A strategy for developing the
ICT Enabled Services (ITES) sector in Bangladesh
Produced by the stakeholders of the sector in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce
and the International Trade Centre, Geneva
The Export Promotion Bureau
The strategy and implementation plans contained in this report are the result of work undertaken by the
International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC), the stakeholders of the Light Engineering sector, government
agencies, business and trade support organisations and non-government organisations in Bangladesh. The
work was funded by the European Commission (EC) under Project BGD/75/21A.
The International Trade Centre would like to thank the stakeholders of the Bangladesh Light
Engineering sector for their work in producing this strategy and the plans to implement it, in
particular. ITC is grateful to the Ministry of Commerce, for accepting to be the country sponsor of
the project, Mr. Md. Shahab Ullah, Vice Chairman (Additional Secretary), Export Promotion Bureau
(EPB), for being an able and dedicated counterpart of the strategy development process and
We are grateful to the sector team members who worked tirelessly and professionally throughout
the whole strategy development process. There dedication, contributions, team spirit and technical
know how in the light engineering sector is unmatched. The principal contributors for this edition
The staff of the Export Promotion Bureau;
Mr. Md. Abdul Qayyum, Director General, Mr.. Khalilur Rahman, Director General
Mr. Faridul Hasan, Director General
The staff of the Ministry of Commerce;
Mr. Shahid Hasan, BQSP National Project Director, Mr. Abour Rauf, Deputy Project Director
The staff of International Trade Centre (ITC) and International experts;
Brig Gen (Retd) M. Mofizur Rahman, National Project Coordinator for BQSP of ITC
Mr Ian Sayers, Senior Adviser for the Private Sector
Mr Sophien Hanouz, Senior Trade Strategy and Value Chain Development Specialist
Mr Ram Karan Verma, ITES International Market Expert
The National Institutions and National experts
BASIS – Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services represented by its
Mr Habibullah N Karim, Markets specialist
Mr Fokhruz Zaman, Value Chain Analyst
The working groups
Mr Habibullah N Karim, Founder CEO, TechnoHaven Company Ltd
Mr Fokhruz Zaman, Co-Founder CTO, Millennium Information Solution Ltd
Mr Nazim Farhan Chowdhury, Director, Graphic People
Mr Ahmed Ashrafuzzaman, ED, GAIL
Mr Asif Yousuf, Managing Director, DCL
Mr Shabbir Mahbub, Joint Managing Director, Devnet Limited
Mr Mamnoon M. Chowdhury, CEO, Latitude 23
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this report do not imply the expression of any
opinion whatsoever on the part of the International Trade Centre, UNCTAD/WTO (ITC), concerning the legal
status of any country, territory, city, or area, or of its authorities, or, concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or
This report has not been formally edited by the International Trade Centre
2 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
SCOPE OF THE STRATEGY..................................................................................................................................6
A STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPING THE ITES SECTOR IN BANGLADESH.....7
MACRO ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT SCENARIO AND ANALYSIS........................................................................7
ANALYSIS OF BENEFICIARIES AND STAKEHOLDERS........................................................................................12
PROGRESS INDICATORS TO MONITOR SECTOR DEVELOPMENT:.......................................................................13
ITES SECTOR STRATEGY OBJECTIVES & ACTIVITIES..........................15
OBJECTIVE 1: NEW MARKET APPROACHES DEFINED AND EXECUTED TO
RESPOND TO INTERNATIONAL DEMAND...........................................16
OBJECTIVE 2: MANAGEMENT CAPABILITY & OPERATIONAL CAPACITY
INCREASED FOR NEW MARKETS.......................................................19
OBJECTIVE 3: BUSINESS & TRADE FACILITATION SERVICES UPGRADED
OBJECTIVE 4: POWER UTILITIES, TECHNICAL FACILITIES AND
COMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVED...............................24
SCENARIOS FOR POTENTIAL OUTCOMES..........................................26
1 OPTIMISTIC SCENARIO:.................................................................................................................................26
2. ALTERNATIVE SCENARIOS...........................................................................................................................27
STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK.....................................29
KEY PARTICIPANTS IN IMPLEMENTATION ACTIVITIES.....................................................................................30
STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION PLANS...............................................31
ANNEX 1. MARKET STRATEGY OPTIONS AND SUCCESS FACTORS..................................................................36
ANNEX 2: ITES VALUE CHAIN ANALYSIS......................................................................................................40
ANNEX 3. LIST OF DOCUMENTS & REPORTS CONSIDERED ...........................................................................44
ANNEX 4. LIST OF PARTICIPANTS FOR THE ITES SECTOR WORKSHOPS 1 & 2..............................................45
ANNEX 5. GLOSSARY OF TERMS ....................................................................................................................51
ANNEX 5. THE SHAPE TECHNIQUE FOR STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT ............................................................52
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 3
4 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
The Bangladesh Quality Support Programme (BQSP) is funded by the European Commission (EC)
and consists of two components with Component 1 implemented by UNIDO, and Component 2
implemented by the ITC.
Activities under Component 2 (Supporting Export Diversification) are aimed at improving the private
sector understanding about quality and packaging requirements in export markets, and its capacity
to apply the value chain approach to find ways to enhance product competitiveness in these
markets. This component will in particular assist Bangladesh in harmonising the efforts of all
relevant stakeholders through the development of export strategies at sector level using value chain
approach and focusing on supply chain management, quality management and packaging to
achieve export diversification objectives by enhancing the competitiveness and quality of products.
One outcome of this project component aims at improving the competitiveness of exports from the
ICT Enabled Services (ITES) sector in Bangladesh by assisting stakeholders to design strategies
for sector trade and value chain development and using market requirements to organise
improvements in quality management systems, export packaging and supply chain operations to a
level acceptable to international buyers. Activities will be undertaken to enhance the knowledge and
capacity of the private sector to adapt to international quality standards, technical and non-technical
barriers to trade, packaging and transportation standards. Information, training, and coaching will
also be provided to help enterprises respond to market opportunities and develop new approaches
for selected markets.
The ITES strategy has been developed as an intervention tool that provides a rational approach, by
both public institutions and private sector individuals, to the promoting of sustained growth of this
sector in particular, and the economy in general.
The Ministry of Commerce has invited The International Trade Centre (ITC) of Geneva to support
the development of the sector by providing a methodology and facilitation to produce a trade
strategy for the sector, including strategic market options and help to organize its implementation
with domestic counterparts
The contents of this strategy have been designed by stakeholders representing each stage of the
sectors’ value chain, government agencies, business and trade support services – both inside and
outside of Bangladesh – large and small entrepreneurs – exporters, international buyers,
international sector specialists, academic researchers and recognised experts in economics and
development (see the workshop and meeting participants lists in the Annex). The strategy is
intended to provide a platform for the implementation of the activities described in it to improve the
performance of the sector, balancing out the costs of implementing upgrading measures with
improved social and economic returns to the economy. This document covers the ITES sector and
highlights issues and potential solutions that may be also applicable across the whole IT sector.
The strategy is designed to develop a consensus amongst stakeholders about development
priorities align implementation activities, provide implementation progress measures and list the
resources required to implement each activity. It is also designed to communicate to sector
stakeholders, who could not take part in the ITC-led workshops in Dhaka, the way that
improvements to the sector environment should lead to improved profitability and exports for
stakeholders. As such the strategy has three main audiences:
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 5
Manufacturers, exporters, supply and sales agents, banks, training institutions and trade
negotiators and related bodies
Government agencies and policy-making bodies involved in the sector e.g.: Ministry of
Science & Technology, Ministry of Education, EPB.
International development agencies, donors that may wish to support the implementation
Scope of the strategy
The strategy outlines general and specific intervention measures in areas key to the sustained
growth of the ITES sector in Bangladesh. These include:
Policy, regulatory and institutional framework
Support services and infrastructure
Nature of private sector players including their production capacities
Technology transfer, technology assimilation and dissemination
R&D to develop appropriate technology and indigenous technology
The sector strategy has been designed by moving from a general full sector to a specific market
segment focus. Inputs under the project include field activities such as field missions, workshops,
one to one meetings with public and private institutions and international development agencies and
specialists both within Bangladesh and abroad. Stakeholders from across the whole sector defined
the specific market segment options focus in a public workshop. This was the result of a debate
about market options, key success factors and the degree of “fit” with the capabilities and capacity
of Bangladesh companies. Due attention was also paid to the potential evolution of both markets
and Bangladesh suppliers’ capacities over time.
