Category Archives: Outsourcing

Expert sees bright future for software sector

Expert sees bright future for software sector

Bangladesh’s software development industry has a bright future as a good number of talented IT graduates are now entering into the industry every year, remarked an IT expert of an US-based software outsourcing company.

Presenting the keynote paper at a seminar, Samuel D Bretzfield, managing director of bGlobal Interactive Ltd, said adequate IT infrastructures and smooth supply of utilities have become inevitable to give a further boost to the booming software development sector.

bGlogal Interactive ( organized the seminar styled “SQABD Lighting Talks-4” at a city hotel.

A good number of software development professionals of the country shared their views on new trends and common themes in the software development sector of the country.

Coordinator of SQABD Sazzadul Hakim moderated the seminar while Director of bGlobal Mishal Karim was also present, among others.

Bretzfield gave an overview of IT business highlighting product launching, development and working with clients across the world in the web-development and web-application industry.

He said Bangladesh has been observing a steady 20 percent yearly increase in the number of English Language Students, which would help compete in the world market.
Comparing Bangladesh with India in terms of IT expansion, Bretzfield said the earlier has lagged 10 years behind as India has adopted the internet vigorously and Bangladesh’s proficiency in English Language is not as good as India.

He, however, put forward a set of recommendations including introduction of better curriculums in IT graduation providers with special focus on the English language, redundant backbone, better project management and understanding of customer needs.

bGlobal Interactive has increasingly become involved in projects locally to help stimulate the IT sector of Bangladesh.

Dhaka ranks third in global freelance outsourcing work

Dhaka ranks third in global freelance outsourcing work
Fazlur Rahman

Dhaka has become one of the top destinations for freelance online work, outshining Indian cities such as Bangalore, as the Bangladeshi capital fast emerging as a major centre for data entry work that employs tens of thousands of people.

According to a new report by oDesk Corp, a United States-based leading marketplace for companies and online workers, Dhaka is now ranked third among global cities where online jobs are outsourced from the West.

A combination of cheap labour and good English skill has made Dhaka a “surprised winner” in freelance outsourcing jobs such as graphic design, data entry and check-up, translation and web development.

“Many businesspeople tend to think about Bangalore of India when it comes to ‘outsourcing’. Actually, Bangalore ranks fifth on oDesk’s list of top cities for online work,” the report released this week said.

The top four cities with more freelance work are: Chandigarh and Mohali of India, Dhaka of Bangladesh and Quezon City of the Philippines, it said, adding half of the freelance online workers in Dhaka do data entry work.

Among the countries, India still tops the list in outsourcing job destination, followed by the Philippines and the US, the report said

The oDesk’s report said Ukraine and Pakistan generated more online work in February, with jobs ranging from data entry to computer programming to translating, than Canada or China.

More and more people are today working online perhaps because of the economic downturn that has gripped the world since middle of 2008, the report added.

Reaz Uddin Mosharraf, secretary general of Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing, said Dhaka would soon supplant its Indian rivals as the biggest destination for online freelance jobs.

“We have estimated the number to be around 100,000 and most of them are students with hourly income ranging between US$ 10 to $100,” he told the FE.

Mosharraf said Bangladeshi freelancers – many of whom are based outside Dhaka – mostly specialised in graphic design, web development and data entry – with some earning up to $1000 a month.

He said the payment is determined on project-to-project basis and the students from Dhaka University and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) also do some online software works.

According to the association, only a handful of smart techies used to do online freelance jobs five years back and Dhaka was “no where near the Indian cities in global outsourcing job map”.

“But in the last three years, online freelancing jobs have underwent a revolution in the country. Number of such jobs have grown exponentially with IT clubs in major universities acting as key catalysts,” Mosharraf said.

He said more students could land lucrative freelancing job contracts if broadband providers offer high-speed internet facilities and cheap bandwidth.

“A lot of people I know feel hesitant to take up big and lucrative projects for fear that they will not be able to complete the work in time due to slow bandwidth facilities,” he said.

Bangladesh emerging IT outsourcing destination: survey

Bangladesh emerging IT outsourcing destination: survey
Kazi Azizul Islam

A leading global auditing and business advisory group has listed Bangladesh as one of the emerging Asian destinations for sourcing software, information technology-enabled services and business process outsourcing.

The Amsterdam-based KPMG in a survey report placed Bangladesh with Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, along with India on the list of emerging Asian IT services suppliers.

