Flemming, meet Mahfuzul. Mahfuzul, meet Flemming

October 23, 2014

As the bird flies, Dhaka, Bangladesh is 7100 kilBangladesh photo 1ometers from Copenhagen. Yet in many ways, much of the IT industry in Bangladesh would look familiar to any professional in the Danish IT sector.

A good example is Kaz Software which is located on a short side street in central Dhaka which I visited on a very hot day in June.

Lead by CTO, Wahid Choudhury, the company develops custom software solutions with a particular focus on tax, accounting and international trade.

In a red brick building, roughly the size of the buildings lining Nyhavn, Wahid and his team develop web, desktop and mobile solutions for clients in Holland, the US and UK, among others.

Kaz’ 53 employees work efficiently and competitively with a focus on building value; as Wahid says “companies that push too hard on price are probably not for us.” Kaz counts both SMEs and a few large organizations (Thomson Reuters among them) as their clients.

The bikes parked out in front would not be out of place in Copenhagen and although the company outings involve playing team cricket instead of football, the shared grief of loosing in the latest corporate tournament would evoke knowing sympathies among Danish weekend warriors.Bangladesh photo 2

Recognizable too is Kaz’ focus on work-life balance. Wahid says, “We have, probably, the lowest employee turnover among the software companies in Bangladesh and I am confident it is because we are one of the happiest place to work. Even people who leave us stay connected with us through user groups, social networks and events that we organize for our alumni. We have many who’ve come back to work with us again. There is a saying that we are proud of: ‘Once you are part of Kaz, always a member of the Kaz family.’”

Kaz might be remarkable because of its corporate “pursuit of happiness” but it is part of a growing sector of IT companies in Bangladesh. There are over 800 IT, IT enabled services and BPO companies registered in Bangladesh. Official statistics from 2011 note that excluding freelancers, over 30,000 people are formally employed in the sector.Bangladesh photo 3

In addition to the volume and growth, Bangladesh is graduating more engineers each year. Bangladesh’s competencies in IT and engineering have attracted attention from companies like Samsung, LG, IBM, and AMD, all of which have established R&D centers there. Let’s hope that they too catch wind of Kaz’s corporate philosophy.