“it is easy doing business in Bangladesh, I would say no. Is it worth the effort? I would definitely say yes.”

2 December 2014
ITC News

If you ask me whether it is easy doing business in Bangladesh, I would say no. Is it worth the effort? I would definitely say yes.

It was 2011 when I first came into contact with Bangladesh, attending an event in Amsterdam organized by ITC and the CBI (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The aim of the event was to promote Bangladesh as an IT and ITES outsourcing destination. Already at the event, I was positively impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of both the organization and participants.

It would be only after a second event in 2012 that I would finally have the chance to go there, and experience in person what all those enthusiastic people were talking about. This was my first visit to Bangladesh as part of the Trade Mission and visit to Soft Expo 2013, organized by the NTF II project.

The experience I had on the ground was outstanding: from crazy traffic, lots of colors, smell, noises, I experienced huge contrasts that you witness as you move through the streets. Behind traffic chaos, poverty and dirt, there are millions of driven people, and among them lots of young, highly qualified and committed professionals.

In my opinion, the key to success is the character of Bangladeshi people. Nothing is too difficult for them. It is some sort of resilience, a concept you will often hear or read associated to that country. People who wake up every morning to fight their way through terrible traffic sometimes for hours to do their job. And despite conditions and circumstances a lot harder than in the Western world, they are the ones responsible for most of the clothes we are wearing, the website where you book your holidays or that official mobile app of your favorite singer. I think this is a proof that you can find a solid partner for your businesses in Bangladesh.

I went to Bangladesh intending to outsource graphic work, and I came back with a notebook stuffed with ideas, full of inspiration and new energy; and the plans to develop a complete new product for my company. Today this plan is a reality. It became a remarkable product for one of our bigger customers. It meant a great achievement for Maruboshi Europe and for me. And a true success business story from the cooperation between Bangladeshi and European companies.

After almost two years and four visits to Dhaka later, I can only advise: do not miss the chance to go there and give it a try.

Vicente Ariza Alcalde is Manager DTP and Data Processing Department at Maruboshi Europe B.V. in Amsterdam.