6 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
A STRATEGY FOR DEVELOPING THE ITES SECTOR IN BANGLADESH
Macro Economic Environment Scenario and Analysis
ICT Enabled Services (ITES) Sector constitutes a small but growing segment of the economy of
Bangladesh in terms of their contribution to employment, output, value addition and exports. ITES
occupies a unique position in the Bangladeshi economy. Studies have shown that economic growth
for poverty alleviation and improving quality of life depends largely on the development of healthy
SMMEs (Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises). Analysis shows Bangladeshi SMMEs are the
motor of domestic economic activity and have contributed substantially to Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) and employment growth during the last few decades. At present, all the companies in the
ITES sector are SMMEs. Although the ITES sector contribution to GDP is still not very significant, it
has the potential to grow very quickly in GDS (Graphic Design Services) and Business Process
Outsourcing (BPO) areas to provide a similar success to that of Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam.
Other reasons for promoting the ITES sector as a focus for development assistance
The ITES sector requires less capital and generates more employment per unit of capital than, for
example, the garments industry. It is well known as a labour-intensive industry. Relatively low skills
requirements in ITES enterprises can contribute to the livelihood of large number of poor citizens,
training and employing a significant number of college and high-school leavers who cannot reach
University degree level and who currently make up a large proportion of the unemployed in urban
areas. The industry also promotes the diffusion of technology among a mass of people. Industry
units can be sited near to significant populations of suitable labour and do not have to be located in
city centres, alleviating traffic congestion and overcrowding. It is a “quiet and clean” industry that
can be sited near residential areas. Work can be undertaken in shifts around the clock providing
flexible working hours that enable people otherwise excluded from work to participate.
ITES enterprises enjoy relatively low capital investment needs, shorter start-up periods, lower
capital output ratio, low energy cost, moderate infrastructure requirement, and contribute foreign
earnings growth and environment friendly production processes. The current cost of labour
resources for this industry in Bangladesh is among the lowest in the world – and less than our main
competitors in Vietnam, Philippines and China.
Linkages between the Strategy Process and other Government Initiatives and
In recent years the Government of Bangladesh has taken bold initiatives for encouraging
investment and promoting growth. Trade liberalization measures were introduced, exchange
controls were eased, financial sector reforms were initiated and steps were taken to deregulate
private investment. These initiatives do appear to reflect a major change in Government attitude to
the private sector, but they need refinement and reinforcement. It would be fair to say that these
changes have brought about a very significant improvement in the investment climate, but
significant foreign investment is still slow to materialise. A pervasive network of Government
regulations and controls remains. This strategy highlights some additional efforts that are needed to
further improve the investment climate.
The creation of an enabling environment for ITES activities will be a very important step that may
also be suitable for other services industries. The strategy also highlights specific areas of
regulatory, institutional, planning, legislation and competition policies that need refinement to bring
the Bangladesh environment for this type of business activity into line with that of its competitor
Market Options and Future Outlook
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 7
A few Bangladesh ITES products and services companies have started to make significant entries
into export markets. These companies face a growth in demand in the form of firm orders from
existing customers over the next few years that outstrip current supply capacity by a long way. This
situation applies to specific market segments of the sector, namely:
• Graphic design Services: Design Data Services, Prepress Graphics, Advertising,
Publishing, Digital printing on a variety of media (mobile phones, billboards, digital TV
services, Corporate reports. Buyers include: global businesses such as: leading computer
suppliers and software suppliers, sports retailers, auto and tyre makers
• Steel detailing, civil and marine construction (including support for the burgeoning
ship-building industry), Finite element analysis, CAE/CAM design & graphics rendition;
Visualization and 3 dimensional modeling. Buyers include: Civil and Structural engineers,
Civil engineering contractors, Architects, Builders, Steel fabricators, Ship designers and
• Multimedia graphics services: Web Publishing, Web Content, Animation, 2 dimensional
Studio graphics. Buyers include: Corporate, advertising agencies, real estate developers,
E-Learning companies, TV Commercial production centers.
• Mobile telephone content: Voice activated and voice recognition applications, Graphic
animation and visuals. Buyers include: Large corporate entities, Telephone service
providers, 3rd-party content and service providers.
• Offshore data services: Data entry and transposition, Data /Documentation conversion and
migration, GIS data conversion, Graphics data processing, Back-office outsourcing support.
Buyers in this segment include: Corporate entities, Utilities, Hospitals, Banking & Finance,
• Customer Relationship Management services and call centers: Inbound/Outbound centres,
Contact centers, Data & voice operational and facilities maintenance. Buyers include:
Domestic and Indian corporate entities with large manufacturing sites, Utilities, Banking &
MoSCT of the currently successful ITES companies were started under a project that was managed
by DANIDA between 2005 and 2008. The problem now is how to assist Bangladesh companies to
obtain appropriate market information to enable them to grow their businesses for themselves into
new markets. There is an information gap. Potential buyers across the world are not aware of the
high-quality services that Bangladeshi companies could provide and, in turn, Bangladeshi
companies need help in organising their market presence and customer-facing marketing networks.
International professional services bodies reports all point to a situation of insufficient supply to
meet demand at a fair price for several years to come.
8 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
Principle institutional actors and their areas of activity:
Areas of Focus Agencies Areas of Focus (at present)
BASIS Training / Advocacy
Trade support institution
Market Research / HR skill
development/ access to finance/
Policy reforms/ Technology and
know-how transfer/ Export market
Training IDB HR Skills Development
EPB Export N/A Export market information
Art Institute, Dhaka
Education N/A Educate / Train Students to
become professional Artists in
different focus areas
Graphic Art College Diploma in Graphic
N/A Educate / Train students in
colleges and training
centres of GoB at
Diploma in CAD /
N/A Educate / Train students in
Computer Aided Design; and/or
Drafting using tools like,
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 9
10 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
Bangladesh will evolve into the global hub for Graphic Design Services (GDS). This will bring
visibility, international contractor and investor interest to the expansion of other high value-added
ITES segments, such as engineering services, 3-d modelling, multimedia and mobile telephony
content. With the implementation of this strategy graphic design services alone are expected to
benefit from USD 20 Mn of new investment by Bangladesh companies creating 20,000 new direct
employment positions before 2011 with annual revenue increasing to USD 150 million. Within the
next 7 years it is anticipated that the entire ITES industry could create another 100,000 new jobs.
Overall strategic approach:
Bangladesh ITES companies will form themselves into clusters of excellence to share market
intelligence, a resource pool and, in some cases, development facilities – such as the planned
Science & Technology Park.
Through a system of self-regulation of quality and business relations cluster companies will build a
brand image to attract high-quality contractors and long-term relationships.
Management capability will be strengthened through educational and know-how exchange linkages
with renowned international management institutions and foreign sectoral professional bodies.
Sector support institutions will be established and strengthened with the help of project partners to
extend management and entrepreneurship development know-how to new entrants into the
business. At least one institution will manage and coordinate international marketing and market
information services for the sector.
A public/private funded, internationally accredited, technical training institution will be created to
train and prepare school and college leavers for the fundamentals of technical and supervisory work
in the sector.
Banking and payment regulations and facilities will be urgently updated as planned and agreed by
banks to allow payments and receipts to or from foreign persons to Bangladeshi credit cards,
reduce costs of small foreign currency payments and receipts, reduce requirement to keep foreign
currency accounts outside of the country.
Anticipated outputs and expected benefits
Potential revenue target of BDT 1000 Crore achieved by 2011
20,000 new employment positions generated by 2011, many with flexible working hours -
improving family lifestyles
Average monthly income increased to USD 200 per person per month
Significant populations of currently disadvantaged groups participate in the success of the
sector, eg: Women and the partially disabled, undergraduate high school and college leavers
Major contribution to improving the image of Bangladesh overseas as a place to do business
UP to 100,000 additional jobs created directly and indirectly across the ITES sector by 2015.
In order to realize the full potential of the industry all the stakeholders need to be committed to
finding lasting solutions to the prevailing problems by achieving the following objectives:
Objective 1: New market approaches defined and executed to respond to international demand
Objective 2: Management capability & operational capacity increased for new markets
Objective 3: Business & trade facilitation services upgraded - to respond to international market
standards. Self-regulatory code of practice established.
Objective 4. Power utilities, technical facilities and communication infrastructure improved - to
match those of competitor countries and comply with basic international market
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 11
Main priority actions to be completed
Form a sector strategy implementation and coordination project committee [3 months].
Conduct market research, prepare and execute a marketing plan by engaging international
experts [3 months].
Complete an industry segment profile and publish as a brochure of existing companies and
suppliers to give equal visibility to all ITES businesses [3 months].
Start dialogue and detailed planning with potential international partners to establish graphic
design and ITES services training institution [6 months].
