The political manifesto of the Bangladesh Government’s Vision 2021 was introduced to the nation back in 2008. As we all know, in the year 2021, Bangladesh is going to celebrate its 50 years of independence. Here, we’ll discuss the role of the ICT industry and the software companies in Bangladesh in the journey to 2021.
Looking forward to the golden years, the goal is to be a middle-income country with peace, prosperity, and dignity.
The concept of digital Bangladesh became a dream for the nation which emphasizes the use and spread of technology in every sector. This is an integral part of the Government’s vision.
Before highlighting the Vision-2021 goal, let’s take a look at the present scenario of Bangladesh
We are living in a country of 160 million people. Our capital city Dhaka, has ranked as the second least livable city, as per the economist intelligence unit of annual Global Liveability Index 2018.
With a density of 47,000 people per square kilometer, we are struggling for power and energy supply, availability of hygienic water, lack of gas supply, health, sanitation, education, law, facilities of using technologies, unbearable gridlock and many more.
To overcome the lackings and make Bangladesh livable, the Government has set few goals for the year 2021:
The eight proposed goals are:
- Become a poverty-free middle-income country
- To have a participatory democracy and active parliaments
- Create a transparent and decentralised system of governance
- Transformation of political culture
- Corruption free society.
- Ensure more empowerment and equal rights for women
- Increase the economic development and initiative (meet basic needs, food and nutrition, education, housing, water resources, energy security, infrastructure development, housing, environment, water resources).
- Introduce Bangladesh in the global arena ( achievements of liberation, culture, foreign policy, good religion).
The principal coordinator for Sustainable Development Growth (SDG), Mr. Abul Kalam Azad stated in a leading newspaper that –
“If Bangladesh could clinch independence in nine months, the government will also succeed (in facing the challenges) within the next five to seven years.”
The Government of Bangladesh is working actively to meet the goals. All the purposes of this vision is closely connected with the ICT sector of Bangladesh.
Have you ever wondered how the concept of Digital Bangladesh and Software Companies relate to each other?
Well, the idea of digital Bangladesh implies the widespread use of technology in every sector of development and focusing on that, the backbone of any digital initiative of a country undoubtedly starts with their ICT sector.
Unlike other industries, ICT has a direct impact on transforming other markets into automation. In the last five years, Bangladesh has seen a tremendous growth in the information technology (ICT) sector. It has a market of 160+ million people, where consumer spending is around USD 130 billion+ growing at 6% annually.
If we look through the past years, we can see how software companies in Bangladesh are simultaneously working with the Government to increase the growth rate by creating more scopes for employment and by introducing new technologies and software.
The software association of Bangladesh popularly known as BASIS put forward the startups since it brings more young entrepreneurs in the ICT sector. According to a survey of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), Bangladesh has around 800 registered software and ITES (IT Enabled) companies.
However, there is every single possibility available to have hundred unregistered IT ventures. Among this list, only a few companies get recognised as the best software company in Bangladesh.
To provide us with the more technological facilities, the Government has also established ICT parks which include the names- Kaliakoir high-tech park in Gazipur and Jessore Software Technology Park. We also have planned project Mohakhali IT Village in Dhaka, Barendra Silicon city in Pabna Upazila and Sylhet Electronic City.
For this massive establishment, best software and hardware industries will be employed. For the investors, all the parks will be connected with both road and railway.
For our youth generation, outsourcing is the booming market nowadays. To encourage the youth of the nation, the Government runs several projects where they can learn technological subjects and terms. However, to build a good career in the outsourcing market, they need more relevant training.
Software Companies Are Creating More Employment Opportunities
If we notice, with the change of time, Software and IT service industry became the most popular employment sector in Bangladesh. To get a more clear view about this section, we studied a few survey paper of BASIS from where we came to know that the estimated size of the entire IT industry in Bangladesh is to be around Tk. 1,800 crore, which is around US$ 250 Million.
The report from BASIS also stated that approximately 30,000 professionals are currently working as an employee in the industry.
As a typical nation, we can easily say that in terms of other traditional mainstream industry, the number of overall employment creation from the software industry is not significantly remarkable. However, if we start to think in the context of creating high-quality employment, the average monthly compensation of software industry is over Tk.15,000 per month. Top graduates are remarkably establishing their careers with the best software companies in Bangladesh.
How strongly the ICT is expanding the industry in local and global market:
Software industries in Bangladesh are expanding their business both in the local market and global market by providing the best IT solutions for every sector like banking, textile, retail or production. If we survey in Bangladesh, then we will commonly find organisations looking for top software development companies to get a customised ERP Software, HR software Solution, Banking Solution, Sales automation or Inventory Management System.
- ERP Software: The full form of ERP is Enterprise Resource Planning. A complete ERP software solution efficiently manages all your core business processes and activities
- HR Software: Human: Resource software or HR software allows you to manage all HR related activities efficiently and helps you to reduce your administrative and operational costs
- Accounting Software: Accounting software helps to balance all the transactions of an organization like expense, income, balance cash, etc.
