Founders of Foxcatcher IT Solutions gives insight into the growing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector of the country
IT outsourcing can be a great source of revenue for Bangladesh as the government is heavily investing in information technology.
Bangalore, in the mid-nineties, began to realize this, and now the BPO industry employs 1.5 million people just in that city, contributing to 38% of the total Indian GDP according to data from 2014.
The ICT sector in Bangladesh has been growing incrementally by 40% annually since 2010 and there are currently over 4500 registered software and Information Technology Enabled Service (ITES) companies in Bangladesh.
The domestic ITES industry in Bangladesh is currently valued at close to $1.1 billion.
Neighbouring countries like India, China and other south and south-east Asian countries have been excelling in providing outsourcing services to foreign conglomerates, as cutting down expenses is one of the top-most priorities of any business establishment.
Bangladesh being one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, has slowly developed the resources and infrastructure, combined with tech skilled labour to provide IT enabled services for overseas conglomerates.
“This sector has the potential to bring in more remittance into the country,” said Ariq Hossain, one of the founders of Foxcatcher IT Solutions.
Founded in 2019, Foxcatcher IT Solutions is a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm that focuses on providing extensive offshoring services to overseas clients, from offshore real estate management, database management to mobile application development (Android, iOS, Appcelerator Titanium Platform).
The startup provides back-end technological support to overseas financial institutions and real estate companies.
Foxcatcher IT Solutions is currently working with various international clients such as Wells Fargo and Fannie Mae among others.
The real estate industry in the United States of America is one of the largest in the world and the banking sector deals with thousands of foreclosed properties each year.
With the help of various real estate implicated software, they are providing customer care based services, database management to the foreign banks, web development and traffic management as well as, backend call centre services.
The ICT division of Bangladesh is already promoting small tech startups and providing them with funding.
With the help of Basis (Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services), the government took the initiative to promote and fund their members in order to establish the rapidly developing market in the ITES industry.
“One of the biggest barriers we face is the time difference,” said Moon Kowsive Rifat, co-founder of the company.
“In most cases, offshore clients are in different time zones, so business hours of the largest outsourcing firm in the country have to work night shifts to maintain the real-time business,” he added.
Because of this, younger people tend to see this sector as a temporary career choice rather than a one with tremendous opportunities to grow.
It is often seen that there is a lack of gender diversity in the sector, in regard to that they said, one of the main reasons is that women are often not encouraged to work outside at late hours.
According to Ariq, the government can provide a solution to these drawbacks by promoting ITES firms in different private and public universities to create awareness among the young, so they can get the confidence to choose their careers in this sector.
“Fortune favours the bold,” as the old adage says, is the driving force behind this company’s ideology. They wanted to break the stereotype that only the students with a good GPA land highly paid jobs.
“All of our partners gained experience in multiple MNCs before forming the firm but everyone around us had been the victim of the stereotype,” said Ariq.
“One of our founders was a student in China’s Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications and another was a graduate student from Sunway University Malaysia and a result of a mutual acquaintance, we got together and brainstormed ideas regarding the outsourcing sector which they have witnessed in China and Malaysia,” he added while explaining why they had chosen this sector to start a business in.
Unemployment among the youth is one of the biggest challenges, creating more job opportunities and catering to offshore clients can be a great solution to fight unemployment along with creating a global image for Bangladesh in the outsourcing market.
In the past decade, there has been a growth in the ITES/ BPO sector due to the ICT division’s various initiatives which encouraged the youth to come forward and explore the mass opportunities that lie in outsourcing.
It has also boosted the freelancing sectors creating part-time income sources for students, something which the country lacks.
Currently, there are more than 24 employees working full-time in the startup.
Top players in the sector like-- Tasketeers, Genesis and others have flourished.
“Competition isn’t too harsh, as the majority of the market is still untapped,” the founders said.
“The ultimate goal should be to provide a standard customer service experience to the offshore conglomerates which in the future might lead us to more remittance.”
When asked what their plans are for the future, Ariq said: “Our primary purpose as an organization is to deliver high-quality ITES services by ensuring more accuracy, punctuality and confidentiality. We want to employ more people who will go the extra mile for clients. We want to further establish a culture of growth, profitability and enthusiasm throughout the company.”
They also said that they plan to expand their operations locally as well, which could help cut operational costs for their clients.