The country's first ICT Incubator, built by the government two years ago, has been a huge success as the facilities it provides are considered manna from heaven for ICT firms.
A total of 40 private ICT firms, including software developers, hardware assemblers and service providers, have so far invested Tk 250 million at the eye catching state-of-art institution at Karwan Bazar in Dhaka.
The incubator provides the ICT firms uninterrupted power supply, necessary telephone lines, required bandwidth and security. Cooperation is faster as the ICT Incubator is managed by private sector.
The incubator was established by the government in November 2002 with an investment of Tk 20 million. But recently the responsibility of its management was vested on Bangladesh Software and Information Services (BASIS).
The annual turnover of the incubator is around Tk 150 million.
"The success of the project has been possible due to non-intervention into the management by the government bureaucracy," an ICT entrepreneur told FE preferring anonymity.
BASIS sources said some of the foreign ICT firms have shown interest to invest at the venue lately but most of the spaces have already been rented out to local firms.
The demand for more such incubators is rising in absence of a Hi-Tech-Park, which the government promised to build at a cost Tk 2.5 billion at Kaliakoir, near Dhaka, three years ago.
Some ICT entrepreneurs have urged the government to establish a similar incubator in the city to meet the growing demand from IT firms.
They said any new incubator should offer training facilities for computer engineers and programmers.
"An incubator is a place where a fresher should get opportunity to enhance knowledge and skills. But the existing one is entirely used by the full-time businessmen, Ehsanul Haque an entrepreneur said.