It is time to level the playing field for ICT public tender
Ishtiaq Husain

BASIS president Mostafa Jabbar tells Dhaka Tribune in an exclusive interview

  • BASIS President Mostafa Jabbar speaks at a press conference yesterday  
    Photo- COURTESY

It is high time the government created a level playing field for local software developers to participate in public tender for the development of ICT, said BASIS president Mostafa Jabbar.

He added that despite having enough skills and attributes, local companies fail to take part in tender-bidding process due to some terms and conditions set forth in the bid.

The seasoned IT specialist talked to the Dhaka Tribune recently to share his view on the ICT’s scope, opportunities and challenges facing the sector.

Dhaka Tribune: What are the challenges facing the IT sector now?  

Mostafa Jabber: As ICT is an emerging sector, it is a must that we will face challenges and address them.  Bangladesh ICT sector is much bigger than that of the European market size. With a total of 170m people, the country needs a huge digitisation project whereas Europe does not need that.

There is an urgent need to digitalise different types of organisation including banks, insurance, etc. If we can utilise this opportunity, the country will definitely go ahead. We live in import-based culture which is very unfortunate.   

DT: How can we dominate our domestic software market?

We need to focus on our own product so that the country can use the home products. Giving an example, he said we made banking software, but unfortunately, this market is occupied by the foreign companies. We have to dominate our own market.

DT: What will be your priority job?

In many cases, local companies could not participate in public tender due to different conditions. BASIS wants to meet these challenges. The previous body also worked on this issue and addressed some. We want to make sure that local companies participate in the coming years in public ICT tender and it will create a huge business scope for local software developers. It is necessary to address the challenges immediately.   

DT: What is our main strength?

Human resource is our main strength. If we want to lead the world, we need to form a time-befitting course curriculum and teaching method. Moreover, it is important to get the students, teachers and guardians to introduce with the disitised system. If we can do it, we would be able to export human resources, services and software to the whole world and  BASIS will lead the mission. We need to stop software import which would save a huge amount of money.

After Rana plaza tragedy, many people apprehended that Bangladesh will lose RMG sector market in Europe and America, but we witnessed that the scenario was the opposite. Our export increased automatically. 

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