The BACCO president said the Bangladesh government itself could become a big client for the BPO sector. “It is not about getting the business process from the foreign entities. Several services from the government have become digitised and eventually more will be so. Under the circumstances, the government can avail of the BPO industry’s services.”
He, however, said for the government to become a client of the BPO sector, bureaucratic red tape acts as one of the big impediments, and that is not an easy thing to overcome in a country like Bangladesh all of a sudden.
He also said local banks could become clients for the BPO industry. “Banks need to provide customer services to their customers. The BPO industry could turn out to be handy for them.”
Abrar A Anwar, chief executive officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Bank in Bangladesh, however, pointed out that as the banking sector is very sophisticated, the banks would consider outsourcing their activities a reliable matter “only if they are guaranteed with utmost security”.
Anwar also said the banking sector, being a very demanding sector, requires top-notch services. “So if a bank wants to outsource its activities, it first ensures that the reputation on which it is being built would be upheld by the outsourcing party.”
Fayezul Choudhury, CEO of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), observed that the BPO was not a new concept, having already taken off quite substantially in Bangladesh’s banking sector. Banks are using wholesale and retail agent networks for mobile phone/smart card/ATM-based payment services, and are using micro financial institutions (MFIs) and other businesses in the agent banking mode in offering crop loans and other financial services.
“However, risk management, analytics and other allied data processing work continue to be handled by banks in their in-house IT platforms that have been or are being equipped with core banking software, covering their entire branch networks,” he said.
He said for a successful BPO industry, there is no option but to have able human resources. “Infrastructure is another important thing. A businessman might find it very convenient to get down at Singapore airport and reach a particular destination without facing any hassles. This sort of infrastructure backup adds value to businesses like BPO.”
He also emphasised the importance of establishing proper infrastructure like redundant power supply, uninterrupted data connectivity and IT infra park facilities to provide the base for technology platforms that support BPOs.