Establish accredited training centres with government or foreign donor assistance as a
separate, and eventually, sustainable business [9 months].
Engage international experts to improve degree and robustness of process automation [12
Design sector self-regulatory quality code criteria for selection of initial international marketing
project participants (20 max) [6 months].
In Bangladesh, since the cost of infrastructure facilities (such as electricity, gas, transportation,
telecommunication, etc.), labour and buildings, are comparatively lower than other countries,
production costs will remain competitive in global markets if the strategy activities are
implemented. Improved management techniques & a proper marketing strategy will contribute to
improvements in efficiency and reduce the net costs.
The main inputs to ITES businesses are finance, market information, training, infrastructure
development, R & D, management tools, licenses technology, skills and links with professional
support and accreditation institutions. The business environment should be conducive to ITES
development, with minimal transaction costs, clear and transparent rules and a stable
macroeconomic environment. For strengthening ITES around the country, the public and private
sectors will have to cooperate effectively. With the implementation of appropriate policies &
strategies, ITES will be able to grow as one of the Most dynamic sectors in Bangladesh.
Analysis of beneficiaries and stakeholders
The implementation of the strategy will benefit all the sector stakeholders. However, the primary
beneficiaries of the strategy will be:
Eventually more than 100 SME ITES enterprises.
Capacity and capabilities of at least 10 support and service provider organizations.
Currently unemployed school and college leavers with good reading, writing, coordination
and concentration skills.
Women are expected to make up the majority of the 20,000 immediate new recruits, but
partially disabled employees will also be targeted where facilities can allow access.
Implementation should also contribute to more sustainable growth in the country, a reduction in
suburban depression and bring Bangladesh closer to achieving donor, NGO and development
agency goals in relation to poverty reduction and employment in rural and poor communities
12 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
Progress indicators to monitor sector development:
The effective monitoring of the strategy requires the use of a set of progress indicators to track the
Most important developments in the sector and its environment. Indicators should include:
• Value and volume of exports and record of new business won.
• International service charges and sales volume for products / services specified in the 3
areas in comparison to competitor countries such as Thailand, Philippines, India, Vietnam,
• Number, potential and actual, production capacity, shifts worked and employment in the
enterprises in the 3 areas.
• Market structure and number of new investments in the 3 areas.
• Accessibility of market information by the sectors stakeholders.
• Quality of market information by the sector stakeholders.
• Registrations of participations in international trade fairs and registrations of actual results.
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 13
14 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
ITES SECTOR STRATEGY OBJECTIVES & ACTIVITIES
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 15
OBJECTIVE 1: NEW MARKET APPROACHES DEFINED AND EXECUTED
TO RESPOND TO INTERNATIONAL DEMAND
Businesses in the sector are facing an unprecedented level of demand for their services. In this type
of high growth situation the greatest risk is of over-extending a business and then damaging
reputations by not performing according to expectations. Business owners need to develop a
market approach plan for achievable growth, focus their service offer, maximise return on
management effort and minimise non-performance risk. This should be seen as a way to lay the
seeds for eventual differentiation and branding of their businesses, building the reputation of
Bangladesh for quality, respect for intellectual property and reliability. Market approach plans will
enable new markets to be systematically opened-up with corresponding managed incremental
growth in operational capacity. Plans should contain both entry and exit strategies for the
The cost of entering new markets is considerable and many businesses in the sector expressed
a wish to participate jointly in market intelligence and training in how to plan market approaches,
initial sector-level country representation costs and information.
Participants of the workshop suggested that BASIS could organise this and act as initial
implementing partner. BASIS has already foreseen a marketing resource centre and allocated
space for one in its new office extension, but this facility has yet to receive any resources.
The goal of the leading 15 to 20 actively exporting businesses is to grow their operations into
well-managed large companies within the next 2 years each with a workforce between 500 and
1,000 workers. This would enable them to win and maintain more long-term business service
partner contracts with good quality large contractors and multi-national organisations.
The overall goals and objectives of these “marketing approaches” can be partially achieved by
establishing a capable ITES market research and networking cell in BASIS, and eventually in a
suitable forum active for ITES. The ITES industry segment should also play its role in contributing to
execute its global market entry and business growth activities. They should encourage the
exchange of learning on new market entry contracting conditions and expectations with global trade
associations like the Paris Chamber in France, Professional bodies in the UK, Denmark and the
USA, and other friendly associations.
Objective 1: Anticipated outputs
1. Marketing and resource cell set-up and functional, research conducted and shared.
2. Self-regulatory quality and working practices code established for export cluster members.
3. Publications and government embassies receive promotion material to raise awareness of
GDS capabilities and successes. A new international promotion and referral network is
4. ITES enterprise owners and managers attend training and counselling sessions and
improve their management techniques and customer communications / service levels..
5. Country and international partners strongly supporting the ITES sector development.
6. Positive feedback from current good quality contractors and buyers – customer and
business retention stated as “likely of probable”.
16 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
The suggested activities to achieve Objective 1 are listed below in two parts:
1: New market approaches defined & executed Priority &
A: Segments: Graphic design services & visualisation
Get counselling in production of capacity profiles, introductory presentations,
brochures (like the recent JICA initiative) & other collateral information media.
BASIS to lead candid self-assessment with owners of segment company strengths
Develop a marketing and resource cell in BASIS initially for the GDS segment with
support from a foreign National Counsel in communication, eg: Find out how to
develop references, publicity and capability sheets.
Find donor funded-resources / distance support / subsidy for the first year of
Request project and foreign professional institution support to research ways that
other country's expanding ITES sectors have achieved market penetration, eg:
through local presence for direct client contacts or otherwise.
Form a GDS cluster companies to have overseas presence for export marketing.
Engage specialist to facilitate workshops to help enterprise owners define, build and
“live” the definition of the Bangladesh ITES brand.
Define minimum GDS quality and working standards criteria. Start the creation of a
self-regulatory mechanism to ensure compliance with minimum working, business
and technical standards.
Start public relations exercise to showcase the segment’s successes in selected
trade journals (eg: civil & structural engineering, advertising & marketing, media
Find project funds from a donor to engage a journalist with experience of customers
in the sector to conduct interviews in Bangladesh and write editorial articles for
syndicated circulation to publications and Government of Bangladesh foreign
consulates in target markets.
Publicise Bangladesh companies’ unique compliance with Danish and EU graphics
rendering, aesthetics and design standards.
Identify Chargé d’affaires in each embassy as responsible for the ITES sector as
was done for the IT software sector.
Engage business consultants in target markets to assess potential new customers’
operating standards and contractual compliance requirements.
Request EPB assistance to support the preparation of groups of Bangladesh ITES
enterprises for match making missions through practical exercises, language and
cultural training or supervised non-sales visits to major trade fairs.
Create industry road show programmes with EPB. Arrange introductions and
awareness presentations on behalf of Bangladeshi companies. EPB to promote
BASIS to emphasize GDS both locally and globally with SIGs (Special Interest
Confirm government intention to broaden current Special Resource Ordnance
declaring ITES in same category as IT software sector. Ensure inclusion of GDS in ITES
extension of July 2008.
Communicate marketing strategy to operational managers and match sales push
with uptake and training of new personnel or preparations for new industry training
institute so that the Sales Cycle Time is drastically reduced (i.e. prospect to proposal
and pilot delivery turn around time may be reduced to 1 month instead of current 6
Assist businesses to develop customer relationship management systems and
practices to improve follow-up and retention of good customers.
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 17
Engage commercial law and contract specialist from target markets to inform GDS
cluster members about the implications of different legal contract forms and types of
business relationship customary to the sector.
Enlist the Graphics Design Companies on search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc to
improve web prominence of Bangladesh GDS cluster with web research (SEO -
Search Engine Optimization).
B: All ITES including engineering services, web and mobile media content
Obtain short-term donor funding to complete an industry segment profile and candid
self-assessment of national segments’ capacity, strengths and weaknesses and
produce brochures in various media as for the initial Graphic Design Service and
Software segments (JICA). Publish brochure and disseminate through consulates
and trade fairs.
BASIS marketing and resource cell to update non-resident Bangladeshis (NRB)
networks information and create a database of NRB accessible by members through
Invite NRBs to visit and meet Bangladeshi IT-ES companies.
Produce regular news e-bulletins for NRB and hold regular seminars with them when
visiting their countries.
Replicate GDS self-regulation and quality criteria Activity 1.3 across full ITES sector
–providing export pre-qualification criteria briefing to new entrants based on
up-to-date information about target market requirements from BASIS cell.
Coordinate efforts across BASIS and EPB to improve ITES visibility.
