Two individuals and five local IT firms were awarded The Daily Star, in association with Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) and The Daily Star for their outstanding contribution to the fast growing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry. The growth of the industry is very encouraging and with thousands of new graduates to join the ranks of an ever-increasing number of small start-up companies, the country is set to cross the USD 1 billion mark in annual sales (both domestic and export combined) in the very near future. What was found was that a significant portion of the winners represented the youth of this country and many were start-up companies, i.e. this is their first business venture and the time has come for a specific policy to help these small companies to have access to finance.
Today, we find a new breed of entrepreneurs working alongside established ones in introducing technology that allow ease of services to a wide range of customers. People today can pay their bills, fees, make online purchases from the comfort of their homes and more importantly, avoid facing red tape that entail corrupt practices.
Policymakers are confident that access to information and services through ICT will inevitably create the conditions where corruption can be checked effectively. As we go increasingly digital, the wheels of government are also starting to adopt measures like e-tendering, which when implemented properly slams the door on corrupt practices. While we recognise the young and the established movers and shakers of the ICT industry, the sector can only continue to flourish if the right policy framework is put in place to encourage and not discourage our young, micro-entrepreneurs in the ICT sector.