Ami Probashi: Revolutionising foreign migration with a digital touch

August 7, 2023

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By harnessing analytics and machine learning, the platform aims to match skilled migrants with the right opportunities, ensuring a more efficient and effective allocation of human capital.

With dreams of changing his own fate and that of his family, Murad, a young man from Bhola, decided to fly to Malaysia. However, his dream ended in misery as he fell victim to a fraudulent agent who swindled him out of his hard-earned cash.

Instead of breaking down, Murad took matters into his own hands by eliminating the need for middlemen.

Fortunately, a solution came his way in the form of the mobile app ‘Ami Probashi.’ This app enabled him to complete pre-departure steps online and streamline the process of travelling frequently to Dhaka. This is important for Murad because he needed to make trips from Bhola to Dhaka often.

Reflecting on his past experiences, Murad expressed his frustration and said, “I have sought assistance from various agencies in the past, but unfortunately, I ended up losing around Tk7.5 lakh due to fraud during the process.

However, I recently discovered the ‘Ami Probashi’ app, and registering through it has made my job much easier. Now, my dream of going abroad is finally coming true. I am flying very soon. Please pray for me.”

A bridge to aspirations

For years, the foreign migration landscape has remained unpleasant at its best and gruelling at its worst. However, with the assistance of Ami Probashi, the pain of visiting different offices and chasing middlemen has now been alleviated.

“With the help of the app, the migrants will get trained, and upon completion, they can easily download their certificates. The system will automatically update their training status,” explained Md Shahidul Alam, director general of BMET.

Ami Probashi automates data verification for PDO (Pre Departure Orientation), vaccination and bank accounts, saving time and ensuring a comfortable and accountable experience for all parties involved. For example, PDO registration and certification are now quicker, taking only three days instead of two weeks.

“If you use the app throughout the migration process, the chances of being misled or bamboozled are minimal, because the job details, salaries and descriptions are verified by the Bangladeshi high commission,” said Namir Ahmad Nuri, CEO and co-founder of Ami Probashi.

Government services at your fingertips

The heart of the Ami Probashi platform lies in its ability to provide government services right at the user’s doorstep. No longer do migrants have to take days off work or depend on middlemen to navigate complex bureaucratic processes. BMET registration, pre-departure orientation, BMET clearance, and more, can now be completed with just a few taps on a smartphone, or through the Ami Probashi portal.

“The impact of Ami Probashi is impressive, with over 2.5 million BMET registrations completed and a 500% increase in registration numbers in just two years. This has created a large pool of candidates for foreign employment, benefiting Bangladesh’s workforce,” said Tarique Ekramul Haque, Managing Director, Ami Probashi and Bangla Trac Group.

It, in turn, financially benefits the government too. More than Tk80 crore has been added to the government exchequer by facilitating easy payments of government services by MFS (bKash/Nagad), escaping the difficulties of physical government offices.

Empowering aspiring migrants

Ami Probashi not only facilitates but also empowers aspiring migrants. “Our first product, BMET data bank entry, was a success. So we went on to take it further,” added Namir.

With the help of hardware like QR Code scanners and biometric fingerprint scanners, Ami Probashi ensures a democratized and transparent migration process. Because of the transparency, it has the potential to stop human trafficking by ensuring valid job placements and visa information.

Ami Probashi’s app simplifies the process for all, even the less educated. If they have a passport, users can follow the journey map, search for jobs, apply to recruiting agencies, and complete all the government steps through the app. With an online BMET airport clearance process that eliminates the need for falsified documents, Ami Probashi promises to improve the safety and well-being of all aspiring migrants.

Another notable feature of the Ami Probashi platform is its commitment to safeguarding women workers. “By verifying and certifying all documents and training, the platform leaves no room for falsification, protecting women from harm and exploitation,” said Tarique.

Infograph: TBS

Until now, more than 30,000 women enrolled in different training courses through the app. It has impacted the lives of ordinary individuals like Farida Begum, a young woman from Dohar, Dhaka.

“The app guided me step-by-step through the entire process, from registering with BMET to finding the nearest hospital for the medical test to attending the pre-departure orientation. I felt confident and empowered to navigate the complexities on my own,” Farida shared.

The platform also allows users to message recruiting agencies or BMET for inquiries about their applications’ status.

Key partnerships and pushbacks

While Ami Probashi has made significant strides, it hasn’t been without challenges.

“Vested interest groups from existing manual system syndicates and middlemen, along with some government employees, have resisted digitisation,” Namir claimed.

Despite these hurdles, the platform’s partnership with the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare, BMET, BRAC and the ICT Division has propelled it forward, providing a glimpse of hope for a digitally-driven migration system.

The road to a smart Bangladesh

Ami Probashi, in collaboration with BMET, has successfully eliminated the need for physical smart card printing by implementing QR code deployment. This advancement ensures timely issuance of airport emigration clearance cards, eliminating waiting times in queues and reducing the risk of fraud.

As the platform gains momentum, its ultimate vision is to contribute to building a Smart Bangladesh by 2041. With its user-friendly interface, time-saving features and cost-effective solutions, Ami Probashi aims to become the ‘one-stop solution’ for the entire migration process.

Ami Probashi Recruitment Management System (A-RMS) is a widely popular recruitment management system in Bangladesh, used by over 1,000 agencies. The platform provides access to the largest database of aspiring migrants, offering selectable and filterable databases with open communication channels to enhance transparency in the recruitment process. As a result, Ami Probashi significantly reduces processing costs, as the need for speed money is removed, cutting down costs by 20%, as highlighted by the managing director.

Support and payment system

If one encounters any issues, the platform has a dedicated 24/7 help support system. One can easily reach out to Ami Probashi through their hotline, which is completely free. “We are here to assist you and can verify important aspects such as PDO, BMET and the authenticity of your job,” added Tarique.

Ami Probashi provides a convenient and comprehensive payment system for various government services. From the app, users can make payments for BMET registration and clearance, pre-departure, welfare board membership, insurance, and smart card fees. They have the flexibility to pay through their mobile wallet or using bank cards.

Ami Probashi’s integrated platform ensures that every payment process is streamlined and hassle-free.

What lies ahead?

The impact of ‘Ami Probashi’ has not gone unnoticed on the global stage. International organisations have taken note of the platform’s innovative approach and its ability to create positive change in the lives of migrant workers. Recognition and accolades continue to pour in as the platform garners attention as a model for other nations to follow.

However, the journey towards a “Smart Bangladesh” is far from complete. Ami Probashi envisions new horizons, leveraging data-driven decision-making to optimise the migration process further.

By harnessing analytics and machine learning, the platform aims to match skilled migrants with the right opportunities, ensuring a more efficient and effective allocation of human capital.

Namir remains steadfast in his commitment to the cause. “We have come a long way, but there is still much to be done. Our mission is to empower every aspiring migrant and create a migration process that is seamless, fair and cost-effective for all.”

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