Dhaka based Southtech Ltd. comes to Bhutan

A 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) company has sought its shelter in the IT Park. It was inaugurated yesterday.

Southtech Private limited, a software developer company was established almost 19 years ago in Bangladesh and it’s solutions on microfinance has been awarded the highest ranking in the world by Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), which provided solutions for financial service providers, policy makers and funders.

Besides being a gold partner of Oracle and Microsoft, it has also developed Core Banking Solutions (CBS) in number of banks.

While the chairman of Southtech, Syed Maqbul Quader did not reveal the size of the investment; he said the highest investment in the IT sector is the brains. “Microsoft was started in a garage,” he said adding as and when need arise, the parent company would pump in funds.

Enthusiastic government, innovative workforce and distance to the parent company in Dhaka, were the reasons the chairman cited for choosing Bhutan as the first country to invest in.

However, the Chairman said that the company got clearance and all formalities done in just six weeks, which he has not experienced in any countries that he visited. “Bhutan’s FDI policy is very much investor friendly,” he said.

He however said that the limited market in the country shouldn’t be a problem to the company as it has already established markets in many countries. He said that the Bhutanese sister company can help cater to international market.

The Chief executive officer, Pema Tashi said the core business of the company would be to provide IT/ITES product and services. “Southtech Bhutan is also a result of the many government initiatives to promote green industry in the country especially in IT sector,” he said.

In addition to it services towards micro financial institutions, Southtech has developed software in the areas of banking, human resource management, retail management, hospital management in number of organisations both inside and outside Bangladesh.

The company has also gathered some clients from the country like Bhutan Development Bank and National Pension and Provident fund.

To provide highly professional IT service and software solutions ranging from simple solution to complex and resource intensive solutions like CBS, the CEO said, may sound ambitious, but are doable.

“The country today spends millions in outsourced software solutions and after sales support. If the software solutions provider can be localised, the country stands to reap huge benefits by stemming the outflow of revenue and increased employment opportunity for our IT graduates.”

The company has already recruited 10 IT and two business graduates under the Guaranteed Employment Programme.

The next two to three months will be spent on providing intensive training on various technology stacks to these young and fresh graduates.

Over a period of three years, the company plans to expand to 30 strong professionals. In the long run company will recruit about 100 professional, mostly Bhutanese.

Meanwhile the information and communication minister, DN Dungyel, who graced he inaugural assured the government’s support wherever possible.