Create a working group for organizing trade fairs in Bangladesh, at least once a year
in the winter. Enhance capacity of BASIS to do this. Target 1 or 2 countries, do
research on prospects & invite to trade fair.
Increase fund allocation for trade fairs and visibility activities in foreign markets
(article placement in journals, etc.). Confirm Public Funds that EPB can provide to
support fairs and other events in Bangladesh.
Invite/bring serious prospective buyers to events in Bangladesh.
Counsel exhibitors on how to manage stalls professionally.
Start with international consultant counselled, non-sales visits for a selection of
export-ready enterprises from each segment to trade fairs and foreign professional
bodies to observe/evaluate what works/doesn’t work with buyers
Reinforce own marketing push with public support from MoSICT Minister, as in other
BASIS, together with other industry assocs. To organise "future of the industry"
information exchange session with government - consider supporting cost of
fact-finding tour for key Government advisers to go visit other countries
Extend graphics design journalist work to provide news of successful commercial
activities in international media in non GDS ITES segments and gain government
Develop demonstration and referral examples based on successful performance in
Request special emphasis on IT-ES promotion by our embassies. BASIS to train &
counsel consular staff
Set up government / enterprise task force to plan and coordinate overall sector and
country image building, positioning and eventual branding.
Find donor and allocate matching government funds to bring in world class
experienced specialists to help.
18 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
OBJECTIVE 2: MANAGEMENT CAPABILITY & OPERATIONAL CAPACITY
INCREASED FOR NEW MARKETS
Counsel entrepreneurs and train managers to understand target market customer operating and
contractual requirements. Assist Bangladeshi ITES management teams to improve their working
practices to meet order-winning factors and order-qualifying standards in markets in 3 years.
The Graphic Design Service (GDS) Segment particularly needs to urgently reduce turnaround time
for new contracts from prospecting to start of delivery work from 6 months to maximum two months.
To do this, business processes need to be aligned with customers’ expected international standard
practices and made more efficient, managers and supervisors need to be trained.
The workforce also needs to be expanded. A large number of new technical personnel certified to
international professional standards are required to meet projected needs of contract extensions
and new contracts over the next 18 months. The GDS segment will need to employ 20,000 new
technical staff, administrative and operations managers within the next 3 years Individual business
owners do not have the time, facilities or personnel to address this speed of growth at the moment.
To overcome this problem the segment’s leading enterprises would like to establish an accredited
technical training facility in association with an existing higher education facility. It would need to
produce about 500 trained ITES personnel in the first 6 months and treble output every 6 months
after that to respond to the planned growth of the segment. Several “campuses” could be
established with the help of external donors.
Training will be required in two parts: basic technical and administrative functions for work, and
proprietary tools for specific tasks for each target market. It is the first of these types of training that
enterprises would initially like to confer on a technical training institute. These institutions could also
provide training and coaching to improve English language skills before technical training.
Assistance from foreign institutions will be sought to counsel BASIS, the ministries of Science and
Technology, Education and Labour and ITES sector companies to complete this activity quickly.
Training institution student entrants will require basic level 12 college qualifications such as those
held by many thousands of urban Bangladeshi’s. Most of these people will be recruited from
currently unemployed school or college leavers in urban areas. At the moment these people face
few prospects of good jobs or future personal development. As working hours in the industry are
generally flexible and conditions safe, clean and attractive, many female workers will be attracted as
well as the partially disabled and male workers. Currently the industry pays on average Taka
12,000 per month, which is about eight times the average wage in the RMG sector.
Much of the cost of trained personnel employed in the export oriented Bangladeshi ITES firms was
initially borne by the DANIDA Private Sector Development (PSD) and later the Business-to-
Business (B2B) development programs. Employers themselves have now taken on this burden but
without the fiscal incentives enjoyed by the IT software sector.
Strategy workshop participants called on Government institutions to work alongside potential
employers, BASIS and sector training institutions to develop their own technicians’ basic skills and
knowledge for the sector as a prelude to providing commercial and trade promotion support.
The skills and understanding of the management teams of newly created enterprises should be
brought up to a minimum standard before they engage in significant export work so that their public
image is consistent with the Bangladesh ITES “Brand” and its vision for the future and trained
personnel are retained. This will be a more difficult task and external consultants with experience in
this area will be sought to provide curricula and counselling in how to achieve this goal.
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 19
Objective 2: Anticipated outputs
1. The technical level of entrepreneurs and managers skills in sales, marketing, management
and finance meets international expectations’ and equals those of competitor countries.
2. Training institutions are set-up and proposing to employees’ up-to-date accredited
programmes. Entrepreneurs and student’s cost of training is supported by the government
either directly or through fiscal measures.
3. At least 1,000 graduates complete training to the satisfaction of entrepreneurs in year 1.
4. Training institutions train new entrepreneurs in international standards & working practices.
5. Private sector, R&D institutes and Universities align their activities around the needs
expressed by ITES sector companies.
The suggested activities to achieve Objective 2 are listed below in two parts:
2: Management capability and operational capacity developed for new
A: Graphic design services & visualisation
Engage international consultants from 2 or 3 target markets to assist Bangladeshi
enterprises to upgrade their technical working practices, back-up services and
contractual engagement processes to fully comply with those of overseas
Engage ITES business process improvement and technical work flow specialists
to systematise and automate many currently manual and inefficient processes to
enable enterprises to respond to new prospects within maximum of 2 months
Build a partnership with one or more international industry institutions in
advanced countries to set up a technical vocational training institution in alliance
with an established Bangladesh education facility to train school and college
leavers in technical and commercial fundamentals of the industry.
First priority would be focused training schools to build graphics design and
web/mobile telephony-based content capabilities led by international specialists
working in parallel with local lecturers to kick-start the process and provide
immediate relief to shortage of labour.
Eventually develop international joint-venture with accredited technical schools
Provide at least 300 education loans, grants or scholarships for college leaver
students per year for technical vocational studies and training in ITES to cover
cost of essential accommodation and family support especially for missing
resource areas, eg: project management, foreign marketing, etc.
Request available specialised industrial tools and graphics hardware licenses to
be provided from OEM’s at special lower rates to start-up businesses and the
training institution to preclude eventual damaging software piracy claims.
Technical training institution to develop training curriculum for specialized
industrial tools and graphics as second phase of training institution development.
Training institute to expand curricula to encompass internationally accredited
project management skills development.
Government to reduce import duties and taxes on specialised software tools and
graphics hardware to promote use of licensed inputs and broader investment in
order-winning technology, image object banks and software for GDS companies.
Alliance to be expanded with international standard institution eg: in UK (CIPD) or
Denmark (DIPD) to start human resource management and trained personal
development training in Bangladesh to raise industry standards so that personnel
retention is improved.
Engage foreign technical specialists to assist Bangladesh ITES companies to
20 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
develop and implement appropriate HR retention policies and work environment
standards compliance – as started under the DANIDA B2B project in 2005/6.
BASIS encourages all enterprises to introduce international working practices
aligned with customers’ time zones and consumer expectations, eg: following
clients' working calendars as a condition of membership.
B: All ITES including web and mobile media content
Develop accreditation system for business coaching and mentorship: BASIS to
list and evaluate consultants and mentors (Blog to evaluate performance).
Expand awareness of international labour laws, customer ethical standards and
foreign quality of work standards applicable to ITES.
Develop experience-based entrepreneurship coaching in: What to do and What
not to do.
BASIS to develop additional services to member companies such as: find
international or local partners to develop middle management layers through
visiting fellows programme at training institution and direct in-enterprise
counselling (training & counselling in IT-ES project mgt., marketing, achieving
quality standards compliance, etc).
Create Panel of advisers and alliances with notable institutions to be formed by
Create and manage technical & professional certifications scheme for employees
in Bangladesh with new technical training institute and established education
Extend GDS scheme of student grants, loans or scholarships to provide at least
500 education loans for college leaver students per year for technical vocational
studies and training in ITES to cover cost of essential accommodation and family
support especially for missing resource areas, eg: project management, foreign
Impart real English language and communication skills into the industry - update
teaching methods and teachers’ English skills to improve results. Bring in foreign
teachers for English and software tools skills upgrading.
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 21
OBJECTIVE 3: BUSINESS & TRADE FACILITATION SERVICES
Reaching their sector development objectives requires a large financial and management effort
investment by owners of Bangladeshi companies. Although they have not been in business for
many years, those companies that could spearhead this development and secure new business for
the country have proved that they can survive and run well-managed entities. To take advantage of
the market’s interest in Bangladesh as a supplier they need to respond quickly to the current
increase in market demand.
