Dave Bhattacharjee, 22 February 2012
Dave Bhattacharjee spoke most inspiringly about his success in developing his own business. His company Touch-Base Ltd was founded in the late 1980’s and is involved with the development of touch screen applications. He believed that touch technology was a brilliant interface between man and machine and deserved a wider audience.
Dave has been in the IT business for over 25 years and has gathered a lot of experience with the growth of his business. As his family background was not wealthy he started everything with the assets he had at that time; he collected scrap metal with his grandfather and sold it at the local scrapyard at the age of 14, then sold strawberries at the road-side, making £5 a day.
With only minimal qualifications he started studying for computing A-levels, which he described as his ‘lucky break’. This qualification gave him the opportunity to secure a position with Honeywell Computer Systems as a computer programmer. Eventually he started to work for an American Bank that used Honeywell systems.
The American Bank started a worldwide computerisation of their banking operations and Dave travelled around the world implementing these systems. Working on the modernisation of the dealing desk he was introduced to the Touch Interface. He was amazed by the technology and decided to take it to a wider audience.
In 1988 he started up his company Touch-Base. The basic idea was to offer graphical development tools that inherited touch properties, and that worked with most of the touch hardware available at the time. In partnership with some colleagues, the development was done part-time whilst he undertook contract work to raise the money needed to start the company. After contacting touch screen manufacturers followed by some advertising, he eventually got an invitation from IBM to present his idea.
His company did start to get stable sales but with the introduction of Windows the company’s main product became redundant and the emphasis changed to working with the touch manufacturers to developing touch screen hardware computer interfaces.
Today Touch-Base Ltd is a leading designer and developer of touch screen driver technology and produces software for a wide range of companies and end users. Customers can create and download the trial software and purchase the license for it, if satisfied.
At the end of the seminar Dave encouraged students to put a high emphasis on the belief in themselves because “… if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?”. Running a small business has highs and lows but can be very rewarding, if successful.
Report by Tim Kertscher (Business Enterprise student)