The industry operators yesterday tipped Bangladesh to be the next destination for business process outsourcing (BPO). The nation has a large number of young people with an increasing number of IT graduates and the service costs are lower compared to India and the Philippines, which can take BPO forward, they added.
“The demographic dividend is knocking at the door. BPO is the next opportunity for Bangladesh,” said Raihan Shamsi, chief executive of GPIT, at a discussion organised by Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) at Radisson Blu Water Garden, Dhaka.
The Daily Star was the knowledge partner for the event that was attended by IT entrepreneurs and professionals from home and abroad. The optimism was shared at a time when the $325 million IT and IT enabled services industry in Bangladesh has grown 25 percent in 2012 and registered increased exports earnings.
The country has also emerged as one of the top five destinations for freelancing for IT services.
Some 800 companies operate in the sector supported by a pool of 35,000 IT professionals and 10,000 freelancers, Shamsi said at a session. GPIT has secured a contact worth $16 million for BPO.
He said the global market for BPO is expected to reach $416 billion by 2015.
Bangladesh is in an advantageous position and the country should not miss the chance to increase its share of the pie, he added.
A third of the nearly 16 crore people of Bangladesh are between the age of 15 and 34 years and an increasing number are getting educated. BPO costs here are 40 percent lower compared to India and the Philippines and the government provides support to help the sector grow, he added.
Shamsi said India has taken advan-tage of its demographic dividend through BPO, which has helped the country generate 2.8 million direct jobs. BPO also helped India fetch billions in exports, he added.
“BPO offers significant opportunities to create jobs and diversify the export basket and move from the current dependence on readymade garments,” he added.
“We need to create awareness. We need to prepare and market it. We have to put all our hands together and brands together.”
Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of The Daily Star, said Bangladesh has attracted global attention because of its achievements in economic and social sectors.
He said the country makes progress in spite of corruption, nepotism, infrastructural problems and negative politics.
“There is a regenerative Bangladesh, which is growing, making its presence in the global forum. It is one of the countries that are looked upon as the next growth centre,” said Anam.
“So let us be conscious about the fact that there is a regenerative Bangladesh, creative Bangladesh, path breaking Bangladesh. We have to build Bangladesh in spite of negativity that is present.”
Bangladesh has one of the highest number of people. “They all are potentially creative minds,” he said, adding that IT can take advantage of that.
He suggested businesses should share their achievements and positive outcomes with the media, especially with The Daily Star, to create awareness.
ICT Secretary Nazrul Islam Khan said the government has taken up a number of schemes to promote IT education such as the Union Information Service Centre to train the youth.
Advanced training is also provided to the youth who are registering for freelancing, he added. “The government aims to set up IT parks in districts and train IT graduates.”
Saiful Islam, former president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said building a network of Bangladeshis living in the West such as the US and Europe can enable the local industry to obtain contracts.
“We have a huge number of Bangladeshis living abroad. Many of them are in a good position to influence decision making,” he said.
Russel T Ahmed, secretary general of BASIS, said export earnings from IT and ITES reached nearly $100 million at present.
Anand Tilak, regional manager, agency business and sales development of Google for Emerging Markets South East Asia, suggested digital marketing to reach targeted customers.
Credits to : Star Business Report Experts
Source From: Thedailystar.net