A digital agency which provides companies with access to tech talent is to open its first Scottish office, creating 100 jobs over the next 18 months. AND Digital – which embeds its teams of software engineers to help businesses with their tech development – will base itself in Edinburgh. The news coincides with an £11m equity investment from BGF to support the company’s continued growth and global expansion. In an effort to bridge the digital skills gap, which continues to widen across the UK, the multimillion-pound company focuses on both people and technology, empowering businesses to meet their digital goals by providing fast access to tech talent while working alongside in-house teams to speed up product development. Clients benefit from accelerated digital delivery, combined with relevant, experiential up-skilling for their in-house teams. While Scotland’s burgeoning tech sector contributes a robust £4.9 billion annually to the country’s economy, recruiting specialist talent remains a challenge for many businesses with more than 13,000 unfilled digital positions each year, a figure cited by Skills Development Scotland. Paramjit Uppal, founder and CEO of AND Digital, explains: “AND was created to accelerate the digital capabilities of ambitious organisations of all sizes, but while technology is seen as an essential key to success, the digital skills gap can prevent businesses from realising their investment in technology as quickly or as completely as they’d like. We provide immediate access to the tech talent they require and co-create their products in partnership with them. Not only does that mean a better digital product shipped faster, but it also means our clients are building the digital skills of their in-house teams, effectively future-proofing them for on-going success. “Scotland’s digital and tech sector has a worldwide reputation. The country is at the forefront of digital innovation, demonstrating global impact in many growth industries including robotics, space and data driven innovation. We’re proud to be joining such a thriving tech community to collaborate with a diverse range of businesses and help them to achieve their digital ambitions.” Founded in 2014 in response to the failure rate of many digital transformation projects ( a challenge that continues today), Uppal recognised that technology alone wasn’t enough. It was imperative that companies work with a partner who could also focus on its people – since behind every breakthrough app or innovation that hits the headlines is a great digital team, set up in the right environment. Adopting a modern and fresh approach to the problem, AND Digital has rapidly expanded, now employing over 600 technology experts across a network of autonomous ‘Clubs’. This agile and nimble model provides businesses with quick access to highly sought after digital talent, while ensuring AND Digital remains highly responsive to client requirements. In line with previous launches, the Edinburgh ‘Club’ will recruit 100 tech positions within 18 months of opening, including UX designers, platform developers, full stack engineers, product analysts and Scrum masters. Uppal continued: “Scotland’s close-knit, supportive tech community is the beating heart of its blossoming digital sector and we look forward to becoming part of that community as we work in partnership with businesses across Scotland.” Alex Snodgrass, an investor at BGF who will join the board of AND Digital, said: “AND Digital is a fantastic business, with a truly innovative and scalable approach to delivering technology services of the highest quality. Paramjit and the team have built an excellent track record in the market through working with some of the UK’s biggest enterprises. We’re delighted to be joining the business at such an exciting time, supporting the next stage of its growth journey to further expand across the UK and build an international offering.” AND Digital boasts an impressive portfolio of clients, including British Airways, IAG Cargo, KCOM and Gousto. Its Edinburgh Club will be its 10th to open in the UK, with other Clubs already established in London, Manchester, Reading, Leeds, Halifax and Maidenhead. Increased demand for its specialist services saw the launch of three new Clubs in 2019. The company is also preparing for international expansion over the next 12 months.