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Success is like music to his ears

Posted by Administrator on January 8, 2012

Bernsoft CEO Bernard Kioko at the company’s research and development lab in Nairobi. DIANA NGILA

Bernsoft CEO Bernard Kioko at the company’s research and development lab in Nairobi. DIANA NGILA

In Summary

Age: 35 Company: Bernsoft Interactive

Marital status: Married

Number of children: None

Educational qualification: Pursuing a degree in IT

What he drives: Nissan X-Trail

Favourite gadgets: Six laptops, two iPads and many other gizmos

Major achievement: Interactive SMS service that connected radio and television stations with their listeners and viewers

Unique attribute: He started his company while he was still a secondary school student

Bernard Kioko is what you would call a software guru. He founded his company, Bernsoft Interactive, back in 1992 while still a student at Starehe Boys Centre, but his claim to fame could be the fact that he owns six laptops, two iPads, an iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy and eh… a host of other tech gadgets.  Nine years after he founded his company, Bernsoft developed the first SMS Software that enabled Capital FM to receive SMSs on a computer.

The technology was quickly deployed in almost all radio stations and went on to power the BIG QUESTION interactive poll of viewers on KTN as well as the VIEWERS’ COMMENT on NTV.

In 2005, in partnership with Uchumi Supermarkets, Bernsoft made it possible for Kenyans to download music under a project named mymusic, which was in partnership with EasyFM (then Nation FM).

A year later, in partnership with East African Safari, Bernsoft rolled out the first electronic ticketing system, enabling over 250 travel agents to sell air tickets online. Today, Bernsoft Group has investments in travel, music, movie production and telecommunications and is also operational in the United Kingdom.

Its latest initiative has seen the company create a system named BestNgoma.com, which enables Kenyan artistes to sell music online and track their sales in real time.


Tell us something about the Internet that we don’t already know? The first cyber café in Kenya was on Koinange Street. I am proud to have worked there! Did you also know Netscape Navigator was the first Internet browsing software available in Kenya?

What did you do over the festive season that doesn’t befit a CEO?

(Grins) Most CEOs take a vacation over the festive season and I have done this previously.

However, this year, I stayed indoors and was at work even on January 1. I am still unable to believe this myself, but I also had a great time working to achieve a personal deadline I had set.

So you are saying you stayed sober throughout the festivities because that would be, uhm, different?

I drank once, a Johnny Walker, Black Label.  However, my regular drink is Martel. I like it because it seems to have no hangover effect on me.

What was the last place you travelled to and why? The last visit was to South Africa. I had to attend the Channel O music awards as well as attend several business meetings. We are also opening a Bernsoft office in South Africa so I had a bit of work to do.

The IT crowd is known for long hours and disheveled personalities. What quirky thing do you do that is unique to your profession? Sometimes I work nonstop for 48 hours and then I head out for a drink!

You want to have a bite, where do you head out?

I like different places for different reasons. I hang out a lot at Galileos for my clubbing. Galileos recently won an award as the best overnight club. When I want to be in the city centre, I hang out at the new Tribeka. I go to the Carnivore  every now and then. Then again, I am an IT person, we dine with our laptops!

What car do you drive and why do you like it?

I drive a Nissan X-Trail. It’s a reasonably affordable on-road/off road car with very low maintenance requirements in my view. Also, I’m not really a fan of cars. Although I am extremely in love with technology gadgets, cars haven’t really made it to my list.

So, then what is the coolest gadget you have ever owned?

I am a gadgets person… and this question leaves me very confused… I have all kinds of gadgets and I purchase them as soon as they come out. I have a 19-inch Laptop with full HD, Latest Mac Book Pro, iPad 1 and 2, Galaxy Tab, iPhone 4, HTC Desire, Chacha, DSTV Walka, Mobile/Solar charge that can charge almost anything, Blackberry Bold Torch, 27-inch iMac. Oh, and I should mention that I have over six laptops.

Yes, all mine. Personal! I am currently playing around with a device that enables me to programme TV interactivity to another level. I hope Kenyans will experience this on their TV screens soon.

What do you spend most on?

Gadgets. I love gadgets and I specifically love that I can work around adding value to gadgets. My love for gadgets, however, has turned to be the most expensive.

Are you a twit and what was the last thing you twitted?

On a personal level, I hardly use social media. I tweet and update my Facebook profile once in a while. Bernsoft, however, is a digital agency for several companies and we have a team dedicated to Twitter and Facebook providing services to companies.

Shock us with some pearl of wisdom to carry us through this year?

People don’t change no matter how much time and space. 2012 you will be the same! I think one should build on who one is already.

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Success+is+like+music+to+his+ears+/-/1248928/1300536/-/tq5olj/-/index.html


One Response to “Success is like music to his ears”

  1. Kigondu said

    That crap, is it that important to mention the earthy good he has and what for

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