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‘BPO needs to be added in education system’

An exclusive interview with Md. Tanzirul Basher, Managing Director of My Outsourcing Limited

Md. Tanzirul Basher always loved to surf around the BPO industry in Bangladesh from the inception of the industry in the country, so it goes without saying that he made a strong impression banking on local corporate clients which was a new phenomenon in the local BPO industry circa 2007. Having had innate entrepreneurship, Mr. Basher initiated rapidly rising group of companies to realize his entrepreneurship capabilities and serve his corporate clients the best in newfangled arenas of the service sector including BPO services for the clients. He made his debut in the IT sector in First Bangladesh Consultancy and provided Mobile Content Services to the country’s largest mobile operator Grameenphone for its GP-WAP.

Tanzirul Basher is currently holding the position of Managing Director and CEO of MY Outsourcing Limited, founded by him, and also the Joint Secretary General of Bangladesh Association of Call Center and Outsourcing (BACCO).

In his recent interview with Fintech, Mr. Basher shed some light on his vast knowledge on BPO sector in Bangladesh and highlighted his thoughts on the country’s BPO sector.

Tell us a bit about you and your venture with MY Outsourcing Limited?

Well, if I start by talking about my schooling, I must say that I studied in various schools and colleges throughout my educational career, starting from Chittagong Public School and College, Adamjee Cantonment College and then on to Rifles Public School and College. I started my career in different positions starting from Executive officer, manager, general manager & finally CEO of different companies in Bangladesh. I have always enjoyed working with IT enabled services and new technologies always fascinated me. So, I completed a course on Computer Information System (CIS) under National Computer Council, Guildhall University, UK. Back in 2005. Since then, I have worked with IT enabled services and solutions for many different companies. When BTRC started providing call center licenses back in 2009, I grabbed the opportunity, also my passion, to contribute to the BPO industry of Bangladesh where I can create more Jobs for a population with limitless possibilities if nurtured correctly, our youth. That is how and why I entered into this field and realized the opportunity to build using IT enabled services and I feel I am fortunate that I have witnessed where the IT industry is going in different parts of the world. Like I said before that I had the scope to work in different challenging and milestone projects e.g. WAP, Online Portal, Online gaming, Contact center services, 999 being my more recent involvements. So, all that has been in a span of 17 years in different IT Organization including my own, rather proud, establishment of  MY Outsourcing Limited back in 2012.

With a team of 3 strong in the beginning, MY Outsourcing Limited now has 400 employees. Along with the outstanding youngsters working with us, we are proud to host and facilitate persons with special physical abilities, in cooperation with local NGOs such as CSID, SightSavers, and Institute of Hazrat Mohammad (SAW).  We have four dimensions using which we provide services & solutions such as – Voice, Non-Voice (Data Analysis), Surveys, Customer Care (back office support) & Health Care service, and Remote Surveillance Monitoring, Contact Center Solution, CRM support, Software Development APP’s Development, Training and various VAS services. It is only fair that I mention MY Outsourcing Limited (MYOL) is now a concern of MY Group Companies which is a combination of several other businesses focused on contributing to the modernization of Bangladesh by providing technology driven solutions to our clients in various market segments including the Government. MY Outsourcing Limited is also ISO 9001:2015 Certified.

You are running your own business from 2012 being a veteran of the industry in general. How does your company provide the services?

As I said before, our outstanding and efficient team of employees provide services in four areas. We provide end-to-end customized business process optimization services & solutions across major business functions and industry verticals. With our skilled personnel with rather unique skill sets, comprehensive industry knowledge and with the use of latest technologies and innovations, we are best at helping companies to achieve their goals. We provide BPO services for businesses across industries, manufacturing, ecommerce, retail, FMCG, MNC’s automotive, logistics, Information Technology (IT), financial services, insurance (BFSI), electronics, government services, travel, media and entertainment, healthcare and many more. For example, we have some specialized services in the medical arena such as doctor facilitated services or health care services, perhaps slightly mentioned earlier. We currently have a team of 6 Doctors who are working with us. This service also includes Psychiatric counselors who consult with relevant patients over the telephone and make professional suggestions.

