March 11, 2004
Thomas Friedman writes about the Indian software industry today, calling the confluence of factors that came together in the late ’90s to pump up Indian IT a — get ready for it — “techno-cultural-economic perfect storm.”
But India wasn’t the only country that got caught up in it. In Bangladesh in 2001, the IT craze was in full swing: Bright yellow banners promised Visual Basic certification on every street corner. Young Bangladeshi men and women packed Java programming classes. A brand-new office building had just gone up, aiming to be Bangladesh’s first real IT park.
Bangladesh had only a few outsourcing firms — nothing compared to the industry in India, which was already huge — but they were enthusiastic. And they do were doing business not only with the United States, but with Scandinavia and the rest of Asia, especially Malaysia, which was undergoing an IT craze of its own.
Since then, India’s IT sector has continued to grow, obviously. I’m not sure if Bangladesh’s has. I’d be curious to know if yellow banners still festoon the streets, or if the young people of Bangladesh have moved on to some other dream.