There are three main areas where immediate assistance is required to bring the ITES business
environment into line with the business environment in Bangladesh’s main competitor countries to
preserve existing customers and demonstrate thee country’s commitment to improving standards
and the competitiveness of the industry:
Payments and receipts to and from persons or companies abroad are currently not allowed on
Bangladeshi credit cards. At the same time other forms of making and receiving small payments
(cheque or telegraphic Transfer) up to values equivalent to USD 1,000 are much more expensive
than they are in other countries. This is holding back the creation of new small enterprises in the
country and also impacts payment for sample and pilot tests. Out of a total export base of USD
25Mn more than 20% of business in this category is being lost (Figures corroborated by national
banks). In addition MoSCT medium and large-scale entrepreneurs keep accounts outside of
Bangladesh for these purposes, reducing the countries foreign exchange receipts by up to 50% in
total if services purchased with foreign currency remittances are also taken into account. Some
examples of the types of business being affected are:
1. Pilot projects and demonstration sales
2. Initial transactions for market prospecting
3. Delivery of samples
4. Ad-hoc maintenance services and multiple deliveries of small value work before long-term
high-value contracts are established.
5. Web-design and small multi-media design service contracts
A revision is urgently needed of the Bangladesh National Bank’s (BNB) regulations on small
foreign currency receipts and payments, including allowing businesses and individuals
entrepreneurs to hold foreign currency accounts and make payments for foreign purchases with
their credit cards.
The draft rules on electronic transactions must be finalised and enacted as soon as possible,
eg: e-payments, and bring e-payment services into action – especially for small amounts,
receipts from and payments to foreign customers and suppliers. Banks have stated that they
are ready and willing to deliver these services.
Targeted and time-bound fiscal, regulatory and planning incentives are needed to help to
balance the considerable investments required from the private sector for the next 3 to 4 years.
The recent revision of the definition and recognition of the segments of the overall ITES sector
needs to be refined to include GDS. It is believed that there is no reason why it was specifically
left out of the revision of July 2008. As part of the greater “IT sector”, ITES companies will then
qualify to receive “Thrust or priority sector” benefits from the Government.
Objective 3: Anticipated outputs
1. Special ITES fiscal support policy formulated to support the export growth in this sector.
2. Electronic Payment Gateway Established and Operating.
3. Access to international market information and e-commerce centres facilitates access to small
payments and new markets
22 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
3. Business & trade support services responsive to international business needs Priority &
Form working group with BNB to rapidly conclude liberalisation of the electronic transaction
rules & banking regulations to allow small businesses the right to receive low value receipts
and make small value payments in convertible foreign currencies to other companies and
Allow businesses and individual entrepreneurs to hold foreign currency accounts.
Allow business owners and individualls to make payments by credit card for foreign
Finalise and enact the draft law on e-payments so that e-payment systems and mobile
payment can be introduced in Bangladesh for both domestic and foreign purchases and
receipts through new Eldorado settlement clearing system hub. Reduce currency spreads to
~ 2% maximum.
Confirm Special Regulation Ordinance (SRO) for ITES includes GDS and other ITES
segments in the same “thrust or priority sector status” as the IT software sector. Extend
current tax holidays programme beyond 2008 for another 3 to 5 years to counterbalance new
enterprise investments required for growth in employment.
Permit ITES to buy electricity and gas at commercial rates and buy power generators under
similar tax and duty concessions to those enjoyed by the IT Software, RMG, and similar
export-oriented thrust industries.
Accelerate development of newly announced MoSCT space Science and Technology Park
(STP) in Dhaka City centre and especially the part set aside ITES (site not cleared yet).
Evaluate impact of alternative routes to physical capacity expansion. Explore plans for USD
4Mn infrastructure for a high tech park near the airport.
Discuss and decide on what advice to give government on how to develop the site:
One interim solution is that leading ITES companies buy more space than they immediately
need and make temporary leases to other company's needing reliable power &
MoF and Government entities to support rapid growth - promote foreign alliances to obtain
investment finance for growth. Request banks to create and train specialised units to support
Find investment finance sources and projects and how to access funds that can support the
sector’s expanding businesses (eg: Islamic Development bank, IFC, ADB, MATRADE,
SeDF). The top 20 companies need USD 1Mn each. In investment capital to respond to the
current increase in customer demands. Companies need investor capital because banks
perceive the sector as too high a risk because of its limited collateral.
Share background checks and experience of potential investors needs through BASIS ITES-3.8
Obtain blanket planning authorisation to allow clean and quiet ITES enterprises to be allowed
to operate in, or near, residential areas (less distance for staff to travel) as their industrial
“nuisance” level is lower than that of a hotel or other types of business. This would alleviate
the current lack of suitable office space sites.
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 23
OBJECTIVE 4: POWER UTILITIES, TECHNICAL FACILITIES AND
COMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVED
The sector does not completely meet some critical market qualifying requirements and customer
expectations. This is contributing to a loss of business or costly “work around” solutions involving
individual communications and power generation back-up facilities.
The government has recently promised to introduce a second high bandwidth submarine cable
connection (although it has not set a date) and has passed legislation to allow VOIP communication
protocols for private companies. However the price of bandwidth and communications is still far
higher in Bangladesh than in competing countries. The ITES sector needs to guarantee 99.4% up
time to win international orders. Bangladesh’s moves in this direction should be accelerated.
Although legally Bangladesh complies with international norms on intellectual property (IP)
protocols, protection of copyright and personal data security, external contractors believe
enforcement would be almost impossible at the moment. This is a very sensitive area with
international customers. Many recent high profile abuses of personal data security as a result of
errors through outsourcing arrangements or transmission of data outside of the source country have
led to public outcry. It could take only one such incident in Bangladesh to destroy the whole market
for a long period. The risk of such an incident occurring increases exponentially with rapid growth
and the entry of more new companies into the market.
Participants called for BASIS to take the lead in setting-up, with the respective Ministries, a strict
voluntary code of conduct and minimum standards of operation in relation to IP. Companies would
need to pass a periodic peer review audit to obtain a license evidencing that they operated at
The Special Resource Ordinance passed by government in July 2008 should extend to the ITES
sector the same status as that currently enjoyed by the IT software sector for access to gas and
gas-powered generators at a commercial tariff, fiscal incentives and special interest rate
development grants to balance the personal investment of company owners in developing their
businesses and industry technical training facilities.
Objective 4: Anticipated outputs
1. Special Technology Park for ITES established and Operating.
2. Regulatory Framework for ITES simplified.
3. Government support the sector financing under specific actions, like Power, Infrastructure,
24 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
4. Infrastructure and regulatory environment foundation strengthened Priority &
Government to set up task force to investigate alternative backup communications
redundancy routing to ensure 99.4% minimum required uptime for industry.
BTTB to set date for operation of second cable gateway and plan for a third
redundancy cable gateway backup. Current downtime deficiencies are overcome by
costly investment in additional communications facilities and generators. Current BTTB
service does not comply with ITES customers’ minimum uptime requirements.
BASIS to introduce and enforce service level agreement contracts with bandwidth
providers and back-up power supply maintenance agreements for real reserve power.
Introduce bulk-buying STPI and reselling of space (BASIS proposal) to increase
market incentives for more telecommunications bandwidth and reduce bandwidth cost
to global average.
BASIS & New telecommunications operators to lobby government together to reduce
bandwidth cost to business towards that in neighbouring/competing countries, maintain
VSAT PN's or provide additional backup communications cable gateway
BASIS to consider supporting the cost of sending MoPT permanent secretaries and
BTTB managers with government backing to review government agency working
practices and the regulatory environment in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore with
a view to adapting and implementing similarly efficient practices in Bangladesh.
The visa issuance process must be streamlined to allow visas for short-term business
visitors to be delivered within 3 working days at the MoFA or upon arrival as for visiting
international agency staff, for example.
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 25
SCENARIOS FOR POTENTIAL OUTCOMES
1 Optimistic scenario:
If the strategy is 100% implemented, it is deemed that there will be the following impacts in
1. Overall productivity and turnover of the sector will be enhanced giving rise to higher national
economic growth and increased employment generation.
2. More export products will be produced to enter into the international market (expected to be
about 150M USD Export Revenue by GDS alone in 3 years after implementation of the
3. The sector periphery will be enlarged and viable economic zones will be built at different parts
of the country
4. Continuous training will help to upgrade human resources. The technical level of the employees
will be raising in different kind of technologies Human resources will be developed targeting 2
categories of people: i) management & ii) workers/technicians. A skilled and qualified workforce
will be developed for the GDS and other ITES.
