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BPO Summit 2018: Outsourcing firms eye 1 lakh jobs in 3 yrs

Bangladeshi young executives sitting in their Dhaka office respond to customer-support calls made to Malaysia's Digi, a sister concern of Telenor, and provide users of the foreign carrier solutions to problems.

Genex Infosys is now running Digi Telecommunications Call Centre, which was previously managed by a Pakistani company. It also serves Grameenphone and Telenor's concerns in different countries, including Telenor Myanmar, said Prince Mojumder, co-founder and chief executive officer of the company.

The company that employs about 4,000 young men and women is demonstrating its products and services in the two-day Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) summit in Dhaka Sonargaon Hotel.

It picks up over 60 million calls a year.

Genex also serves multinational companies in Bangladesh but it is not the only one. Other companies compete for the work here in Bangladesh.

Acceleco is maintaining UK-based company metafour's accounts online. It has about 150 clients in the country and is gradually meeting business firms outsourcing demands in the accounting segment.

Government helpline 999 receives 15,000 calls every day and is run by the police. It too is attending the BPO Summit 2018.

Wahidur Rahman Sharif, president of Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (BACCO), which organised the event, said some of their members were doing well in different countries. He said their target was to explore the untapped local market as well.

“Local market will be our practice field … ,” said Sharif. 

Right now, global BPO market is about $500 billion and Bangladeshi companies hardly grab $180 million of that. Another $120 million a year is earned from the local market, Sharif said.

This earning would exceed $1 billion a year in the next three years, he hoped.

In different sessions of the first day of the summit, industry insiders said more than 40,000 people work in about 105 BPO companies in Bangladesh. They predicted that the number of workers would reach 100,000 by 2021.

Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy inaugurated the event at the Sonargaon Hotel while Telecom and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar chaired a session.

A large number of young men and women, mostly university students, went there on the first day.

“Youths do not need to wait for government jobs … ICT has created a huge opportunity for them and now they can earn a lot of dollars through outsourcing, even staying at their rural homes,” said Joy in the inauguration session, reports BSS.

It has become possible because of the government's policies, Joy said.

“The present government has introduced ICT education at primary level,” he said, adding that he wants the youths and children of the country to know how to operate computers and understand the language of computer.

Industry leaders said BPO in the country began in 2008 with just 300 jobs, which now has turned into 40,000 jobs.

Attending a session, Telecom Secretary Shyam Sundar Sikder said, “We want to increase our income from digital products, but in the education curriculum, digital contents like big data analysis, artificial intelligence, and IOT issues are fully ignored.”

At least 2o foreign experts and 60 local speakers are sharing their knowledge and experience at the seminars being held on the side lines of the summit. Some companies were also doing on-the-spot recruitment.