Outsourcing can transform the service sector in Bangladesh, especially in the areas of health, telecom and finance by way of improving efficiency, cutting costs and bringing specialisation, experts said yesterday.
There's been a lot of hype around outsourcing and both the public and private sectors in the country should welcome it to create jobs for the people who are joining the labour market every year, they said.
They made the comments at the two-day BPO Summit that ended at Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka yesterday.
“There is huge scope to expand the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector,” said Mohammad Abdul Matin Emon, founder and CEO of Doctorola—an online platform in the health sector—during a seminar.
“Service level can be improved if the government starts outsourcing some emergency services.”
He said technology had evolved very fast over the years and the public sector has not been able to keep pace with the advancement.
The government should depend on third parties that have capacities to provide services.
Speaking at another session on the first day of the event on Sunday, Habibullah N Karim, CEO of Technohaven Company Ltd, said the government could reduce its work load and cut expenditure by outsourcing some of its services.
“There are services that can make money for the government. Only decisions need to be taken to go for outsourcing,” said Karim, also a former president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services.
In the same seminar, Parthapratim Deb, executive director of the Bangladesh Computer Council, said the government was drawing up a policy to outsource public services from the private sector in order to cut expenditure.
The government now delivers 54 services and most of them will be outsourced, which will boost efficiency and reduce state expenditure, said Deb.
Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said some government services had already been outsourced and they were running very efficiently.
He said the mindset of government officials was an issue when it comes to outsourcing and the private sector needed to work to sensitise the officials.
Alam said if the government outsourced land management, it would give huge relief to citizens and ensure transparency.
Experts also said if the government opens the services sector to the outsourcing industry, it will undoubtedly cut corruption and the cost of services. The Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (BACCO) and the Directorate of ICT under the Information Communication Technology Division jointly organised the event to highlight the potential of the local and international market.
Some 40 local and 20 international analysts attended.
On Sunday, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, ICT affairs adviser to the prime minister, inaugurated the event where Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar and State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak were also present.
The government has targeted to earn $1 billion from the BPO sector by 2021, up from $300 million now.
In 2018, the industry employed about 45,000 people. The government targets to create 1 lakh jobs by 2021 in the sector, said Wahidur Rahman Sharif, president of the BACCO.
Participating companies received thousands of CVs during the summit and a good number of them received on the spot job offers, said Towhid Hossain, secretary general of the BACCO.
“We are yet to tally the numbers. But we have seen huge enthusiasm among the younger generation which will help us move forward,” he said.