Bangladesh: next hotspot for outsourcing business | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 06, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 06, 2012

Bangladesh: next hotspot for outsourcing business

Analysts suggest local big businesses come to the emerging sector

Local big business players should follow the examples of companies like GPIT and Samsung and enter the information technology business in Bangladesh, said a top analyst in software services yesterday.
The country's business-people could also follow in the footsteps of Tata or Birla, Indian business giants that came to the IT and outsourcing business a long ago, said Mahboob Zaman, president of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS).
Zaman spoke at a seminar on "Outsourcing outlook for Bangladesh" on the sidelines of Canada Showcase 2012 at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka yesterday.
Outsourcing, also known as business process outsourcing, is a way of doing business through a third party. Different companies, including financial institutions, banks, telecom companies and airlines, offer such services.
There is no other sustainable employment than outsourcing business for Bangladesh, said Gurujot Singh Khalsa, chief executive officer of US-based WorldBridge Global Inc.
The country has the potential to create over 200,000 direct and 50,000 indirect jobs and earn $5 billion a year in the next decade through outsourcing, Khalsa said.
The Indian market was a 'zero' when it started outsourcing business there, he said. But the country earned $50 billion from the business last year, he said.
He said there is a market for around $500 billion in the US. India, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Brazil, South Africa and Pakistan are doing good outsourcing business with the US, he said.
WorldBridge plans to invest $150 million in Bangladesh in the next five years, which will create 10,000 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs and help people earn $100 million a year, Khalsa said.
The investment will draw attention of other global companies to invest in Bangladesh, he added.
The Bangladesh government should facilitate tax holiday in the sector for the next 10 years, business visas for five years to the foreigners and provide quality internet at competitive prices comparing with the neighbouring countries, he said.
Khalsa also said the government should build well IT and communication infrastructure and backup international submarine cable to let outsourcing business grow in Bangladesh.
The country failed to perform well in outsourcing although the business began in Bangladesh in 2008, said Ahmadul Hoq Bobby, president of Bangladesh Association for Call Centre Outsourcing.
Outsourcing business is struggling in Bangladesh for a backup cable, he said.
The kind of outsourcing business Bangladesh provides with the help of voice or call centres occupies only 10 percent fields of the business, he said.
Zaman of BASIS said 41 Bangladeshi IT firms are now taking part in two fairs in Europe to get outsourcing business.
In Bangladesh, 65 percent of the population are under 25, he said. The time difference with the west is a unique opportunity for the country for outsourcing business, he said.
IT will be the lifeline of Bangladesh economy in the next five to seven years, he said.
Anir Chowdhury, adviser to the Access to Information (A2I) programme, presided over the seminar.

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