The third BPO Summit wrapped up yesterday with a call on the government and local financial institutions to open up their back offices for outsourcing as it would accelerate digitisation.
Leaders of the Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (BACCO), which organised the two-day summit at the capital's Sonargaon Hotel, said they mostly support multinational companies, including some global banks.
But the local institutions have shut their doors to the BPO industry, they said.
Take the case of Atom AP, a Japan-Bangladesh joint venture ICT company that serves foreign banks like the Bank of Yokohama and Nomura.
“But we fail to convince the local banks to take our service, which would reduce their operational costs and improve their service quality,” said AKM Ahmedul Islam Babu, managing director of Atom AP.
Some companies are running their operations with artificial intelligence and supporting American companies' back office by sitting in Dhaka, said Zunaid Kazi, chief technology officer of Infolytx, a fully AI company. “Our competitor is not any local, Indian or Filipino company that is doing well in this field as we are challenging top US companies,” said Kazi, while attending a session styled 'Rise of AI and the Impact of BPO'.
To get maximum success from the business process outsourcing field the country needs to adopt it in its educational curriculum, said Md Tanzirul Basher, chief executive officer at My Outsourcing, one of the leading outsourcing companies in Bangladesh.
India and the Philippines are the most successful in the field of BPO and both the countries have a separate curriculum for it, he said.
Furthermore, infrastructure is not readily available in Bangladesh; India and the Philippines are way ahead of Bangladesh.
“In Bangladesh, we have only two submarine cables, while the Philippines has eight connections,” he added.
The global BPO market is worth about $500 billion and Bangladeshi companies have managed to grab only $180 million from the international market and another $120 million from the local market.
Earnings from BPO would cross the $1-billion mark over the next three years.
Speakers said if the government takes services from the BPO sector, the local market will double within a year, which also will be helpful in grabbing a bigger slice of the foreign market.
Wahidur Rahman Sharif, president of the BACCO, expressed hopes that after the summit a huge number of government offices will open up their minds and digitise their services with the help of the BPO industry.
Industry leaders said both the government and private institutions should accept digitisation as a transformation process that might not reduce jobs and will increase efficiency and productivity in every case instead.