- Inventory Management: Keeping track of an inventory is a big hassle for the managers. With the help of this software company can easily keep track of available product stock and product requirements
BASIS recently surveyed their three hundred members where the analysis shows that over 70% of companies are actively involved in the development and maintenance of software for their local and global clients. The demand for right software solutions in banking or financial sectors like insurance, leasing or MFIs (Microfinance Institutions) are also remarkable.
With the vision of digital Bangladesh, the ICT sector will possibly become the country’s 3rd engine in the future.
Software export market scenario in Bangladesh
Most of the earning of software industries come from individual initiatives. In foreign markets, the demand for ERP solutions made by Bangladeshi developers is high. Other than that, the need for chatting applications, billing software, administrative software is also remarkable.
In fiscal year 2016-2017, Bangladesh nearly received $800 million by exporting locally developed software and providing ICT related services which also includes the earning of outsourced and freelance work. A few decades ago, the value of export from the ICT sector was probably less than a few million. Now, the industry is expanding and flourishing both in the local and global market by fulfilling market demand. The Government of Bangladesh targeted to get the earnings up to $1 billion by 2018 and $5 billion by 2021.
“There is always more demands than there is time to meet them, so it is constantly a matter of trying to meet them.” -Mark Andreessen
Local software development companies like Southtech started to export their software solutions in BHUTAN since 2005 and with time expanded the network in the USA, MYANMAR, and UK. The Government expects that more companies will follow this trend for the betterment of the software industry.
International Recognition of Bangladesh software companies-
The software industry in Bangladesh is not only increasing the value of foreign currency but also getting international recognition in global markets as a Business Hub of ICT. To get recognised by international organisations Bangladeshi software technologists have proper knowledge over C, C++, C#, Java or Android for software development.
Many software companies in Bangladesh are performing tremendously well for the last couple of years, and at present, Bangladesh has at least ten software companies who have reached Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) level three. While “SOUTHTECH GROUP” brings enormous pride to the country by achieving CMMI level five, more software development companies are working to receive this certification.
With the international recognition, the progress of software companies in Bangladesh can easily be measured.
Why you need CMMI Level 5 certification
CMMI – Capability Maturity Model Integration is one of the significant indicators for measuring the quality of software firms. In more straightforward words, CMMI is a methodology that assists organizations in developing and refining their process.
Importance of CMMI level appraisal for software companies
If we ask anyone in the software industry that why CMMI appraisal is essential, then they will reply that the Capability Maturity Model Integration is not only designed as risk management but is also able to indicate the capacity of individual organisations ability to manage those risks. The definite sign of this indication is that an organisation can meet its promises or can provide high-quality products as per the market demand.
The communication barrier inside the organisations is a common scenario. We can break this barrier if we follow a common framework and language. Also, with a proper integration model, we can get a clear view of the sectors in which we need improvement and can understand the facts to achieve adequate customer satisfaction.
Organisations with great maturity and high capabilities undoubtedly face unexpected and stressful situations. For those firms, the CMMI model works as a great indicator regarding how an organisation will act before certain stressful circumstances. Also, organisations can comply with the ISO 9000 more thoroughly.
In short, CMMI ensures better quality, provides better ROI (return on investment), enables on-time delivery, allows flexibility to fit your needs and encourages continuous improvement. It is not easy to get the CMMI appraisal, but it opens more opportunity for the organisations.
Barriers of software companies in Bangladesh we need to focus –
The Government of Bangladesh has set some limitations for the startup software companies. To get a trade license and VAT Registration, companies have to meet specific terms and conditions given by the Government. For now, the main challenge for the ICT sector is the lack of proper infrastructure and skilled human resources. The problem of slow internet connection has also highlighted by many software companies as a significant problem. Bangladesh also has a lack of branding for the ICT sector through which global buyers can come to know about the quality and capacity of the Bangladeshi ICT industry.
According to a survey of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the ICT sector of Bangladesh also faced challenges while receiving payments from foreign clients. All the cash of ICT from global markets come through banking channels and digital payment services such as Upay, hence some amounts are not considered as export earnings.
“It is the responsibility of experts to make a way to break the barriers to achieve success.” -Gianni Versace
For The Way Forward To Future:
In the sense of growth prospects, the software industry in Bangladesh has an exceptionally bright future. It can also provide work opportunities for millions. For achieving a significant share in the global Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market, Bangladesh Government needs to provide-
- Policy support and branding for software companies
- Accurate data to set up a good strategy for the expansion of the industry
- Ensure high-speed internet and uninterrupted electricity for the ICT sector
- Never lose quality over quantity
- Establish a proper mechanism of payment system to calculate actual export earning of the ICT industry
The expert of IT industries believes that if they get all the support from the Government of Bangladesh to overcome the obstacles, then the journey for achieving the vision 2021 will be much more comfortable and successful. If the country can cope up with the changes of decades, they will undoubtedly continue their current run and their rate of success. Whatever changes will come in technology, software companies will have to step up to meet the requirement of time.