BPO or Business Process Outsourcing has recently become a matter of great curiosity, and interest as well, especially among the youths in Bangladesh.
According to experts in this arena, BPO is the next significant corner of global business concerning 600 billion dollar annually.
If Bangladesh can cease this opportunity, then BPO, hopefully, will be our second biggest industry in earning foreign currency after the RMG or Ready Made Garment industry.
Countries like India, Philippines, and Sri Lanka have already made their marks in establishing a flourishing BPO industry. Even a small country like Sri Lanka has exceeded 3 billion dollars of earning through BPO.
Such advancement is possible for Bangladesh too - we only need a proper strategy for making that advancement. For that we will need intervention and cooperation from both public and private sectors.
Although it may sound surprising, but more than 110 million of our 160 million people are youth who are under 35 years old. These youths are already using technology in one way or other.
If we compare, in 1970, both Nigeria and South Korea had the opportunity to use similar demographic dividend. South Korea has successfully established itself as an economically powerful country, but Nigeria has failed to do so just because they could not utilize their youth.
A huge fraction of our educated population is female. Many obstacles exist in their way of getting involved in traditional jobs.
BPO sector has the right characteristics to offer an excellent opportunity for them. BPO entrepreneurs should involve more and more educated women in this industry. Alongside, we also need to concentrate on making internet safer for the women and children.
We visited a number of universities nationwide campaigning through organizing seminars on ‘Career Opportunities in BPO’. The enthusiasm we have noticed among the youth is truly inspiring.
We have noticed that students are highly motivated to be involved in earning right from their student life. After attending seminars, many have expressed their intention to start outsourcing instead of teaching as private tutors.
Some have said that they have been interested in outsourcing for a long time but could not find the right opportunity. Now it is our duty to bring out those right opportunities before our bright young generation.
Among 160 million people of our country, 130 million are active users of mobile phone. Some 60 million of them are connected over internet. They are not only using internet for entertainment purpose, but also they utilizing it for doing creative and innovative tasks.
Popularizing BPO among the youth should be the primary goal of our policymakers at this moment. USA, England and Japan will need 2 million programmers within the next 5 years. But more than 50 percent of their population is above the age of 50 year.
Youth population of these three developed countries is gradually shrinking; will Bangladesh be able to utilize this opportunity? Let us hope that…. We will… Make it happen!!
Firoz Choudhury is a faculty at Department of Journalism at State University of Bangladesh. He is also consulting Media communication for BPO Summit Bangladesh-2018