad.”
Business is all about taking risks. “You start business with a risk, you continue business with a risk and you shut down with a risk,” she notes.
When all other ICT vendors were happy making money from third party products, Jyoti took the risk of designing and developing STL’s own IP. When Kenya was still not accepted in the global market, Jyoti took the risk of marketing beyond East Africa. When large multinational companies entered East African market, Jyoti stood by to compete with them. In 2010 when Cloud computing was still a concept discussed in many forums, STL had already deployed their solutions (eBoard) on cloud with SaaS service.
Today, STL continues to come up with innovative solutions to make its space known in the market.
ICT has been and continues to be a dynamic service in Africa. Players from every foreign country, briefcase players, lack of government policies and lack of SME finance have been the biggest obstacles for growth. However, STL has come up strongly crossing these hurdles organically growing year by year, embracing good governance and adhering to process orientation.
Today, STL is ISO 27001 certified and follows CMMI processes with high level information security to deploy its solutions on cloud.
New Horizons in Software:
For over 29 years, STL has provided innovative software solutions, world class consultancy, support and education services. It currently serves over 200 customers across various industry sectors. Its clients include some of the largest enterprises and public sector players in the region.
The Company is headquartered in Kenya and has a reseller network throughout Africa. It currently has a team of consultants and engineers servicing customers across Africa and beyond.
STL focuses on providing customers with software solutions specializing in the areas of People, Processes and Governance. The dynamic business solutions include Human Resource Management System (HRMS), Effective Board Management Solution and Contract Management System among others.
“Our eBoard solution helps board members to access detailed information relating to the Board activity of the company. We have rolled this out to hundreds of boards and I have been privileged to coach some of Africa’s most experienced board members on how technology can help them improve corporate governance and increase transparency,” explains the executive.
STL has an education affiliate, the Institute of Software Technologies Ltd (IST) that provides training services to corporate clients and students in Information Security, Databases, Block-chain, Cloud computing, Python, Java and many more.
Jyoti says, “Surviving 29 years in the software industry is a challenge and you have to constantly innovate to maintain your market position. My current focus is to listen intently to customers and nurture my team. I want to continue expanding the horizons of STL and earn Kenya the recognition that local ICT companies can offer and develop quality IT solutions for the international market.”
Through IST, Jyoti and her husband, Sanjiv, have invested heavily in sustainable skill-development in underprivileged or disenfranchised communities. IST offers several scholarship programs to the less fortunate members of society, giving them a chance to enhance their careers and subsequently better the livelihoods of those around them. Over 2,000 graduates and school leavers have benefited from scholarships from the institution.
Jyoti strongly believes in giving back in terms of educating youth.
“I am inspired by new technologies and people who make new contributions to add value to society. Helping young people to grow into their potential is one of the most inspiring aspects of my life. Some of them have gone on to work for big international companies and it makes me happy to know that I played a role in their success. My mission is to adopt new technologies and continuously sharpen peoples’ skills to help build strong communities in Africa.”