An American management consulting company has sacked all of its employees after announcing to shut down its operations in Bangladesh, less than four years after it began, without specifying any reason.
Accenture Communications Infrastructure Solutions Limited started its journey here after acquiring 51% share of private mobile operator Grameenphone’s IT subsidiary GPIT in 2013.
In a letter on Tuesday, Accenture told its employees that it would clear their salaries and allowances before closing operations on November 30.
Accenture employees union General Secretary Shahin Ahmed said they would refrain from work starting Wednesday and that they had already started negotiating about their facilities and exit plan.
“We have to keep in mind that this (Accenture’s departure) is going to create a wrong impression on foreign investors, who will think twice before investing here,” he added.
Sources said the firm’s relations with Telenor, GP’s parent company, deteriorated due to the pressure from Accenture Employees Union. Telenor started distancing itself from the consulting company, resulting in Accenture losing work.
Accenture Bangladesh’s Communication Department brushed off rumours about its rift with Telenor in an e-mail, saying they had been working with Telenor closely in Asia and Europe, but that some of its services would be transferred to a third party.
As part of the process, some Accenture employees would be allowed to work for the third party and added that the company would “provide proper assistance” to its employees during this interim period.
Sources in the IT sector said one of the companies getting ready to enter Bangladesh’s market is Wipro, an Indian company whose work is similar to that of Accenture.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) President Mostafa Jabbar said he felt the country’s image would take a hit if Accenture shut its operation here.
“The companies and investors who are willing to invest or directly enter the [Bangladeshi] market will reconsider,” he said. “It will be very difficult to make up for the loss, no matter how much software and services we export.”
This story was first published in Bangla Tribune