Winner CIM Best Agency NI

Behind the Business with Ritu Bhatt

Why are you in business?

I have been part of a software development team for 15 years at various capacities and although we would have women as managers, HR, admin, etc, when it came to actual tech teams I was usually the only women developer. I always wanted to do something about it and when I went on my maternity leave it gave me an opportunity and some time to think of my options.

The local SME’s needed the technological innovations to grow but the costs were a huge deterrent. It was a critical business case and once I went for Women In Business Power Of 4 initiative there was no doubt what I wanted to do. I never looked back. I now have a team in India and in UK. My team has a healthy gender balance and it’s a conscious effort. I am making an honest effort to bring about a change at ground level, where it matters, 1 step at a time.

How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?

Nobody will believe this but growing up I really wanted to be a NASA astronaut and go into the space. I was pretty geeky and everyone though it was a good fit but then life always throws surprises at you. So I took up electronics engineering in university. I got offered professional placement by SIEMENS to develop their 1st 16 channel O/P relay module. I learnt STEP-5 coding language and was immediately fascinated with the world of programming and the power of writing code well. I then started my professional career in IT and took up job as a software developer. Overtime I got fully engrossed in my work, mostly because I loved what I did. I worked my way up to a technical architect in 15 years working for multinationals in Banking/Insurance/Utility and public sector in NI. I got the opportunity to travel to different continents as part of my work and even went to NASA but only as a visitor.

How do you market your business?

For us – our clients and social media – are the two main channels. We as a team make sure that we deliver the best solution to our clients and our happy clients keep coming back to us and also bring their connections. We are just a small team of coders all passionate to write good code everyday. 

Whom do you seek advice from for your business?Who inspires you? 

Liz Lavery, MD Onmusic is a phenomenal human being professionally  and personally. She  inspires me every day to do better. She’s also been my mentor and I count on her advice

John Blennerhassett has been a great supporter and advisor as well. And last but not the least John Ferris of Entrepreneurial Spark. I will always be thankful to him for his support and belief in iEngageIT.

It’s also important to have people you can trust and who’ll always give honest feedback. I am so thankful to have hugely successful and accomplished ladies Niamh Taylor of Digital Twenty Four, Kelly Neill of Panacea Drinks and Heather Carr of Ten Minutes More – who I turn to for some quick advice when I’m confused. Hugely talented Tania Watson of Rangeview Equine Therapy is a special friend who keeps me sane while I juggle between my 2 kids, iEngageIT and everything else that life throws at me.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I would want to further expand my team in UK and beyond and have a permanent presence (office) in London also by that time. A lot also depends on Brexit and it’s impact on currency.

At the same time, I started with the vision to bring the highest quality service and technology to local businesses and wouldn’t want to lose that aspect of my business. I specially love working with the start-up businesses. Being a start-up myself I understand their unique challenges and the impact of our contribution to their success with our tech expertise is limitless.

I would like to always maintain the local business feel however large we grow.

Niamh Taylor

Niamh Taylor

I am the Founder and CEO of Digital Twenty Four. I’m an award winning digital marketer who took a risk, and left the safety of a well-paid, super safe in-house head of marketing role to launch Digital Twenty Four in May 2015. But -it was a risk worth taking because I now own a brilliant company, with a brilliant reputation, and with the best humans working within it. And an award-winning digital marketing expert with over 20 years experience in marketing.