The survey report, Asia-Oceania Vision 2020: Enabling IT leadership through collaboration, was released on Friday.

The KPMG, which prepared the report in association with the Tokyo-based Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organisation, included Cambodia, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar and Nepal in the list of potential suppliers.

The report said the Asia-Oceania would become the largest supplier of IT and business process outsourcing services to the world by 2020. The Asia-Oceania is set to account for 74.5 per cent of global IT services demand by 2020.

The report showed a comparison of age of people among 15 Asian countries to link prospect of IT services business.

It found that only 5.6 per cent of Bangladeshis are aged 65 and above. Such aging percentage is 5.6 in the Philippines, 6.5 in India, 13.8 in Thailand and 29.5 in Japan.

The report analysed that countries like Bangladesh which have a good pool of young people, should stay in the list of Asia IT leaders.

The report said huge IT enthusiastic young people and rapid acceptance of IT services in Bangladesh were advantages for the country to be an IT service exporting country.

‘Our report looks at the current growth and future prospects for the IT industry in surveyed countries over the years and current trends influencing the industry have been examined,’ the KPMG said.

The report, however, warned that climate change, poverty and inequality, infrastructure deficits were bottlenecks to Bangladesh’s growth and these impediments should be tackled to become one the leading IT services sources.

The Denmark ambassador to Bangladesh, Einer H Jensen, observed Bangladesh’s IT industry had a ‘good start’ on the global outsourcing market in recent times. Some Danish companies are working with around 20 Bangladeshi companies to develop and outsource software and IT-enabled services.

‘It [Bangladesh] could be a preferred destination for outsourcing in the near future,’ he told New Age.

Citing a recent World Bank report, he said more then 8,000 Bangladeshi young software developers had found jobs in the industry in the past two years and nearly 1,000 of them were working in Denmark-Bangladesh IT joint ventures.

Industry sources said Bangladeshi IT industry had also developed business relation with clients in Japan and other parts in the world along.

Safquat Haider, a director of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services, said the IT potentials of Bangladesh had increasingly been pointed out by industry monitors globally.

‘The IT industry is warming up for a breakthrough, as global clients are calling local companies increasingly and a significant local market is also being readied,’ said Haider, whose IT company, CIPROCO develops telecommunication, geographic information system and Enterprise resource planning solutions for clients at home and abroad.

Bangladesh IT companies participating in NY Global Sourcing Forum

Bangladesh IT companies participating in NY Global Sourcing Forum

FE Report

Top executives from 12 leading Software and IT services companies from Bangladesh are participating in Global Sourcing Forum & Expo, New York, the premier IT Outsourcing event of USA which will be held at Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, USA on November 11-12, 2009 with a Country Pavilion supported by Export Promotion Bureau and BASIS, the national association for Software and IT enabled services of Bangladesh. This is going to be a grand participation of BASIS member companies in USA for the 2 nd time. Global Sourcing Forum draws a large number of senior business executives in USA who are responsible for the overall IT procurement of their companies.

Mr Zainal Abedin, M.P., Member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce will lead the government delegation while BASIS Vice President Mr Shameem Ahsan will lead the BASIS contingent as Team Leader. Mr Monoj Kumar Roy, Joint Secretary (Export), Ministry of Commerce, Mr Shafquat Haider, Director, FBCCI and BASIS and Mr Kawser Jamal, Coordinator, BASIS team at GFSE New York will be in the delegation.

BITS Solutions Ltd., Databiz Inc, Devnet Limited, Global Web Outsourcing, Infinity Technology International Ltd., Inspiring Through Information Web (ITIW), Mazumder IT Limited, SW Multimedia Ltd. , US Software Ltd. are participating as Exhibitors and Daffodil Computers Ltd., DataSoft Systems Bangladesh Ltd. and Ethics Advance Technology Ltd. will participate as visitors.

There has been a rising global confidence in Bangladesh and its IT Industry in the recent years. Goldman Sachs recognized Bangladesh as one of the Next Eleven (N-11) – a list of eleven countries having strong potential for becoming the world’s largest economies along with BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), with highly promising outlooks for investment and future growth. European Commission has recently included Bangladesh as one of the top IT Outsourcing destinations in the world.

BASIS contingent is bearing the slogan “Bangladesh: Asia’s Emerging IT Services Destination” during this exhibition. EPB and BASIS will also organize a seminar on Bangladesh IT Industry on November 12 at the fair venue where top executives from US IT Companies, IT Associations, Chamber of Commerce and media will attend.

