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25 December, 2019 01:06:13 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 25 December, 2019 02:00:05 PM
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Earning from IT outsourcing touches billion-dollar mark

FAISAL MAHMUD, Dhaka
Earning from IT outsourcing touches billion-dollar mark

The earning from the outsourcing of jobs related to information technology enabled services (ITES) has touched the USD 1 billion mark in the last 12 months for the first time in the country’s history, say sources in the Bangladesh Association for Software and Information Services (BASIS).

Last year, the earning was USD 800 million, while the number was UDS 700 million in the year before, BASIS president Syed Almas Kabir told The Independent, referring to the latest available data of the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB). Experts, however, said that it could be multiplied by at least USD 2 billion with its growing ranks of the information technology professionals. They stressed the need for a little back-up from public and private partnerships and establishment of systematic IT outsourcing facilities and projects, available from the major buyers from the US on the Internet marketplace.

BASIS officials said there are currently over 1,500 software companies in the country. Among them, about 140 are involved in outsourcing. But this is not a satisfactory amount with respect to the performance of neighbouring countries. India, for instance, earns USD 8,060 million annually with about 250,000 IT professionals graduating annually from there compared to Bangladesh's 48,000 such professionals. Saimon Azim, a software entrepreneur and exporter, said IT outsourcing by Western companies has been a common practice in the SME domain for many years, as they are event-triggered services and the labour cost in southeast Asia is cheaper than in the West. Break/fix, installations, web design, and small-scale new software implementation are common tasks and functions that SMEs have outsourced to IT service providers.

Though India controls the USD 9.6 billion market, though Bangladesh, with its potential workforce, can seriously break this monopoly by taking some systematic steps that can create job opportunities for thousands of people. This can also help the country enter  control a market worth billions of dollars, observed Simon.

“You don't need to go that far, just look at 'Infosys', a USD 6.150 billion company headquartered in Bangalore, India. They started with Rs. 10,000 on July 2, 1981. And look where

it’s now!” said Simon, who is also the CEO of Thinkcrest, one of the few successful outsourcing companies in Baridhara.  

He also said the recipe of Infosys’s success was pretty “simple”. The company had some seriously motivated entrepreneurs, a strong business plan, a skilled development team, and some targets set up on a periodic basis to reach its current position.

Simon, a former employee of the world renowned Deloitte and Touche, returned to his homeland and set up Thinkcrest four years ago with only three members in the development team. “Now I am making profits and paying bonuses to my 30-member team, all in the US dollar,” he said.

But the picture is not that rosy for the company Web Archive as it does not have a marketing analyst and any person with US connections. Raqib Ahmed, the chief system analyst of the company, informed The Independent that the company got only three projects during the last two months.

“The problem is that we can’t place the lowest bid in an Internet marketplace, such as Elance. If we can’t get the job, the requirements can’t be fulfilled,” Raqib said.

These virtual internet marketplaces work like invitation of bidding for tenders. Here the administrative body of the marketplace allows businesses to post a project online and assess the providers’ bidding on the project by reviewing their qualifications, ratings, portfolios, and skill-based scores.

“When you place a bid on a particular project in this marketplace and the job-provider sees that you are from Bangladesh, you need to place the lowest bid; otherwise, you don’t get the project,” said Raqib.

“Indian companies have developed a strategy. They have a US address and better credentials with the help of the non-resident Indians living in that country. They also place a medium price bid. So, when the employer sees both bids—one from Bangladesh and the other from the US (originally from India)—they go for the latter despite higher prices, since they put more trust on them in terms of quality assurance,” said Raqib, explaining the situation confronting Bangladeshis competing against them.

MK

 

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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