Outsourcing firm looks to ride on global growth
A leading outsourcing service provider, ServicEngineBPO, aims to more than double its workforce over the next two and a half years, a top official said.
The recruitment drive will create around 600 new jobs at the company's Dhaka office as it expands operations to cater to growing demand for outsourcing services.
“We want to exceed the 1,000 employee mark by 2016 from the existing 400 workforce if the present growth trend continues,” ASM Mohiuddin Monem, chairman of the company, said in an interview with The Daily Star recently.
The US-Bangladesh joint venture company has registered 35-40 percent growth of revenue a year since its inception in 2006, he said.
The company checks backgrounds of customers for financial institutions and provides medical appointment assistance for US hospitals.
Interactive marketing, quality assurance, software and web development, back-office processing and digital advertising are also among the services it provides, he said.
The company's outstanding performance did not go unnoticed: It has been adjudicated as one of the Top 100 Global Outsourcing Service Providers in the world by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) in 2014.
IAOP, the global standard-setting organisation and advocate for the outsourcing profession, also ranked ServicEngine as the 12th best outsourcing company in the Rising Star category.
These rankings are based on applications received and evaluated by an independent judging panel organised by the IAOP, which has more than 120,000 members and affiliates worldwide.
“This is a tribute to the exceptional service delivered by our employees. I am proud of our employees who have shown the world the talent we have in our country,” said Monem.
The accolade will help the outsourcing industry of Bangladesh to reach new heights globally as ServicEngine is the first Bangladeshi company listed among TOP 100 BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) companies, he said.
“It will benefit the entire BPO industry in Bangladesh,” he said adding that the country has some 10-15 outsourcing companies which are doing well and the number is growing.
ServicEngine faced several challenges as business process outsourcing is new in Bangladesh, said Monem. “It was not a very easy ride.”
The company had to compete with an Indian vendor to receive its first ever work project, he said.
The country's biggest strength for BPO industry is its large young population base, he said.
Earlier, India and the Philippines were considered the best outsourcing destinations, but the global perception is gradually changing due to rising labour costs, he said.
Bangladesh has the potential of becoming a leading outsourcing destination due to cost competitiveness and scope for capacity development, he said.
Monem, also the deputy managing director of Abdul Monem Group, a leading diversified company that engages in construction, beverage, and ice-cream business, expects a bright future for the outsourcing industry.
Global market of BPO and IT Services stood at $952 billion in 2013, of which $304 billion was BPO based, according to HfS Research, an American consultancy firm.
“The country will be able to earn at least $15 billion if it can grab only 5 percent of the global outsourcing market,” he said adding that it is not too late to try as yet.
The area of BPO activities are widening globally, said Monem, who earned his bachelor's degree in industrial engineering in 1991 and a master's in engineering management in 1994, both from Northeastern University of the US.
“When BPO started, it was concentrated on payroll and human resource management but that is changing,” he said.
Monem said there will be huge demand for heath care and legal process outsourcing globally. “The market is opening up especially in the hearth care sector due to a favourable policy of the Obama Administration in the US.”
ServicEngine, which has offices both in the US and Bangladesh, provides outsourcing solution mainly to the Fortune 500 companies, he said.
The work rates charged by the company are either on a per-hour or project based, depending on the service offered, and the applicable business model. The rates can range from $7 to $40 per hour.
The company that employs graduates in business studies, computer science and other IT studies pays its employees in Dhaka Tk 20,000 to Tk 200,000 a month depending on job profiles, he said.
The country registered robust growth in exports of IT and IT-enabled services in the last couple of years.
Local software and IT vendors exported services and products worth $124.72 million in fiscal 2013-14, up 22.71 percent from the previous year, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services has set a target to earn $1 billion from such exports and create 1 million professionals in five years.