GE to debut outsourcing in Bangladesh

GE to debut outsourcing in Bangladesh
Star Business Report

US industrial giant General Electric (GE) plans to outsource jobs to Bangladesh for the first time, presenting a huge opportunity in the outsourcing business.

GE, which employs around 40,000 people in India alone — mainly in the outsourcing sector — will initially provide jobs to a company founded by Bangladeshi expatriates in the US.

Mi3 Inc, based in the US, will invest around $300 million in Bangladesh initially to set up facilities to receive work orders from GE, said company officials at a function in Dhaka on Wednesday.

“Initially we will employ about 2,000 people in our outsourcing office,” said Marfia Zakir, Mi3 country director for Bangladesh.

Zakir said her company wants to invest over $2 billion to develop the high-tech park at Kaliakoir in Gazipur under public private partnership, if they get the green light from the government.

Speaking as chief guest, State Minister for Science and ICT Yeafesh Osman said the government is developing infrastructure for the IT sector.

Trimothy Norton, an official of Vendor Management Organisation of GE, said GE is open to all the countries and its arrival could bring the same result for Bangladesh as for India.

The 11-hour time difference between Bangladesh and the US can be a strong opportunity for the former to receive outsourcing business orders, said Duck Diction, chief executive officer of Mi3 USA.

Brac University Vice Chancellor Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Aftabul Islam, president of American Chamber of Commerce, also spoke at the function.

Int’l big names enrich local call centres’ client list

Int’l big names enrich local call centres’ client list

Jasim Uddin Haroon

The local call centres see a bright prospect for their business as they have already roped in a number of big names from abraod as their clients.

Major companies in developed and developing countries use call centres to interact with their customers and offer different services like healthline to them.

Bell Canada, a telecommunication company, Microsoft, OneBill which is the largest telecom service provider for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the United Kingdom, the NKL and SKL responsible for conducting the state-level lottery in Germany, and the Continental Telecommunication of the UK are among the big names.

They are at this moment using the call centres for outbound telecommunication services, financial services and surveys.

“They are just a few of the internationally-reputed companies. We’ve more than 100 such customers using our services,” said Ahmadul Hoq, president of Bangladesh Call Centre Forum (BCCF).

The BCCF chief said the local call centres were offering their services at comparatively lower prices than in the Phillipines, India and Sri Lanka.

Utility companies, banking institutions, non-government organisations, shopping malls and telecom companies are the major clients of the call centres.

A total of 41 call centres have so far been set up in the country over the last one year involving a total investment worth around Tk 300 million.

The call centres have employed more than 15,000 youths, most of them graduates. The average wages of the call centre employees are over Tk 15,000 a month.

Mr Hoq said the banks, financial institutions and telcommunications service providers operating in Bangladesh were turning to them because of their cheaper and faster services.

However, the number of domestic clients of the call centres is around 10.

Dr Sikder M Zakir, managing director of the Telemedicine Reference Centre Limited, who pioneered in providing health and medicine-related customer services on mobile phone, said he would also introduce services for diabetic patients next month.

Nine cos to take part in UK Call Centre Expo

Nine cos to take part in UK Call Centre Expo

The Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (BACCO) is going to take part in the UK Call Centre Expo-2009 to be held in Birmingham on September 22-23.

Nine Bangladeshi companies are going to take part in the expo under the banner of BACCO with a view to promoting Bangladesh’s call centre business in the international arena.

In this connection an 18-member delegation of BACCO called on Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Chairman Zia Ahmed in the city recently, said a press reelase. A high-level delegation of the government led by Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication (MOPT) Hasanul Haq Inu will also accompany BACCO members.

Bangladesh to take part in UK call centre expo

Bangladesh to take part in UK call centre expo

Bangladesh would take part in the Call Centre Expo to be held at Birmingham in the United Kingdom (UK) in order to expand call centre business in the country. Chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) Zia Ahmed said call centre business should be established in the country in order to create employment for thousands of unemployed. BTRC will organise the participation of country’s 12 call centres in the exposition, Zia told a seminar titled “Call Centre Marketing” in the city recently. — BSS

Mi3 raising equity to develop outsourcing and more in Bangladesh

Mi3 raising equity to develop outsourcing and more in Bangladesh

June 24, 2009

EXCLUSIVE REPORT ALPHARETTA, GA—Mi3, a company that offers IT outsourcing to Bangladesh as a less expensive alternative to India, China, the Philippines, and other countries, is raising a $6 million round of equity. The company is also developing IT products to sell in Bangladesh and envisions helping the country with healthcare and education, says founder and President Saiful Khandaker.

