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Processing the Possibilities

The Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry is the world’s fastest growing industries at the moment. This industry allows businesses to make use of IT related opportunities globally, by generating employment worldwide. Bangladesh, with its lucrative young population, was declared second amongst the major IT outsourcing countries in the world by the Oxford University. A survey done by the university’s Oxford Internet Institute (OII) revealed the rankings. Currently, it can be noted from the report that India has managed to acquire the first position amongst all the other nations. with its expertise being in the software development and technology fields. The US in third position, specializes in writing and translation.

An article titled, “BPO,youth and Bangladesh” by Ahmadul Hoq, President, Bangladesh Association of Call Centre and Outsourcing (BACCO), claimed that an inflow of about $400 million per year in the ICT sector has helped the BPO industry transform to a great extent. Also, with half of the workforce being students who work alongside their studies and another 30,000 working in call centers, it is definite that the BPO business has high potentials. Its growth rate is more than 100% per year and a current market value of about 180 million dollars. Various sources have also informed that, while BPO captures a market of $600 billion globally, of which Bangladesh has only been able to tap market share worth $180 million. Thus, BPO can surely be converted into the second largest industry for foreign currency income after the RMG sector if Bangladesh decides to shift focus.

“BANGLADESH HAS A POPULATION OF ABOUT 110 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE AGE RANGE OF 16-35. AMONG THIS GROUP, 65% ARE UNDER 35 AND 50% ARE UNDER 25. THEREFORE, IT IS HIGH TIME THAT THE COUNTRY SHOULD START MAKING PROPER USE OF ITS DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.”

The article also mentioned that about 4.5 million people work in the RMG industry with an average monthly income of $50-60 and an annual income of $600. However, the government is yet to receive tax from them. Another 4.5 million people are found living from hand to mouth, but not contributing much to the country’s development. Similarly, in the case of remittance, around 9 million people send money from abroad but pay no tax on this. Therefore, government earnings from these sources is negligible and so, the development of the middle-income families is one of the main goals of BPO.

BPO can be the perfect industry for the young minds to earn middle-level income of about $5,000 per year as working in offices and restaurants may not be feasible for everyone. Thus, making it easier for them to pay taxes to government. This will, in turn, raise the standard of living, contribute to the GDP growth and help to develop the nation as a whole.
As far as the skills required for the BPO industry are concerned, an individual firstly needs to have a knack to learn and the ability to communicate. Fortunately, Bangladesh has about 25 thousand people graduating and preparing themselves for this industry per year.

According to the aforementioned article, Bangladesh has a population of about 110 million people in the age range of 16-35. Among this group, 65% are under 35 and 50% are under 25. Therefore, it is high time that the country should start making proper use of its demographic dividend for economic development. Moreover, if the world population is considered, two million programmers are needed in United States, United Kingdom and Japan and it is further predicted that within five years, two million more programmers and coders will be needed in these regions. However, unlike Bangladesh their aging population makes up the majority of their demographic. 50% of Japan’s population is over the age of 50. Europe and America are also facing a shortage of young population. Bangladesh can, therefore, train its younger population and seize the employment opportunities globally.
It is of no doubt that the BPO industry in Bangladesh, with its gaining popularity and availability of the human resource, is about to reach incredible heights soon.

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