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Home » Podcast » Bangladesh’s Booming Outsourcing Industry – with BACCO President Wahid Sharif

Bangladesh’s Booming Outsourcing Industry – with BACCO President Wahid Sharif

Bangladesh’s Booming Outsourcing Industry - with BACCO President Wahid Sharif

In this week’s podcast episode, Derek Gallimore spoke to Wahid Sharif. He is the President of the Bangladesh Association of Contact Centers and Outsourcing (BACCO).

The conversation explored the Bangladeshi outsourcing industry’s evolution over the past 10 to 15 years and its growth and development. 

About BACCO

BACCO was founded between 2008 and 2009. This organization represents the BPO industry in Bangladesh.

Wahid discussed BACCO’s history, remembering how it all began.

“During 2009, the industry was just crawling, and people weren’t aware of what outsourcing was, especially in the local market.” 

When Wahid joined the industry around 2010 or 2011, he observed that the local market, including resources, processes, and technology, needed to be adequately prepared.

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“When BACCO was formed, we had about eight or nine companies starting in the BPO sector. 

The revenue was around 25 to 26 million, with approximately 300 to 400 people working in the industry. It was the beginning of our journey,” he shared.

The BACCO president reflected on the present, saying, “We’ve come a long way. Now, in 2023, we have nearly 350 member companies. Our revenue has soared to almost 700 million, and our workforce has grown to almost 70,000 individuals.” 

“The majority of this workforce consists of young graduates, particularly from the young population of Bangladesh,” he added.

Wahid proudly shared one of BACCO’s notable achievements.

“One crucial point to note is our success in creating a safe working environment for female employees. In the BPO industry, almost 40% of employees are female, contributing to the industry’s steady growth.”

Wahid-Sharif-BACCO-outsourcing-podcast-qoute
About BACCO

BACCO’s global market challenges and advantages

Wahid also discussed the recent shift in BACCO’s focus towards international markets. 

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“The primary challenge was the lack of recognition of Bangladesh among our international client base, mainly in North America, Europe, and Australia.

Everyone knows Bangladesh for producing garments.” 

However, Wahid expressed the difficulty in establishing Bangladesh as a BPO destination despite its recognition in the garment industry. 

“When we tried communicating about BPO services or Bangladesh as a BPO hub, they couldn’t connect,” he recalled.

“The major challenge when going international is the need for country recognition. People still need to learn what Bangladesh has to offer in this sector. They need to be comfortable with Bangladesh before engaging with individual companies.”

Even though it faced challenges, the BACCO president shared the advantages Bangladesh could offer.

“We have 65 percent of our population aged between 25 to 35. Out of 170 million people, that’s a huge workforce for the next 10, 15, 20 years.”

Another significant benefit, according to Wahid, was the country’s economic growth. “We had a tremendous GDP growth of almost 6 percent plus for the last eight to 10 years.”

Further, the BACCO President noted the government’s IT and BPO industry support. 

“The government fully supports these sectors [IT and BPO industry], offering 10 percent cash incentives on exports and subsidies for office spaces in technology parks. 

They provide extensive training programs to bridge the gap between education and industry needs.”

BACCO's global market challenges and advantages

Bangladesh’s advantages and disadvantages as an outsourcing destination

Wahid compared Bangladesh’s advantages and disadvantages in the BPO sector to India. 

“Bangladesh’s advantage lies in having one language, one homogeneous dialect, which avoids accent issues, unlike India, where different regions speak differently,” he stated.

“Being a small country, we can easily find resources in one place without the need to search in multiple locations.” 

However, he acknowledged a disadvantage, noting that Bangladesh lags behind India in producing many skilled professionals. 

“India produces thousands of engineers or BPO employees, while Bangladesh is still gearing up to reach that level.” 

When discussing salaries, the BACCO president pointed out, “In general, salaries in Bangladesh are about 20 to 25 percent cheaper than in India.” 

To learn more about the Bangladesh Association of Contact Centers and Outsourcing, visit their website at https://bacco.org.bd/. To reach Wahid, you can email him at [email protected] 

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Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

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About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

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