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Asian Tiger Capital Partners, Level 16, UTC Tower, Panthapath, Dhaka-1215,  Tel: +88 0171 584 0112 (Dhaka)   Web: www.at-capital.com

Key Constraints for Bangladesh IT Sector Growth

Insufficient E-HR: A lack of IT labour supply with the requisite critical mass of technical skills. While the limited number of engineers and computer scientists graduating from Bangladeshi universities is modest relative to India, perhaps a bigger constraint is the shortage of vocational training institutes to supply workers with the requisite technical and IT knowledge.

High Internet Costs: The delayed acquisition of a submarine fibre optic cable relative to other countries in the region was believed to be the primary factor behind one of the highest broadband costs in the region. But even after the introduction of the cable in 2006, internet costs in Bangladesh have been slow to decline.

Poor Country Image: Brand Bangladesh is associated with political instability, corruption, natural disasters and poverty. Foreign corporates do not naturally associate the country as one that is a serious tech destination.

Lack of credible domestic tech player: there are too many small companies (more than 300 companies in a $ 30mn export sector) and none with the scale or critical mass to meet the demands of major global multinational outsourcing contracts.

Ineffective Marketing/Distribution: Weak sales effort/front end in key client markets such as in Silicon Valley. In 2003, Bangladesh, with the support of the World Bank, set up an offshore marketing office in Santa Clara, California with the help of the Bay Area Chapter of the American Association of Bangladeshi Engineers and Architects (AABEA). After two years of efforts from Bangladeshi IT entrepreneurs, government and AABEA members and nearly a million dollars in state funding, the project closed without realizing its objectives of launching Bangladesh as an effective outsourcing destination.

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