Peter Rotich grew up in Kenya without electricity or running water and first learned how to type while in college.
He was a curious kid back in his native country. He was not that into watching TV so he would read his books cover to cover.
From his reading, he developed a deep interest in technology and was fascinated with how gadgets worked.
He would wonder how a watch functions or how a radio works and it drove him to understand more about technology.
It bothered him that he did not have a clue as to how these things work.
Now Rotich is in the US and he is a successful tech entrepreneur in Central Louisiana.
When he arrived into the country in the 1990s, he enrolled at Tulane University in New Orleans for a computer engineering program. He studied at the school from 1998 to 2001.
At one point in class, an advisor asked him whether he had taken any programming classes. In fact Rotich had never used a computer before.
Since he could not afford a computer at the time, he got his first computer from a dumpster and he made great use of it.
In November 2005, he founded Alexandria-based Enhancesoft and is the company’s CEO. He has been designing and building web/enterprise software professionally for over a decade.
His computer software is used by companies in more than 200 countries.
He has been touring Rapides Parish high schools in Louisiana hoping to promote tech field locally and expose young students to the opportunities right here at home.
His company intends to sponsor any Rapides Parish student who wants to take an introduction to computer coding class through Aiken Virtual.
“Rural America is going to be the epicenter of growth for these type of jobs,” Rotich told thetowntalk.com
He has visited all the high schools in the area talking to them about his company and software called osTicket.
He created the help desk ticketing system over ten years ago and made it available for free online. He describes it as an online sticky note for human resource and IT employees.
Enhancesoft software is free but more than 100 customers pay for hosting and customer-support services. His clients are mostly international and they turn to him and his team when they need new software features.
The software is used by big name businesses, organizations and school systems in the US. They include ESPN Radio, Fox Sports, the Louisiana Department of Education and hundreds of others.
Enhancesoft team has now expanded after being made up of a few people including Rotich.
He plans to open a European office to better serve clients in other time zones as Enhancesoft will be growing.
In the past, Rotich has not been open to telling his story but now he does not mind especially if it is going to inspire something in a young person.
He believes that a young person who has a humble beginning will be inspired by a story of someone with the same background.
“They see it’s within their reach,” he said.
His message to today’s youth is, “instead of being users (of technology), be makers.”
“The way I look at it is, technology is great. But we’ve got to use it the right way,” he said.