Monday, March 9, 2015

Bangladesh: A country transforms with IT

Born out of a nine-month war of liberation in 1971, Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy and a predominately Muslim country. After years of being a center for textile manufacturing, the country of 180 million is now on a mission to become a regional information technology powerhouse. Paralleling this focus, in February 2015 the government approved the National Information and Communication Technology policy, which seeks to establish clarity and accountability through the expansion of information and communication technology (ICT). This policy also aims at making Bangladesh a mid-income nation by 2021 and a developed nation by 2041.

I was a fortunate witness to the launch of these initiatives during Digital World 2015 last month in Dhaka and, boy, was I impressed! Did you know that:
  • Goldman Sachs recognized Bangladesh as one of the Next Eleven (N-11) — a list of 11 countries having strong potential for becoming the world’s largest economies along with BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China)?
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. named Bangladesh as one of the “Frontier Five” (along with Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Kenya and Nigeria), a group of selected emerging countries having promising macroeconomic performance and demographic trends?
  • The European Commission has included Bangladesh as one of the top 20 IT outsourcing destinations?
  • Bangladesh has been enlisted in the Gartner’s report as one of the top 30 IT outsourcing destinations?
Highlighting the importance of the ICT initiative, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was present at last month’s Digital World 2015 as well as local and international ministers. Watch this video clip from Digital World 2014, which Hasina also attended.

Dell, a major global IT provider, also has its eyes on Bangladesh. Naming it as a major device market, Dell has become a dominating local player. Shahzad Aslam Khan, the general manager of Dell SADMG, foresees significant growth.

“Dell is currently No. 1 globally in terms of server solutions,” he said. “In the last three out of four quarters, Dell has been No. 1 provider of server equipment and solutions in the Asia Pacific Region. In Bangladesh, we are currently in a leadership position both in terms of X86 servers as well as on the client side, i.e. desktops and laptops.”

Over the past few years, more than 20,000 schools have been provided with laptop and multimedia projectors and teachers of these schools have been trained to develop multimedia content for their students. The education ministry has also made digitized textbooks available free download and is working to transform some of the textbooks into movies, which will be helpful in making the learning process more fun.

Bangladesh is an impressive example of what can be achieved if government’s goodwill and a skilled workforce work together. Dell applauds the rapid development of Bangladesh’s ICT sector and stands ready as a partner in the achievement of the country’s lofty goals.
Despite many challenges, many large and ambitious projects are working toward achieving a digital Bangladesh, eventually transforming the ICT sector into the country’s largest revenue earner.

(This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. To learn more about tech news and analysis visit Tech Page One. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.)

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