A record-setting international business exposure event was held with over 20 Japanese IT companies
In cooperation with BASIS, BJIT hosted a b2b and business seminar durin last month which served as a record-breaking congregation for a total of 20 Japanese companies. For the first time, a large group of Japanese companies was introduced first-hand to the capabilities of Bangladesh’s IT marketplace. Managerial representatives from Japanese companies attended the event to conduct a detailed market analysis and identify target companies for offshore software development.
Both the b2b and the seminar were part of BASIS SoftExpo 2019 -- a private sector exposition event that spanned for three days at four separate, simultaneously operational convention halls of International Convention City Bangladesh (ICCB) in Bashundhara.
A median capital of the b2b’s attendee groups is 1 million USD, and the majority of these companies are long-term clients of BJIT. For instance, SourceNext (the largest distributor and creator of the software, hardware, and IoT products in Japan) has been working with BJIT for the past 18 years. One of SourceNext’s most proudly mentionable projects is the Pocketalk, a two-way translation device that currently supports 74 languages and works in 109 countries. Save the hardware part, the entirety of Pocketalk’s software solution was developed by BJIT. Other than the obvious goal of creating a language barrier-free world for all, succeeding in projects like these is especially significant in the sense that they address one of the bigger problems in offshore outsourcing: the overall lack of global language skill.
IT Business Opportunities with Japan seminar had speakers from six different companies namely -- Rakuten Inc., Nihon Unisys Ltd., INTAGE TECHNOSPHERE., Thesaurus Inc, Lightcafe Co. Ltd, and CO-WELL Co, Ltd. As for the audience attendees, there were 26 representatives from 13 more Japan-based companies namely -- VirtualTex Holdings Inc, DreamOnline Inc, XLEAP Inc, Miyazaki City Office, JICA, SouthernCross Systems Co Ltd, KJS Company LTD, and B&M Inc. JM Akbar, Chairman of BJIT Group, pointed out a handful of socio-economic traits in Japan’s IT market that warrants involvement from offshore outsourcing companies like BJIT:
Shortage of Engineers
Japan’s strong focus on manufacture-oriented work (and treating engineering as more of an afterthought) -- coupled with its negative population growth -- is speculated to have caused a shortage of engineers that is all but alarming in today’s digital era. Part of BJIT’s mission is capitalizing on closing this gap in a way that benefits both countries. Additionally, it was mentioned that Japan has much less outsourcing experience compared to leading counterparts like the USA and Europe; implying that “the sooner we do something about it, the better for everyone”.
Lacking Global Language Skill
“When we first started (in 2001, in Dhaka, with a team of just ten engineers), for the first two years, we focused only on additional learning -” said Akbar. Speaking from personal experience and in good faith, he placed some emphasis on the importance of learning the Japanese language and communication techniques in order to work with them at groundbreaking efficiencies, as many of them are less than willing to establish total rapport with non-native speakers.
BJET – a project funded by JICA, in collaboration with TCC -- addresses this problem. Free of cost, selected passionate ICT engineers are taught all the language and software knowledge necessary to work with Japan-affiliated companies.
Despite the 26 audience attendees’ nonparticipation informal speech, cards aplenty were swapped at the end of the day -- making the event a worthwhile exchange for all parties invited.
The events at BASIS Soft Expo primarily targeted the foreign IT entrepreneurs, namely to demonstrate the major growth that has taken place in Bangladesh’s IT sector in the last two decades. Conveniently, a mere general appreciation of BJIT’s history and past achievements alone served as a fine specimen for answering this question. Humbly, it was made known that BJIT had started in Dhaka in 2001 with a team of just ten engineers; with the mission of “helping arise interest” of companies through AI Deep Learning, Financial Technology, InternetOfThings, and Application Management Software. 18 years later, their proud team of 600 engineers now operate in Japan, USA, Finland, Singapore, Sweden, and Bangladesh. Their clientele includes IT superstars like SONY, Nokia, and NTT Docomo.