The company revealed that it is raising $6 million in equity in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It has raised $1 million so far.

Bangladesh, which borders India and Burma, is the seventh most populous country in the world and has a high poverty rate. Khandaker, who was born in Bangladesh but lived half his life in the United States, says he saw the potential for establishing outsourcing in Bangladesh while working for Delta Airlines as a software engineer.

“We founded the company with the vision of following the model India took in outsourcing,” he says. The vision includes helping Bangladesh play a greater role in the global economy, he adds. He emphasizes that the company has philanthropic goals as well as business goals.

In 2003, Khandaker took on two U.S. partners in the firm. The company has 12 U.S. employees and 300 in Bangladesh.

The company is talking with several Fortune 500 companies about doing outsourcing to Bangladesh. “We’re offering an alternative that is untapped and better in cost and quality than outsourcing to Russia, India, China, the Philippines and other established outsourcing countries,” says Khandaker.

The company is also working on a deal to develop a mobile phone payment system for people in Bangladesh who do or do not have banks. “People will be able to send and receive money or go to McDonald’s and buy a burger with their phone,” via the system, Khandaker says. Launching a product in Bangladesh is easier than in the U.S., he adds, because there aren’t many competitors.

The company is also in discussion with the Bangladesh government on several deals. It is bidding on a project to develop electronic passports.

It is also developing a project that could help entice U.S. firms to build manufacturing or distribution facilities there. “We’re working to build a high tech park in Bangladesh,” Khandaker says. “We would manage the park and lease out space. We’re putting the plan together next month.”


US-based IT co to open global delivery centre

US-based IT co to open global delivery centre

FE Report

AgreeYa Solutions- a US based IT conglomerate is set to establish its own global delivery centre (GDC) in Bangladesh; a move seen as a major boost to the country’s nascent outsourcing scene.

The offshore unit would act as a complementary hub of the company’s primary global development centre based in Noida in India.

The move came after the global IT giant formally announced that it has taken over Soltius Bangladesh; the local arm of another global IT conglomerate Soltious Infotech, through formal acquisition.

“We are extensively planning to tap into the local pool of talented resources for our Dhaka GDC,” the company spokesperson said at a press conference in the city Monday, adding, “We are expecting to employ 500 ICT professionals in Bangladesh over the next three years”.

“The Bangladesh GDC in the near future would become a regional hub for global IT staffing services. We have already began deploying Bangladeshis to implement solutions in the Middle East and Fareast Asia,” he added.

The latest move came against the backdrop of a formal acquisition of the Soltius Bangladesh by the AgreeYa Solutions, which is followed by a yearlong strategic partnership between the two companies in the local market.

The two companies have been working in Bangladesh on various technology engagements whose clients include the Bangladesh Bank as well as AB Bank and Unique Group of Companies.

The merger of the two IT giants would also create the first CMMi Level 5 Company operating in Bangladesh. The two companies would work beneath the same umbrella under the name AgreeYa Solutions Bangladesh.

“It was a perfect matchmaking for both sides”, Ajay Kaul, Managing Partner of AgreeYa Solutions said, adding, “While Soltious Bangladesh was looking for new partnership to further expand its reach and capacity, AgreeYa on the other hand was on a hot pursuit for the most competent partner for expanding into the emerging market”.

A global consulting and system integration firm, AgreeYa is providing IT solutions and services to big names in world business such as Acer, DaimlerChrysler, Fujitsu, Gap, HP, Mitsubishi and Nissan as well as State of California, North California and Washington.

Major focus of the company in the local market includes providing IT and business consulting services to the public and private sector while offering technology solutions in areas of eGovernance, ERP, business intelligence, internet and mobile banking, portal and social computing, eLearning and mobile and embedded computing.

Turkish top retailer to nearly treble apparel purchase from Bangladesh

Turkish top retailer to nearly treble apparel purchase from Bangladesh

A Z M Anas

Top Turkish retailer Tema group unveiled a plan to procure US$ 500 million worth Bangladeshi apparel items by 2012 as it moves to make the country its main sourcing hub, a top company official said.

