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Bangladesh’s App Development Industry: A Driver of Sustainable Economic Growth

As Bangladesh's app development sector flourishes, local apps are increasingly competing with global giants like Uber and Foodpanda, offering localized solutions that resonate deeply with the local populace. This growth is not just a technological achievement but also a significant step towards sustainable economic development.

Educational Foundations and Workforce Development

The roots of this thriving industry lie in Bangladesh’s robust educational framework. Around 42 public and private institutions offer degree programs in IT and computer science, with approximately 3,000 students graduating each year. Additionally, numerous IT training centers, both domestic and international, enroll about 12,000 students annually, ensuring a steady pipeline of skilled developers. This emphasis on education and skill development is a cornerstone of sustainable economic growth, providing the workforce with opportunities for quality education and decent work.

Economic Contributions and Global Positioning

Bangladesh’s app development industry benefits from low labor costs, high programmer productivity, and broad English literacy, making it a key player in the global outsourcing market. According to the Oxford Internet Institute, Bangladesh is now the second-largest supplier of online outsourcing labor, with around 500,000 active freelancers earning a combined total of $100 million per year. This not only boosts the national economy but also creates numerous job opportunities, aligning with the goal of decent work and economic growth.

Local Champions: Competing with Global Giants

Local apps like OBHAI are redefining the market with innovative, localized offerings. Launched in 2017, OBHAI transitioned to an in-house development team and adopted a cashless payment system post-Covid-19. “Currently, we have a customer base of 4.5 million and 40,000 drivers combining CNG and car services,” says Fazla Elahi, head of business at OBHAI. This success demonstrates how local solutions can create a competitive edge, fostering a more inclusive economy.

A Thriving Entertainment Ecosystem

The entertainment sector within Bangladesh’s app market is particularly vibrant, with platforms like Chorki, Hoichoi, and Bongo leading the charge. These platforms enhance the digital entertainment landscape, offering a rich catalogue of local content that promotes cultural sustainability. Rabbithole BD, focusing on sports content, has over 10 million paid subscribers, showcasing the potential of localized digital services.

E-commerce Revolution and Diverse Offerings

In e-commerce, apps like Pickaboo, Rokomari, and Chaldal are making significant strides, revolutionizing how consumers interact with digital marketplaces. Sheba.xyz has emerged as a key player in the service sector, offering a wide range of services from home cleaning to car repairs, illustrating the broadening scope of the Bangladeshi app market.

Challenges and Sustainable Solutions

Despite its impressive growth, the industry faces challenges like outdated devices and inconsistent internet access in rural areas. Developers are addressing these by creating lightweight apps that function well on older devices and improving offline capabilities. Enhanced security protocols and user education on digital literacy are also being prioritized to ensure a safer user experience, contributing to social sustainability.

Future Prospects

The global mobile app market, valued at $228.98 billion in 2023, is expected to grow significantly. Within this context, Bangladesh’s app market is poised for continued growth. The country’s strategic focus on digital transformation, supported by government initiatives and an entrepreneurial spirit among its youth, positions it well to capitalize on the burgeoning app economy.


The rise of Bangladesh’s mobile app market is a testament to the country’s adaptability and resilience. As local developers continue to innovate and compete with global giants, the future looks bright for this dynamic industry. With continued investment in education, infrastructure, and digital literacy, Bangladesh’s app market is set to achieve even greater heights, contributing significantly to the country’s sustainable economic growth and digital transformation.

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