5. Capacity building of the enterprises will continue with respect to access to finance, acquisition
of technology and better corporate management
6. New entrepreneurs will be grown and encouraged to enter into the sector with higher
knowledge, capability. Entrepreneurship development; strengthen entrepreneurs motivation and
business entrepreneurial culture
7. Quality standards will go high and production facilities such as testing and control laboratory will
be established in order to be competitive in the international market.
8. Knowledge on sales management, marketing, accounting management, e-commerce, export
processing, finance, marketing and regulations, import, export processing and export financing,
mechanisms how to approach banks, etc, will be disseminated amongst the entrepreneurs.
9. Banking costs will be reduced and mechanisms will be improved to provide finance to the sector
at lower rates. Single digit interest rate is the target.
10. Leasing programmes or grants will be encouraged and promoted to encourage ITES to
modernise their setup / equipments / energy & security / training and backups to increase
volumes and quality of services, foreign earnings and employment.
11. Venture capital mechanisms will be encouraged and promoted allowing foreign investment to
be attracted to the ITES sector opportunities.
12. New financial mechanisms will be enacted to have access to financing under appropriate and
13. Entrepreneurs will have a better understanding on how to access to export financing.
14. Measures will be taken to implement technology up-grading, development, technology transfer
& dissemination and R&D.
15. A self-regulatory quality assurance system will be enacted throughout ITES.
16. Implementation of strategic marketing measures will be facilitated using advanced marketing
techniques both for domestic and international markets. To establish display centres and
proliferate international trade & export and to search for new markets.
26 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
2. Alternative scenarios
If only 50% of the strategy is implemented, it is deemed that there could be the following
negative impact in the sector are as follows:
1. If the training institute is not established then the sector will find it difficult to respond to even
current customers expanded demand – international contractors may find other suppliers who
can meet their entire needs with only a small increase in costs.
2. New business may be turned away reducing export earnings.
3. Increased production costs reduce competitiveness and profits, discouraging new entrants and
4. Lack of a self-regulatory mechanism will mean that sooner or later a major infringement of
industry standards, IP compliance or working practices could result in Bangladeshi suppliers
effectively being banned from the market for some years.
5. If the banking regulations and new protocols are not enabled soon – even more foreign
earnings may be lost to accounts and service companies set up abroad.
6. If the GDS segment is not included in the overall SRO for IT and ITES entrepreneurs will be
unfairly limited in their ability to compete abroad and also will find it more difficult to finance their
If the strategy is not implemented at all
Foreseen growth in the sector will not be up to potential. Still there will be a little growth, but that will
be insufficient with respect to the pace of the world progress and the development that is being
occurred in the surrounding countries of Bangladesh and the sector will probably vanish.
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 27
28 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION FRAMEWORK
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 29
Key participants in implementation activities
The key participants in the process of strategy implementation will be the selected ITES
Companies, BASIS, Ministry of Science, Information & Communications Technologies, Ministry of
Commerce, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Industry, the Export Promotion
Bureau (EPB) and implementation project donors’ representatives.
Engagement in the management and coordination of the strategy implementation is as important as
the engagement of stakeholders in the design of the strategy and implementation plans. It is
suggested that EPB and BASIS, take a prominent role in the day-to-day monitoring or
implementation progress according to the implementation plan and implementing partners’ pledges.
They will be represented in the sector strategy implementation committee (SSIC) set-up by ITC
under the BQSP Project. Membership of the SSIC should not exceed 20 people. Ad-hoc working
groups may be convened by the committee to address specific issues from time to time.
In this way full representation from key technical institutions. International development agencies,
NGO’s and other institutions contributing to the implementation of the strategy (eg: EC, ITC,
UNIDO, DANIDA, SEDF, JICA & JETRO) may be obtained without overloading the membership of
the committee. The suggested framework is illustrated below:
The principle role of the SSIC is to mainstream, monitor and follow-up on the progress of
implementation of strategy activities by the different implementing partners. For the duration of the
BQSP, the sub-committees should maintain strong links with the Programme Steering Committee,
which meets every six months. They should report to the PSC on progress, issues encountered and
adjustments required to achieve the expected results. In addition, the committee should be
responsible for the overall implementation of the export sector strategies and for coordinating inputs
from other government institutions, private sector organisation and development agencies including
changes to policies related to the strategies.
One person on the ITES SSIC should be given responsibility for leveraging good solutions across
sectors, crosscutting policy change recommendations and cross-sector coordination. The same
person should also join the Programme Steering Committee meetings.
The SSIC should formally review implementation performance every three months evaluating
progress by implementing partners against the agreed progress indicators in the implementation
plans. The outcome of these meetings should be reported to the EC-BQSP Programme Steering
Committee and the regular coordination meetings held by the Bangladesh Government.
Proposed committee activities
List existing development activities and projects that relate to activities described in the strategy
Immediately hold meetings with suggested lead implementation partners and development
agencies undertaking activities related to the sector. Confirm their engagement and capacity to
undertake the activities prescribed in the implementation plans.
Identify activities in the plans for which no partner has been found and find appropriate partners
and resources to undertake the work.
Coordinate implementation among all stakeholders concerned, agree start dates and determine
completion dates for the activities listed in the implementation plans. Agree progress measures
to be applied and update implementation plans accordingly.
Convene periodic (at least every 2 months) meetings of development partners to coordinate
and manage the work, identify impediments, prioritise solutions and publicise successes.
Formally review implementation performance and key market performance indicators every
three months evaluating the progress of implementing partners against the agreed progress
indicators in the implementation plans.
Report to the EC – BQS-Programme Steering Committee, Cabinet and the regular
development coordination meetings held by the Bangladesh Government
30 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION PLANS
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008 31
33 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008
34 A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – June 2008
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008 35
Annex 1. Market strategy options and success factors
IT-ES Dhaka, Nov 05-06 2007
ÎTES Market Segments April 2008
Market Segments (actual & researched
Target Countries Value added
& fit in 2008
3 = Highest 5 = Highest
provision transactions Business
partner (Time based
Graphic design Services
Japan, Finland, USA,
Civil and marine construction
Finite element analysis
CAE/CAM design+ graphics
Visualization & 3 dimensional
Civil and Structural
USA, UK, EU
East 3 4
Mobile telephone content
-Graphic Animation, Visuals
Conversion and Migration
-GIS Data Conversion
-Graphics Data Processing
Banking & Finance,
Japan, USA, Australia
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008 36
CRM services and Call
-Data & Voice
Banking & Finance,
USA, UK, Australia 1 3
Market entry and Buyers' common requirements
ITES - BPO
Buyers Common Requirements
1 Comprehensive service provisions & delivery flexibility
2 Policies & processes mapping to the buyer's needs
3 IP and data protection
4 Secured delivery systems and assurance
5 Turn-around time & operational efficiency
6 Cost arbitrage/advantage
ITES - BPO Market Requirements
1 Skilled HR
2 Market Contacts
3 Communication infrastructure
4 Process maturity
5 Language and communication skills
6 Disaster, risk mitigation, recovery and safety measures
7 Satisfied customer referrals and good reliability record
8 Compatible legal and admin processes
9 Standards and certification compliance
A strategy for developing the Horticulture sector of Bangladesh – September 2007
Segment markets + Contract requirements Score
Market approaches (Pillar objective 1)
Produce capacity profile, presentations, brochures & other collateral information media 3
PR Exercise to showcase IT-ES successes in appropriate trade journals. Journalist with
customer sector experience to conduct interviews and write editorial articles for
Engage business consultants in target markets to assess potential customers
requirements and arrange introductions and awareness presentations for Bangladeshi
companies. Telemarketing is appropriate.
Build Bangladesh ITES brand 3
Improve "Bangla" competency in graphic design processes with successful
projects-secondary language/culture competency
Reduce turn around time for new orders to one month maximum 3
Retaining business using CRM/follow-ups/Repeat Customers 3
Communicate with customers/References/ with successful customers 3
Create Road Shows, Have persons in embassy, build Bangladesh brand, Group
participation for match making exercise, market research by segments
EPB to promote the graphics design industry 2
BASIS to emphasize the graphics industry both locally and globally/focusing with SIGs
(Special Interest Groups)
Web research/SEO(Search Engine Optimization)/Enlist the Graphics Design Companies
on search engines like Google, Yahoo, etc.
