Bahrain woos Indian ICT companies with wider market access at a lower cost

|November 3, 2016 0

Soma Tah

While Bahrain is not a new market to Indian IT software majors like TCS, Wipro and Tech Mahindra who already have a presence in the country, but it is very interesting to see how Bahrain is opening up to more Indian companies in the ICT and telecom domain and wooing them to set up operations in the country with the promises of a wider market access.

Ease of doing business in Bahrain

                                 

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The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB)- a public agency that works with the government and investors closely to identify opportunities for further economic growth of the country claims that besides a liberal and supportive business environment, the strategic location of Bahrain offers technology companies an easy access to the fast-growing Middle East and GCC markets.

The GCC alone is $1.5 trillion market and the IT spend is $200 billion a year with 10 per cent growth-rate, which can be very appealing to Indian ICT companies looking to expand and set up shops abroad.

Bahrain also claims to be about 30-40 percent cheaper than Dubai.

John Kilmartin, Executive Director of ICT at the Bahrain Economic Development Board says, “Accessing local talent in Bahrain for customer-facing processes is easy compared to Dubai, as 50 percent of the population comprises local people unlike Dubai, where local people are only 4 percent of the total population and the rest are expats. This is particularly helpful for the companies seeking more nearshoring options.” Language barrier is also significantly lower as almost 98 percent of the population in Bahrain speak English.

Why Indian ICT companies matter to Bahrain?

Now the question here is why pitching to Indian ICT companies makes sense?

“What fundamentally separates India from other geographical markets is its impressive technology talent and skill base. What is even more noticeable is how it is making a move from services mindset to a product mindset. The Indian companies are making products that are comparable to the products made by companies based out of Silicon Valley,” said Kilmartin.

Bahrain is also looking to engage with the growing base of Indian startup community and identify the possible areas of collaboration. There is a growing startup community in the Middle-East which not only widens the prospect of collaboration in terms of knowledge-sharing, but also broadens the potential access to capital for Indian startups, which is a big plus anyway.

The startup base in the region is predominantly focused on cloud, IoT, fintech and e-commerce, but Bahrain government is keen to explore more collaboration options in ICT or telecom domain through promoting its accelerator programmes in India.

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