From A Small Town Girl To A Cyber-Tec Owner

Samrawit Fikru was born and raised in Assela. That’s 175km far from Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. When she was very young, one day she went to a market with her mom. She saw something big, which looks like the old version of a TV.

When she comes back to her house, she asked her brother about the thing she saw in the market. He told her that, the thing she saw around the market is called ‘a computer’. He also explained to her she can write on a computer, paint pictures, send mails to others, … etc.

Since that day she keeps asking questions about computer. Her brother brought her to the cyber café. He showed her how to use the computer. He does this repeatedly until she get used to it. She completes her high school education in Assela . Samrawit joined Microlinc Information and Tecnology College in Addis Ababa. She got her diploma in software engineering. Later, she has got her degree in computer science from HILCOE.

She was employed as sales manager at a music store. That store was large and had too many music albums.  When customers came and ask for some CD, it was difficult to answer. They had to search every time to know whether they’ve it or not as quick as possible. When some albums remain with few copies, they forgot to order for more. This cause the store to lose some business.

That time she wants to solve the problem. She creates POS system and inventory system. She explained how to use it for the owner of the store. Since that day, they know what they’ve in the store. And what they’ve already sold.

After Samrawit discovers the POS system, Sitcom Software Engineering hired her. The owner admired her effort. His company was the only one that introduces new technologies by then. She gained cyber soft experience.

Samrawit tried to introduces some new technologies in Addis. Most of the company owners don’t want to give the IT department jobs for females. That was very discouraging. No matter how she tries hard, most of the organizations closed their doors for her. 

 When she was facing such a gloomy day in Addis, the sun shines for her in West Africa. She got a contract job in Duala, Cameroon. GoGo AFRI Company hired her. She worked on SMS lottery system and some games. She worked there for about seven months.

After she returns from West Africa, she teaches in Mekele University. She gave the course “Ruby-On-Rails”. It’s about programming language.

She saved from the income she generates. She established Hybrid Designs. This company works on: web site development, website hosting and web application development.

She has another department under Hybrid Designs. She calls it “My HAHU Department”. That’s a section for product development.

Every week, on Friday or Saturday, she visits factories. She asks what kind of problem they face. And she tries to tackle their problems. She develops a new system for factories and she advice them to use it. The factory owners are not willing to trust her. They’re afraid that she will not be there when they need maintenance.  This is her great challenge. All the factories do not pay her for her products on time she delivers it. She has to wait and give maintenance after a year. That’s when she collects her fee.

She sits and thinks to start something new. She launched RIDE six months ago. She deals with Ethio- telecom. She made cab drivers get registered at her company. Someone who wants to use RIDE cabs, will text to her company. The person can use:

- mobile application

- text message

-make mobile phone call. This makes it unique from the American HUBER. 450 cabs are working under RIDE. The customer pays per kilo meter. There’s a fixed price per kilo meter. She gathered the taxi drivers and council them to use this technology. They agreed with her company and agreed to import new cars. By the end of this month, 800 new taxis are joining RIDE.

When one rides with RIDE, he’s riding safely and secured. All the cab drivers details are registered at her company. The price is fare and fixed. People who work with RIDE are reliable.

So, when you come to Ethiopia, don’t forget to use RIDE.