Bangladesh has launched an ambitious e-services platform titled ‘Digital Bangladesh’ that aims to digitally connect the country by 2021. The vision is to connect people, increase education, compete globally and reduce corruption. For Bangladesh, a country that lags behind the rest of the world, the benefits could be insurmountable. In an effort to do this, the state-owned telecom company, Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) recently unveiled a locally produced laptop, ‘Doel’ that runs the Android operating system and is priced at $130. 10% of the laptop is currently produced locally but TSS Managing Director, Mohammad Ismail is convinced that, “Within six months we will be able to produce 60% of the components.”
Bangladesh is rapidly developing its IT and services sector and is grooming more than 5,000 software professionals anually. More than 800 registered software companies are functioning and employing close to 30,000 professionals and engineers that offer specialized IT services. Government platforms are also digitizing not only for the comfort of the people but also to provide transparency and reduce corruption. Close to 160 Bangladeshi companies export software to 60 countries, with the US being the largest recipient. In efforts to establish IT clusters all over the country, the government is also seeking international expertise in setting up an IT park near Dhaka.