Dreams going beyond borders
Software and mobile application developer Dream71 Bangladesh Ltd has won an international tender to build a mobile application for the parliament of East Timor.
On Wednesday, the local IT firm signed an agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the island nation virtually, said Dream71 Managing Director Rashad Kabir.
"We will deliver the app by April this year," he said.
Winning the work order is a prestigious feat for Bangladesh, the entrepreneur said.
"Many Bangladeshi firms are working for foreign private companies. But the number of local firms delivering ICT products to the governments in other countries is not that much."
The national parliament of East Timor, or Timor-Leste, sought the bid for the app as part of the country's efforts to digitalise government and civic services.
Companies from many countries submitted their bids. Dream71 was selected considering its technical and financial offers, the Bangladeshi IT firm said.
The app will support three languages -- English, Portuguese and Tetum, the local language.
The Parliament App will be a platform that will facilitate interactive engagement between the people of East Timor and the institution, the UNDP said in its project description.
Mobile phone and internet users are growing in East Timor. The number of internet users rose by 10 per cent in the last year.
The number of mobile connections is 17.3 lakh, and active internet users are 410,000 in the island nation. Around 31 per cent of the citizens in the country use internet and 96 per cent of them use mobile to connect to internet, according to the UNDP.
East Timor has a population of 13.2 lakh and 34 per cent of the citizens reside in urban areas.
Dream71 has been working with various ministries and government agencies in Bangladesh for the last five years. Now, the IT firm is going to work with government agencies in other countries in the e-governance sector, Kabir said.
The company is also in talks with the governments of Afghanistan and Bhutan for some projects. The app project is the second scheme of Dream71 in East Timor. In June, the software company inked an agreement with the UNDP to build two educational video games.
The work to develop the game is at the final stage. The games might be inaugurated in January.
There are at least 100 IT firms in Bangladesh that are delivering high-quality work in the e-governance sector. Riding on the experience, they can now work with governments in other countries, Kabir said, seeking support from the government.
Although it started as a video game developer, Dream71 has now grown into a full-fledged software company.
It has already exported software to 12 countries, including Japan, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates, in the last several years.
Bangladesh is gradually emerging as a supplier of IT and IT-enabled services.
Some 200 IT firms export software and IT services to 80 countries. ICT exports fetched $1 billion for the country in 2018, according to the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services.