Next choice for outsourcing

Australian expert says Bangladesh should showcase its capabilities to the world

Abdullah Mamun

Bangladesh can become a significant part of the outsourcing industry expected to be worth $124 billion by 2016, said a foreign analyst in the ICT sector.

Business process outsourcing (BPO) deals in 2010 were worth $45 billion, of which 46 percent were for IT-enabled services.

“The share of IT-enabled services is projected to be 58 percent in 2016, and Bangladesh should aim for this part of the BPO industry,” Martin Conboy, president of Australian Business Process Outsourcing Association, told The Daily Star.

Conboy, who is in Dhaka to attend the Digital World 2012 conference, said Bangladeshi talents are better suited for visual communications such as graphic and web designing, animation, and so on.

Also, the demand for this field of work is on the rise as front office outsourcing declines.

“Bangladesh has the resources to become a serious player in the outsourcing industry.”

He said there is a market of $4.6 billion for the BPO business in Australia, while another billion-dollar market is in the offing.

A number of new institutions are in the pipeline and all these companies will have to develop their web pages through outsourcing.

Bangladesh can play a big role here, Conboy said.

He said India has developed its BPO market with the capability of customer interaction (42 percent), finance and accounting (22), knowledge service (18), vertical-specific BPO service (14), procurement and Logistics (1), human resources outsourcing (2), and others 1 percent.

The Indian market is ready for the non-voice services but the Philippines’ market may fall in problems if the call centre market shrinks. A bigger segment of the market in the Philippines was developed for voice service or call centres, he said.

Bangladesh should concentrate on the non-voice IT-BPO sector before any other country takes the chance.

As English language is a barrier for the Bangladeshi people, non-voice can be the target, Conboy said.

For the job, Bangladesh will have to showcase its capabilities to the other countries.

“I am extremely bullish about the opportunity that is in front of Bangladesh with respect to ICT-BPO.”

Conboy said the Bangladesh government should have a BPO-ICT ministry that will work to raise the industry’s voice to the executive level.

Some countries that are strong players in the sector have such ministries, he said.

Source: The Daily Star