A newspaper report linking one of the country’s most successful software developers, Herman Chinery-Hesse to politics cost him clients and subsequently business, he has said without naming the publication in question.
Chinery-Hesse’s mother, Madam Mary Chinery-Hesse was an advisor to former President J. A. Kufour, and the newspaper said he was getting business because his mother was associated with the government of the day.
Mr Chinery-Hesse, Co-Founder & Chairman, SoftTribe is seen as one of the best software developers in Africa.
The man once referred to as the “Bill Gates of Africa” was speaking at a web conference in Accra. He told the conference, Web@2011 that in the beginning it was not easy for him.
He revealed that he started the business in a freight container way back in 1991.
“We started in a freight container…it wasn’t easy to get this far but nothing special,” he told the mostly young IT developers at the conference.
According to him, they had a breakthrough when they received support from Fidelity Investments.
When business was good, surprisingly, he said that he never knew that most of his clients were businessmen from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), then the ruling party.
However, he said, “when there was a change in government in 2001, I lost most of my clients.”
One interesting moment, he said was that “I was surprised when a newspaper publication carried a story saying that I was making money because my mother was an advisor to former President Kufuor not knowing how it was difficult to set up.”
He added, “After that publication, I lost two of my key clients.” And this he said was when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was in power – ironically, that was the government which his mother served.
He advised Web@2011 IT developers to take every work serious and to be creative.
His company, SoftTribe recently managed the ticketing system during the 2011 Ghana Trade Fair which was successful and has been approached by the Nigerian counterparts to the fair to manage the same ticketing system. He said negotiations are ongoing.
The SOFTtribe Limited (SOFT) is Ghana’s leading software developer based in Accra, with vast experience in the design and implementation of computerized business application systems.
SOFT has been providing cost efficient and practical business solutions to both the private and public sectors in Ghana and parts of the West African sub-region for the past 20 years.
To date SOFT has more than 200 satisfied clients and has been a recipient of the Ghana Millennium Excellence Award 2005 and a nominee in 2000.
The company has been featured on the BBC, CNN and the IEEE Magazine (of the United States) amongst others.
Herman Kojo Chinery-Hesse has won a number of personal awards including Outstanding Ghanaian Professional from the GPA Awards (UK), as well as the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Texas State Alumni Association and Texas State University-San Marcos (USA)—the first and currently only African recipient of the award.
Some members of the SOFT team are Tetteh Antonio, David Kwamena Bolton, Chris Atitsogbui and Plummer G.C. Hamilton.
By Ekow Quandzie