Unique standards compliance in graphics rendering for Danish market/EU markets 1
Contract issues: Exclusive vs. Non-exclusive 1
Capacity Development (Pillar objective -2)
Trained HR by Focused training schools on graphics design-Setup vocational training
school to industry international institution partnership
B2B Program(International Joint-venture recognized school) 3
Training on specialized industrial tools 3
HR retention Policy 3
Availability of specialized graphics hardware 3
work environment standards compliance 3
project management 3
Process automation to handle scale/size 2
Process alignment with overseas customers 2
Following Clients' working calendar 2
Deploy appropriate quality implementation tools for capacity building 1
Segment markets + Contract requirements Score
38 Strategy for developing the Horticulture and Floriculture sector of Zambia – April 2006
Support services infrastructure (Pillar objective 3)
Internet bandwidth cost and quality 3
Availability of power and reliability 3
Availability of space designed for ITES industry (STP) 3
Clubbing and Classifications 3
Foreign exchange earning retention percentage and procedure 2
Bureaucratic regulatory hurdles 2
Income tax issues 2
Access to finance 1
Visa and travel - both ways business visa expedite 1
Support services infrastructure (Pillar objective 3)-2
Banking-e-billing, Back and front office
System uptime and responsiveness 3
Physical security and power 3
Reach of service(urban/rural areas) 3
Application System/data capacity 2
Hardware and networking capacity 2
Interfacing capability 2
E-collection, integrity/accuracy of billing system 2
Logical /system security
Note: 3 = Most important
A strategy for developing the Horticulture sector of Bangladesh – September 2007
Annex 2: ITES Value Chain Analysis
Sector Contribution to the Economy
ITES currently represents about 30% of total ICT capacity in Bangladesh. The other 70% being
composed mainly of IT software programming services and a small number of specialised
hardware producers. Several independent evaluations (Danida 2006 and World Bank 2007) have
cited tremendous potential for expansion and fast-growing demand for these kinds of services
and the ability of the sector to provide a large number of good-quality jobs for college leavers.
The proposed employment pool represents a segment of the population of high concern to both
the Government and development agencies. Currently, Grade 12 college leavers; even with good
command of English, are not finding suitable jobs and many remain unemployed for a long time,
The ITES companies have potentials to make significant contribution towards technological and
economic development along with wide opportunities for employment generation. Analysis shows
that the SMMEs (Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises) have made substantial contribution to
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) during the last few decades and created appreciable
employment opportunities. At present, all the companies in the ITES sector are SMMEs.
Although the ITES sector contribution to GDP is still very insignificant, but it has the potential to
grow very quickly in GDS (Graphic Design Services) and different Business Process Outsourcing
(BPO) areas to follow the similar success of Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam.
Almost all the ITES companies in Bangladesh are located in the capital city, Dhaka. The other
divisional cities have few ITES companies. In general, the print and publishing industry, the
Newspapers, TV & Electronic Media, the Ad Agencies are the main customers of the ITES units
for the local markets in Bangladesh. There are not much import substituting ITES services. Very
recently, small but growing number of ITES companies started to export. The ITES companies
form forward as well as backward linkages with other industries making a cluster network in
generating employment and contributing to the overall economy. The over-riding vision must be
for setting up a market-based economic order with a level playing field for all ITES enterprises.
Some Pertinent Accreditation of ITES Sector
• ITES along with the ICT has been declared as one of the five ‘Highest Priority Sectors’ by
the Government of Bangladesh (Export Policy 2003-2006)
• The sector is one of the potential thrust sectors declared by the Government of
Bangladesh (Industrial Policy 2005).
Size / Configuration of ITES Companies in Bangladesh
There is no reliable data for the overall size of the full ITES sector in Bangladesh. This study
focuses on the export oriented ITES enterprises. There are about 5,000 people working in the
ITES sector Mostly dedicated to exports. Many of these ITES companies employ less than 100
persons. The annual turnover of this small sub-sector is about BDT 300 crores.
Perspective of ITES Sector in Bangladesh
The locally focused ITES companies Mostly serve the local print and publishing industry, the
Newspapers, TV & Electronic Media, the Ad Agencies. There are ample opportunities to go for
large-scale exports by these traditional companies adopting new business plans. Like any sector,
the ITES companies form forward as well as backward linkages with other industries. The
conventional ITES companies serve the local needs and can function in any economic sphere of
the country. For those companies, there are some backward and forward linkages between ITES
and other sectors of economy by supplying wide range of products / services.
40 Strategy for developing the Horticulture and Floriculture sector of Zambia – April 2006
It is worth mentioning here that, Many of the developing countries around the world, have been
providing institutional support services to their ITES sector through setting up of different types of
technical training centres to help their technical work force to update their skills and knowledge.
ITES Products / Services Spectrum in Bangladesh
Process Potential IT-Enabled Service
Product Development Market research, data gathering
Data mining and analysis
Production, Service Delivery Pre-production; layout and graphic design
Records and transcriptions
Distribution, Sales and Marketing Logistics, inventory tracking
Content, web development
Outbound marketing, e.g. telemarketing
Customer Service Customer care, e.g. call centers
Finance, Accounting and Legal
Data capture, conversion, processing
Billing, payables, general ledger
Human Resources Administration Data, forms handling and capture
Training, including remote education
Employee benefits services
A strategy for developing the Horticulture sector of Bangladesh – September 2007
Typical Value Chain of the Sector
The value chain of ITES describes the full range of activities which are required to bring a product
or service from conception, delivery to final consumers.
Typical ITES value chain of.
42 Strategy for developing the Horticulture and Floriculture sector of Zambia – April 2006
Constraints in Producing High Quality ITES Products especially for Export
(a) Problems Related to HR
• Not much trainable Human Resources because of the lack of basic education quality.
(b) Problems Related to Infrastructure, Innovation Promotion and Management
• Efficient and skilled manpower is not available.
• Load shedding problem in electricity supply.
• Absence of R&D facilities.
• Lack of standard and quality of product (1SO 9000, ISO 9002, 1SO 14000).
• Problems Relating to Marketing
(b) Problems Related to Market Information and Marketing Skills
• No Information about the specific ITES market segments
Lack of entrepreneurial and marketing skills to identify the emerging and attractive ITES market
segments and to align internal resources with those opportunities.
A strategy for developing the Horticulture sector of Bangladesh – September 2007
Annex 3. List of documents & reports considered
44 Strategy for developing the Horticulture and Floriculture sector of Zambia – April 2006
Annex 4. List of participants for the ITES Sector workshops 1 & 2
Name of the
Contact Person Address Tel Email
Ababil IT Industries
Md. Ashraf Uddin, Managing Director
147/4, Arambag (1st Floor),
7100680, 01713-083584 firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Aftab IT Limited
Mr. Rabindranath Roy, Manager,
Eastern Trade Center (14th Floor),
56, Inner Circular Road, Dhaka-1000
9352356, 01678002403 email@example.com
AIMINLIFE DOT COM
Mr. M. Shoeb Chowdhury, President &
House # 21, Suit A/4, Road # 17,
Banani, Dhaka - 1213
8832106, 01711594796 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Nazneen Khaleque
222, Tejgaon Industrial Area, Dhaka -
5 bdjobs.com Limited Mr. A.K.M. Fahim Mashroor, CEO
BSRS Bhaban (8th Floor -West), 12,
Kawran Bazar, Dhaka-1215
911-7179, 914-0345 email@example.com
Mr. Md. Badiuzzaman, Head, ISS
House # 10, Road # 135, Gulshan -
9889923 - 4
Mr. Jahidul Hasan, ED
BSRS Bhaban (9th Floor - East), 12,
Kawran Bazar, Dhaka-1215
0189 224 119,
8 CACTS Ltd.
Mr. Md. Nurul Islam, Managing
25/2 Lake Circus (3rd Floor)
Kalabagan, Dhaka – 1205 8123748, 01711534197 firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008 45
Name of the
Contact Person Address Tel Email
Computer Graphic &
Mr. Md. Hasan-Uz-Zaman, Proprietor
147/4 Arambagh (1st Floor),
Mr. Asif Yusuf, Managing Director
5/6 Gajnabi Road, Block-B,
Mr. Amir Hossain, Managing Director
BSRS Bhaban (8th Floor), 12, Kawran
Ahmed Ashrafuzzaman Executive
House 46, Road 2, Banani, Dhaka -
Mr. Nazim Farhan Choudhury,
14 South avenue, Gulshan - 1, dhaka 8835608, 8835609 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. S. Kabir Ahmed, Managing
House # 44, Road # 13/A,
Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka-1209
8115517 (R ),
ICE Technologies and
Mr. Rubaiyat Jamil
CEO & Head of Operations
Erectors House (13th Floor), 18
Kemal Ataturk Avenue, Banani,
Dhaka - 1213
8836831-2, 01713030510 email@example.com
Mr. Mamnoon M. Chowdhury, Partner
House# 382, Road # 28, New DOHS,
Mohakhali, Dhaka -1206.
