Why is Bangladesh poised to become the next hub for remote working?
September 21, 2022
Bangladesh, like many developing countries, is now focusing on the global market for digital outsourcing by dint of the world’s rapid digitalization. Many multinational corporations in affluent nations like the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia are turning to IT outsourcing in potential hubs like Bangladesh in order to save costs and risks, leading to a recent rise in remote working. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the expansion of this industry, which was already well on its way to becoming one of the major players offering outsourced services globally.
The current population of Bangladesh is over 165 million. More than 50% of this population is less than 30 years old. There are 2000 website-based businesses and around 50,000 Facebook based entrepreneurial businesses. Bangladesh is currently the 2nd largest supplier of online labor and the contribution is 16% in the total global workforce. The global market for outsourcing is one trillion US dollars a year. Although Bangladesh currently earns USD 1 billion from this industry, this figure could rise to USD 5 billion in the future.
In the last decade, the IT sector of Bangladesh has been improving rapidly. The number of internet users increased from 1,300,000 to 48,000,000. Bangladesh is now 9th in position in terms of the total number of internet users. The country is becoming a prominent IT hub in South Asia. There are now ISPs in every major city and town and cellular data is also easily available. Internet connection is not simply becoming more accessible, it is also available at a much affordable rate. During COVID-19, thousands of people started remote working and it was possible due to having easy access to the internet.
Bangladesh, over the last few decades, has made considerable advancements in the software development sector, leading to the recent boom. In Bangladesh, the size of this industry is modest when compared to the 150+ million population and strong GDP of the nation. This sector in Bangladesh has grown at an average annual pace of over 40% during the last five years, and this trend is extremely likely to persist. Currently, there are about 4500 software and ICT companies registered in Bangladesh, and these businesses employ over 300,000 local software developers and ICT specialists. The nation has benefited greatly from this rapid expansion, exporting software and service and bringing in $800 million in 2017. Although North America is the main export market, several IT businesses through remote working have recently started to export to the EU and East Asian nations, particularly Japan.
English, from the very beginning, has been widely spoken in Bangladesh. About 12% of the total population in Bangladesh is fully conversant in English. Hence, Bangladeshi remote workers hold an advantage when it comes to getting hired for developing countries like the US, UK, or Canada. Besides, Bangladeshi remote workers have proved to do well and add to productivity while working across time differences. The time spread between Bangladesh and countries like the US, UK, and Canada is around 10 hours. So workers here follow a cyclical system for a smooth workflow. For instance, a software developer from Bangladesh can complete his sprints during the day and hand it off to a US-based owner who can check the product, do testing, and provide feedback. The developer can then incorporate the feedback he received overnight. This way the work division is such that both the clients and the developers complement each other.
Most companies worldwide have already come out of the cubicle culture while it’s still prevalent in Bangladesh. So, the workers are looking forward to a remote working culture as they want to get out of it. It is clearly evident that the IT sector of Bangladesh is developing immensely and there is a huge potential for further growth in this sector. So, Bangladesh will become a go-to marketplace for companies to hire remote workers.
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