This sub-component will build the IT/ITES capacity of BCC and local industry. It will support the development of the BCC as the anchor institution for IT/ITES industry development in Bangladesh, by supporting the set up of a dedicated IT/ITES unit (Unit), developing an industry development plan and roadmap, and provide for expert guidance to the Unit. Based on international experiences it is important to have such an anchor institution to lead Bangladesh’s IT/BPO skills development efforts, as the anchor institution will have to fulfill multiple internal and external roles for developing the IT/ITES sub-sector. These roles include: (i) championing IT/ITES within the country, for both the public and private sector; (ii) strategic planning and implementation of industry development activities, especially with regards to skills development and industry promotion; and (iii) representing the government to external IT/ITES clients, and facilitating their investments and operations
The anchor institution will be set up as an IT/ITES unit (the Unit) in BCC because MOICT has been given the mandate to build the country’s IT industry sector (which includes the IT/ITES sub-sector), with the BCC as the technical agency carrying out this role. However, BCC currently does not have sufficient capacity in terms of structure, resources and technical expertise. Hence, this sub-component will outline the strategy, structure, mandate, roles and responsibilities, and resource requirements to set up and operationalize the Unit. It will also provide training, systems, tools and other resources to ensure that the Unit has a sufficient level of knowledge and skills, and sufficient capacity for statistical reporting, monitoring and evaluation.The Unit will have personnel hired from the market for (i) strategy, planning and M&E; (ii) skills development; and (iii) industry promotion. It will be important to have the right institutional structures, or the skills developed in the program. Hence, a small compact team will integrate the global marketing functions, industry promotion and skills development activities. The advantage of this tight integration is that it can respond better to potential investors, while at the same time having a better connection with industry needs for talent development and investment promotion activities. As part of the set up, this sub-component will also develop an IT/ITES industry development strategy for Bangladesh. It is imperative to develop a realistic and feasible strategy for Bangladesh as the global IT/ITES market has developed rapidly over the years to become highly sophisticated and competitive. Such as strategy will help the country to focus its resources on the greatest IT/ITES opportunities, align the efforts of the public and private sectors, help the country to be opportunistic in business development, and focus on IT/ITES niche markets where Bangladesh has a sustainable competitive advantage. Hence, this sub-component will conduct a rapid demand assessment, scan the competitive landscape, identify the country’s generic value proposition, develop the industry’s positioning and niches, and provide five-year development roadmap and skills development program.This sub-component will also support the provision of an expert advisor, and set up an international advisory panel consisting of global IT/ITES experts and practitioners to guide Bangladesh’s industry development efforts. The advisor will provide inputs on the IT/ITES unit’s strategic directions, bring in relevant contacts and networks worldwide, and guide the operations of the Unit; while the advisory panel will provide a mechanism for Bangladesh to rapidly access top-level IT/ITES expertise, provide face-to-face interaction with select members of the advisory group over the project period, and help raise the visibility of Bangladesh’s initiatives globally.
For local industry capacity building, this sub-component will promote and facilitate the set up of an IT/ITES industry forum, and support local companies in adopting globally-accepted certification. The industry forum will be composed of the major industry associations such as BCS, BASIS, BACCO, AMTOB, ISP Association, various content developers associations, etc. It will include a platform for representation by the free-lancer community, and women entrepreneurs and employees in IT/ITES companies. For this, the sub-component will conduct a quick feasibility assessment, provide recommendations for its set up and operations, facilitate dialogue between the various associations, and promote the associations’ participation using the project activities as incentives. In addition, this sub-component will provide technical assistance to foster local capabilities to generate a shared development vision for the industry, and organize the dispersed knowledge and resources towards common objectives, and assistance to implement jointly-identified actions.On certification, the IT/ITES companies need to have a consistent level of quality and process maturity in order to be at par with other off-shore destinations, and it will be difficult and costly to overcome a low-quality perception, if such experiences are established early in the process. Hence, this sub-component will assess and identify relevant global certifications for local companies, provide training assistance for companies working towards certification, and provide payment for the certification fee if the companies are successfully certified. The local beneficiary companies will be selected through an objective process to be approved by the Bank. There are already various types of IT/ITES company certifications available, and the key ones are: