In it for the long haul Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009

Growing up in Goa, India, Michelle D’Souza, the founder and CEO of Unified Business Technologies Inc., overcame obstacles to become an entrepreneur.

D’Souza experienced the loss of her father’s business, rejection from a technical institute where she wished to study and the cultural challenges of being a woman in India. At age 16, she had her own cooling business and wanted to attend an all-male technical institute to study the industry. She was initially rejected but convinced the school to accept her and became the first woman to be enrolled and graduate from the institute.

By age 18, D’Souza was a major contributor to her family’s income through her cooling business, and her brother and father went to work for her.

In 1993, D’Souza moved to the U.S. with her husband with no job and little money. After working as a stockbroker, she and her husband founded UBT, which specializes in IT staffing. She has been leading UBT solo for some years now after her husband left to pursue other opportunities, and the business today has offices in Alabama, Arizona and Ohio.

UBT has grown into a successful IT staff provider through D’Souza’s commitment to hiring multitalented employees and by building long-term relationships with customers. Today, about 70 percent of its new business is from referrals, which D’Souza attributes to UBT’s focus on customer satisfaction.

D’Souza’s vision for her company is to deliver quality work and maintain jobs in the U.S. To further that vision, she has recently contributed funds to launch a Web site that caters to people who have lost their jobs. The site will let employers post jobs and job seekers to search for free, allowing companies that have previously off-shored jobs to bring them back to the U.S. and match them with the unemployed.

How to reach: Unified Business Technologies Inc., (248) 614- 3500 or