As a dream realized, we take pride that we have provided the software solution for the Bangladesh National Helpdesk 999, a milestone project in Bangladesh and an initiative taken by Bangladesh Police.  Moreover, we have been supporting Asian Development Bank with their SEIP initiative, by providing training to the young graduates of the country.

Is Bangladesh advancing in BPO sector compared to other developed countries?

It’s growing no doubt but we need to focus on this sector on the global platform. Technology is changing so fast and business process outsourcing (BPO) has been spread all over the world. Our neighboring countries like India, Sri Lanka, and Philippine are way more advanced than us with a much earlier start. BPO sector is now a market of 550 billion USD globally. India alone dominates this market with 108bn market share, Philippine occupies 26 billion and Sri Lanka holds the market of 3 billion whereas Bangladesh is on its way to a billion dollars of that total market share. If we can move forward with proper planning and our current government has been highly motivating, inspiring and helpful because of which I can only imagine it is a matter of time before we, as an industry, cross the billion dollar goal. It is absolutely possible to bring significant remittance from this sector as we do from Manpower recruitment and ready-made garment export.

Furthermore, 50 thousand jobs have been created in the non-voice market including data processing or back office support in the last two years alone. We aspire to create 50 thousand more jobs by 2021 in the BPO sector. Initiatives taken by our government to boost this sector such as hi-tech parks should be strongly mentioned helping us reach that goal and go beyond. We already have Sheikh Hasina Hi-Tech Park in Jashore where many youths already have the opportunity to join us in this endeavor.

What do you think of how Bangladesh can advance even more in its BPO sector? What are the pullbacks/obstacles that should be immediately addressed? 

Look, if we compare Bangladesh with other countries, we will be mistaking. True that we are lagging behind than other leading countries with respect to this industry but the thing is our neighboring countries started this sector during the 80’s; whereas we just started with this sector two decades behind them. So that cannot be our pull back. However, we do need to overcome some weaknesses structurally.  To be more specific, our education system is not ready for this sector nor contributing to its need with its current curriculum. We have started BPO summit from 2016 and our young generations have been taking notice of it and may have been taking part in it as well. This is an absolute matter of hope and inspiration. We have discussed with our ICT division and education ministry to include IT enabled subjects or BPO related subject in education. So that when a student comes out to join this sector after graduation, they are ready for the BPO market easily. Last but not the least, since BPO sector works especially with voice and non-voice market, aspirants need to have the proper training on different languages, especially on Bangla and English. You see, we are pushing forward with the non-voice market, but we are falling behind in the voice market because our education system has not yet been modified to accommodate our industry specific needs.

The industry leaders need to make more summits and seminars on this issue to uphold our country to the world doorsteps. Besides, a proper guideline should be created for this sector. More training and workshops need to be created simultaneously. And most importantly, no discrimination between men and women should prevail especially in this very sector. Even some women despite being competent cannot get the support from their family due to feeling social insecurity. In this regard, I think, we have to change our mindset and ensure the security for women so that their family can give mental support to join this sector. If we can bring men and women in this sector irrespectively, it will not be long before our BPO sector reigns the world market.

What would be your advice for the young generation in this regard?

Our young generation is very much active and assertive no doubt. But they have to have the patience to work. They need to be able to work anywhere in the country. Many of the young people think of earning money without giving the least heed to perseverance. They must believe in perseverance rather than making easy money. The potentials they have should be harnessed well. I can talk about my company, there are so many young people working here and many of them are graduates or even students. So, I believe our BPO sector will be dominated by the young strong hands so soon, if they can set their mind up for being the assiduous leaders.

Where do you see your company in next 5 years?

I want to add before talking about where I want to see my company in the future. Earning money or receiving awards is not our only purpose. We want to create values for the country worldwide and in addition, yes, I want to see my company in a unique platform where physically disabled people can work like abled persons and that is the primary target of My Outsourcing Limited. We have already received the best employer for differently abled persons in Job Fair 2018 and 2019 organized by ICT Division and Bangladesh Computer Council. I wish to create an indiscriminate platform for BPO sector where differently abled persons or youths can work wholeheartedly under the same umbrella.

Thank you very much for your time and we are glad to have you in Fintech.      

The pleasure is all mine and thank you as well for supporting My Outsourcing Limited.

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