With a massive young tech-savvy population and good trade relations with most of the countries across the world, Bangladesh has the potential to become a global outsourcing hub, with the capacity to grab a lion’s share of the world’s USD 500-billion business process outsourcing (BPO) market.

The current earnings from the BPO industry total USD 180 million, but experts believe that it could become at least USD 1 billion within the next few years if proper measures are adopted. The two BPO summits in the past two years are a testament to the policymakers’ intention to achieve this, experts added.

Organised jointly by the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Division and the Bangladesh Association of Call Center and Outsourcing (BACCO), these summits aim to bring the outsourcing sector into the mainstream as well as encourage the country’s youth to become involved in this sector. Another intention is to promote the potential of Bangladesh as an outsourcing destination in the international market.

BPO is a form of outsourcing wherein business organisations contract third-party entities to carry out a specific part of their business processes, such as customer service. This contract is often struck with offshore companies due to the difference in labour costs.

Over the past couple of years, Asia has been the prime destination for outsourced jobs. This has occurred because in Asia, North American—especially US-based companies—can get the services they require at a much more cost-effective rate. Another reason is language, with customer service-related jobs that involve talking or writing in English suiting some Asian nations very well.

As of now, the BPO sector in Asia is more or less a battle between India and the Philippines when it comes to such farmed-out tasks. These two countries are most often the top picks of outsourcing firms, so they are often compared in terms of their standing in the BPO sector. Sector insiders, however, said Bangladesh could be on a par with these two countries, if systematic measures are adopted.

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