Call centre business is gaining momentum as a number of large companies have outsourced work to third parties recently.
The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry, including call centres, is now worth around $12 million, of which 50 percent is accounted for by the domestic market, according to its trade body.
The local demand for such services is growing by around 20 percent every quarter, said Ahmadul Hoq Bobby, president of Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (BACCO).
He said a positive trend in the business is that big companies are becoming confident of local service providers.
He said mobile operators Airtel and Citycell have recently outsourced their call centres to local companies, while Robi has outsourced work to an Indian company.
Biman Bangladesh has also outsourced a part of its call centre, Bobby said.
At the same time, companies in the fast-moving consumer goods and health sectors are signing up local call centres to maintain their back offices.
Bobby said the operations of domestic companies should be outsourced first to local call centres, then international contracts would grow.
Bangladesh provides several BPO services such as customer services, telemarketing, telemedicine, back office operations, virtual assistance and CCTV monitoring.
The country has potential in several other sectors such as legal processes, human resources, supply processes, finance and administration, and will grab the market soon.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has recently encouraged the industry by easing the licensing process.
Among the challenges the sector faces, Abdur Rahman Shawon, executive coordinator of BACCO, said internet prices are still high compared to the competing nations.
A second submarine cable is required and bandwidth connectivity is still a problem, he added.
Shawon also said a tax-break for at least 10 years is required to attract foreign clients and investment.
The World Bank is going to fund a $70 million ICT project for institutional support for call centre training programmes.
Over 50 call centres are now members of BACCO and as per BTRC statistics, around 70 call centres are in operations.