The Istanbul-based group with an annual sales turnover of $ 812 million will also set up joint venture apparel plants in the country to churn out denim and jacket.

Group Vice President Ted Southall said Sunday Tema, which sells LC Waikiki brand clothing, would import US $ 200 million worth garment items from Bangladesh this year even as global recession stings the industry.

“Bangladesh is a fantastic place for productivity and we are pinning our hopes on its growth,” Southall told the FE during a short visit to the country.

“This country, I think, has incredible future. What you need is to improve mid-management and make policies predictable and consistent,” he added.

Last year, the Turkey-based group imported garments worth $182 million from the country, but Southall said the amount would nearly treble within the next three years.

“Our dream is to make US $ 500 million purchase (from Bangladesh) by 2012,” Mr Southall told his company’s top 30 Bangladeshi suppliers in a conference.

Square Group, Fakir Group, Misami, Mohammadi and Babylon are Tema’s top suppliers making up 75 per cent of the company’s total procurement from Bangladesh.

The company has already tied up with local groups to make sweater and shirt, and has also unveiled plans to establish joint ventures in all segments including denim.

Global consultancy Nielson last year put Tema’s LC Waikiki brand as the six most popular in the world, leaving behind Levi’s, Mavi Jeans and Bosch.

His announcement comes at a time when the worst global economic downturn has sapped demand for costlier clothing in the West, with Bangladeshi exporters warning of a slump in shipment in the coming months.

Data released by the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) show that Bangladesh has done relatively well despite the downturn, as top global retailers kept their faith in the country’s low-end apparel products.

Swiss retailer H&M is the largest importer of Bangladeshi textiles and its officials have said they have increased sourcing from the country in the past 18 months.

Organised retailers like H&M and Wal-Mart account for some 30 per cent of the clothing items produced by Bangladeshi manufacturers, which smaller shops make up the rest.

Mr. Southall said Bangladesh has defied all odds and continued prosper even in this dour global economic scenario.

“We have been sourcing from Bangladesh for the last 12 years. And all I can say that the country has made rapid strides in apparel sector in each of the passing years,” he said.

“I think garment exports from Bangladesh will grow in the near future,” he said.

Today, Tema Group is running a store chain which is the leader of its sector and serves millions of people and 240 LC Waikiki stores in 50 cities in Turkey.

The group has interests in retail, architecture, equity investments and apparel-making and is the biggest retailer in Turkey.

Swedish firm to expand outsourcing in Bangladesh

Swedish firm to expand outsourcing in Bangladesh
Refayet Ullah Mirdha and Dieter Bachmann

A multinational Swedish firm engaged in outsourcing home textiles and home furnishing items is planning to expand its operations in Bangladesh.

As part of its plan, IKEA has targeted to buy handmade and machine-made cotton rugs, machine tufted rugs, PP (Polypropylene) plastic items and natural fibre products, said an official of the company in Dhaka.

The company is currently sourcing mainly textiles furnishings and ceramic articles from Bangladesh, said Edward Mokronosov, business development manager of IKEA Trading (Hong Kong) Ltd, Bangladesh liaison office.

Mokronosov said the country is traditionally strong in textile sector.

“Bangladesh is a very important market for IKEA and the plan is to treble our purchase volume in the next few years,” he said.

The company will engage more suppliers and introduce new materials besides textiles, he added.

Mokronosov said IKEA believes that good working and social conditions, coupled with measures taken for the protection of the outside environment at the IKEA’s suppliers, are the prerequisites for doing good business.

“Our code of conduct covers working and social conditions, and the environment,” he said, adding that a team of internal auditors and experts works closely with the suppliers.

About designs he said products are mostly developed by IKEA product developers and designers based in Sweden.

While formally opening its office in Dhaka in November, IKEA announced that it aims to buy home textiles worth 300 million euros from Bangladesh within next few years.

At present, IKEA purchases home textiles worth 100 million euros a year from the country.

IKEA started purchasing home textiles from Bangladesh in 1997 and in 2000 the company started activities with a small workstation in Dhaka.

Besides textiles, IKEA also sources carpets and ceramics. Sixteen co-workers are employed in the Bangladesh office, the company official said.

There are a total of 253 stores of IKEA in 24 countries and last year 565 million people visited the IKEA stores worldwide, while the turnover of the company in 2007 was 21.2 billion euros, the official said.

The top three markets in terms of sales of the IKEA products are Germany (15 percent), the USA (10 percent) and France (10 percent).