Mr. Imtiaz Ahmed Khan
House # 63 (2nd Floor), Road # 1,
Block # I
Dhaka - 1213
18 Ryans Computers Mr. Ahmed Hasan, Chief Executive
123/5, BCS Computer City, IDB
Bhaban (1st Floor), Agargaon,
46 Strategy for developing the Horticulture sector of Bangladesh – September 2007
Name of the
Contact Person Address Tel Email
Mr. Md. Ali Akbar Khan, MD
Fattah Plaza (7th & 8th Floor)
70, Green Road, Dhaka-1205
The ICT Associates
Mohammed Tazin Alam Managing
Director & CEO
Hakam Foundation (4th Floor)
House#98, Road#11, Block#C,
Mr. Faisal Alim, Chairman
House # 2, Road # 1/A, Gulshan-1,
22 Zanala Bangladesh
Mr. Tamzid Siddiq Spondon
BSRS Bhaban, Level-4 (West)
12 Kawran Bazar, Dhaka-1215
Mr. Rafiqul Islam Rowly 01819-200-559 Rafiqul.Islam@cslsoft.com
24 ITC Mr. Ian Sayers, Senior Adviser ITC, WTO, UNCTAD, Geneva Sayers@intracen.org
25 ITC National Project
Brig Gen (Retd) M. Mofizur Rahman,
ITC National Project Coordinator
BQSP Component 2, EPB, Dhaka 01713-023939 firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
26 ITC ITES Project
Prof. R. K. Verma, ITC International
Apeejay Institute of Technology
(ITES), Greater Noida, India
27 ITC ITES Project
Mr. Habibullah N. Karim, ITC National
TechnoHaven Company Ltd., Fattah
Floor, 70, Green raod,
Dhaka – 1205
28 ITC ITES Project
Mr. Fokhruz Zaman, ITC National
Millennium Information Solution Ltd,
Floor, Grameen Bank Tower,
Mirpur – 2, Dhaka - 1216
A strategy for developing the Horticulture sector of Bangladesh – September 2007 47
Name of the
Contact Person Address Tel Email
BQSP Component 2,
Mr. Shahid Hasan, PD EPB, Dhaka, Bangladesh 01552477274 Niznim2006@yahoo.com
Mr. S. M. Mahbub Alam, Head of
Gulshan – 1, Dhaka - 1212 01818608995 firstname.lastname@example.org
31 BRAC Bank Ltd
Mr. Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury,
Head of Technology
1. Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka - 1212 0171-309-0112 Mizan.email@example.com
32 BRAC Bank Ltd
Mr. Md. Abdullah Al Mamoon, Head of
1. Gulshan Avenue, Dhaka - 1212 0171-303-0333 Abdullah.firstname.lastname@example.org
33 Bioscopewala Intl Mr. Sahadat Hossain Gulshan, Dhaka 0173-139-0667 email@example.com
Mr. Md. Shumsud Doha, Sr. Manager,
Finance & Admin
BSRS Building, 12, Kawran Bazar,
35 Daffodil Software
Ms. Farzana Ferdouse. Sr. Executive,
Kalabagan, Dhaka 0172-754-9735 firstname.lastname@example.org
36 Trust Bank Ltd
Mr. S. M. Akram Sayeed, VP, IT &
Card Division, Head Office
Dhaka 0171-301-0897 email@example.com
IBPC, Ministry of
Mr. Mir Shariful Bashar, EO - IBPC IBPC, Kawran Bazar, Dhaka 0173-000-1567 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Rafez Alam Chowdhury Mirpur – 2, Dhaka 901-0603 email@example.com
Ms. Saleha Haque, Deputy Director,
EPB, Dhaka 9144821-24
40 Not Available Mr. Mohd. Abdul Halim, Admin Officer EPB, Dhaka 0191-337-5264
48 Strategy for developing the Horticulture sector of Bangladesh – September 2007
Name of the
Contact Person Address Tel Email
41 Not Available
Mr. Ahmad Tabshir Chowdhury, IT &
Not Available 0171-302-4413 firstname.lastname@example.org
42 Planning Commission
Mr. Md. Altaf Hossain, Joint Chief,
Physical & Infrastructure Division
Planning Commission, Shere Bangla
911-7820; 0171-601-1820 Not Available
43 Systech Digital Mr. M. Rashidul Hasan Uttara, Dhaka 0171-324-9541 Not Available
44 Dream Door Soft Mr. Khan Md. Anwarus Salam, PM Not Available 0155-234-6126 email@example.com
Mr. Shoeb Ahmed Masud, Secretary
Business Automation, BSRS Building,
12, Kawran Bazar, Dhaka
46 Daud IT Mr. Rafiqul Islam Not Available 0171-583-3373 Not Available
Ms. Parveen S. Huda, Managing
Apartment 1C, House CWN(A) Plot 3B
Road 49, Gulshan 2, Dhaka
Mr. M. Abdur Rauf, Deputy Project
Director, BQSP 2
TCB Bhaban, 1, Kawran Bazar, Dhaka
49 TTBC Limited
Mr. ATM Mahbubul Alam, Managing
Not Available 0171-159-8528 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Md. Ishtiakh Matin, Director
Plot # 68 – 71, Block – K, Rupnagar,
Section – 2, Mirpur, Dhaka - 1216
901-0603, 0181-948-1378 email@example.com
Mr. S. M. Mobasser Hossain,
BSRS Building, 12, Kawran Bazar,
812-9475, 0181-927-7433 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Anisuzzaman Chowdhury,
Program Officer, Bangladesh Office
JICA, Gulshan Avenue (South), Dhaka 0171-521-9796 Not Available
A strategy for developing the Horticulture sector of Bangladesh – September 2007 49
Name of the
Contact Person Address Tel Email
Mr. Takeshi Ueda, Project
JICA 989-1897, 989-1899 Ueda.email@example.com
50 Strategy for developing the Horticulture sector of Bangladesh – September 2007
Annex 5. Glossary of terms
ADB Asia Development Bank
BEIOA Bangladesh Engineering Industry Owner Association
BQSP Bangladesh Quality Support Programme
BRAC Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee
BRC Banking Reform Committee
BSTI Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution
DANIDA Danish International Development Agency
DCCI Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry
DFID UK Department for international development
EC European Commission
EPB Export Promotion Bureau
EU European Union
EU-EDP European Unions´ Export Development Programme
GTZ Germany Technical Assistance
ISO International Organization for Standardization
ITC International Trade Centre
JICA Japanese International Cooperation Agency
LGED Local Government Engineering Department
MOC Ministry of Commerce
MRLs Minimum Residue Levels
NBR National Board of Revenue
NGO Non Governmental Organisation
NORAD Norwegian Aid for Development
R&D Research and Development
SHAPE Strategic and Holistic Approach to Performance Enhancement
SEDF SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility
SGS Inspection, Verification, Testing and Certification Company
TPO Trade Promotion Organisation
TSI Trade Support institution
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UK United Kingdom
US United States of America
USD United States Dollar
WB World Bank
WTO World Trade Organisation
Annex 5. The SHAPE technique for strategy development
The strategy development process
Representatives of the business community, government agencies & other stakeholders involved
in the sector, were brought together in a series of meetings and workshops in Dhaka to formulate
the strategy and implementation plans. In between the workshops, other meetings were held with
manufacturers, retailers, exporters and government agencies to increase the level of
representation and participation. The outputs therefore represent the views and interests of each
stage of the sector’s value chains.
The ITC SHAPE methodology was used to guide sector stakeholders through the strategy
development process and leave workshop participants free to concentrate on the content of the
strategy and its implementation plans. A thorough examination of the specific points of the
strategy and the implementation activities was provided with close support from the ITC’s office in
Geneva under a project funded by EC and the Ministry of Commerce of Bangladesh
ITC has taken steps to inform other technical assistance agencies and potential
strategy-implementing partners of the strategy development process, so that they can participate
in it. ITC may also undertake implementation activities described in the strategy and that relate to
its own mandate and area of expertise – if funding becomes available and ITC support is
For further information:
Mr Ian Sayers, Senior Officer for the Private Sector
Bureau of Policy and Programmes
International Trade Centre
Tel: +41 22 730 0260
Mr Sophien Hanouz, Senior Trade Strategy and Value Chain Development Specialist
International Trade Centre,
Tel: +41 22 730 0339
54-56 rue de Montbrillant
c/o Palais des Nations
CH1211 Geneva 10
Web pages: www.intracen.org/ipsms/tsd
A strategy for developing the ITES sector of Bangladesh – September 2008 52