Improving Information Technology in Bangladesh

Improving Information Technology in Bangladesh

Although Bangladesh often views India with a mixture of enmity and suspicion, it

would do well to plagiarize a page or two out of India’s recent economic history text. In

2001, India’s electronic information services accounted for 1.4% of their gross domestic

product (GDP). By 2008 this will have grown to 7%, representing 19% of the total

incremental growth of India’s GDP (“Benefits of IT Outsourcing to India”). These

services comprise information technology-enabled services (ITES). As defined by

Clarissa Dimacali in “External Market Analysis”, “ITES involve business processes and

services that extensively utilize components of information communication technology

(ICT), such as software, hardware, and the Internet”. For example, an accounting

company in the United States or Europe, where processing standard tax returns is

expensive, outsources returns overseas where they can be done cheaper. Another example

of a basic IT-enabled service is call centers. Large companies like Microsoft, who

produce myriad products, must have extensive help centers in order to aid their

customers. Microsoft routes their basic help request calls to India, where they have

employees who are qualified to answer questions about their products. According to

Dimacali the confluence of outsourcing and ITES has become an industry on its own, the

same industry that India is taking advantage of.

Not only India, but other countries in South Asia, such as the Philippines,

Thailand, and Malaysia, have begun to develop their own ITES sectors. Bangladesh is

poised to expand its own ITES industry if certain conditions are met, namely, taking

advantage of and developing its low-cost, abundant workforce, improving its

telecommunications infrastructure, and renovating the way it conducts business. Not only

is this possible, but it is a golden opportunity for Bangladesh to make an impact in a

relatively green, low-cost industry.

Bangladeshi IT Workforce

Bangladesh’s IT workforce has huge potential to aid its ITES sector in achieving

recognition, not only on a small scale, but also in the global market. Bangladesh boasts a

huge, low cost labor pool but needs to promote higher education in order to get these

people working in the IT sector. As of 2001 there were 5,120 students enrolled in higher-

level ICT education.


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