LDC Top 50 2022
Founder and CEO
By the age of 14, Diptesh Patel had built his own computer, using the savings from his paper round to buy all the components. He registered UBDS (the initials of his family) while he was at university, and then worked as a consultant for BT and several large government departments.
In 2019, he decided to start building the business; three years on, his digital consultancy employs 100 people with offices in London, MediaCityUK in Salford and Dubai. He personally meets every new recruit and offers all employees unlimited training. “Being an entrepreneur is a rollercoaster ride,” he says. “The thing that really drives me is finding and developing talent.”
Being an entrepreneur is a rollercoaster ride. The thing that really drives me is finding and developing talent.”
What sparked your interest in computing?
My father owned three post offices in Southend and was one of the first postmasters to introduce automated systems. As a teenager, I would experiment on the computers in the back office and borrow books from the library on Windows 3.1 to learn basic commands. At school, I was the first computer prefect.
What made you start your own business?
I studied computer science at university but was more interested in getting practical experience. While at university, I took out career development loans to fund vocational qualifications and became a telecoms engineer for a local Housing Trust after completely re-configuring their phone systems!
What was the turning point in the business?
We don’t just help clients with digital transformation, we help them with the continual digital evolution, and we have an obsessive focus on business outcomes. I worked as a consultant up until 2019 and then decided to grow UBDS. We started as a team of four working in one room, for one client on a £95k project. By the end of that year, there were 30 of us, and the business was turning over £5.5m.