Build Operate Transfer – The Key to Strategic Business Scaling

Build Operate Transfer is an effective strategy for companies looking to scale their business, develop new capabilities, and stay competitive without the heavy lifting of starting from scratch. 

New beginnings are inherently exciting. Venturing into something unknown, thinking about the prospect of what it can become. However, when starting a new business chapter, that excitement is often accompanied by increased stress levels. 

Whether you’re expanding the existing pack of products or services, extending operations to a different domain, or entering a new market, there is a lot of work involved. You need to pour both human and financial resources into it, not to mention the potential risks involved. 

Fortunately, there is a business model that alleviates much of the hassle in the above scenarios, and it is called Build, Operate, Transfer. As we can confirm from experience, this type of outsourcing model is an elegant method that helps companies scale, develop new capabilities, and stay competitive, all the while saving on costs and resources.

The 1, 2, 3 of the Build Operate Transfer model

The magic wand of business strategies and the secret behind many a success story, the BOT model has a history in the infrastructure sector and was typically employed in public-private partnerships. Today, it has been widely embraced by the tech industry as it’s an elegant approach to establishing an office in a new location or building an offshore software development team. 

Many companies use BOT projects as an alternative to expanding their in-house teams or outsourcing the work to external developers. The idea is to find a local partner company with the right expertise, who will then be in charge of building and operating the team and, when the time comes – transfer it back to the client company. 

As the name suggests, the model comprises three phases.


The first step involves creating an operating unit. This covers everything from choosing an office space and securing the necessary equipment and tools to employing the right talent and making legal arrangements.


During the operation phase, the partner company takes full control of managing and operating the newly established entity and its teams. They handle day-to-day activities, ensuring smooth functioning and providing ongoing support and maintenance.


In the transfer stage, the ownership and responsibility for the new office and teams is ultimately transferred from the partner to the client company. This marks the completion of the transition, and the client gains full control and autonomy over the operations.

From scaling up teams to tapping into new talent pools, the model lends itself well to large and established corporations, perhaps lacking the specific expertise to utilize the power of technology to their advantage. 

Efficiency and cost savings

One of the primary reasons why companies choose to take the BOT road in their outsourcing efforts is the undeniable efficiency that comes with its plug-and-play nature. This, coupled with a significantly reduced upfront investment, is in itself a substantial benefit. 

Any business owner will know how the initial setup of a company can be costly. There’s the infrastructure, hiring a skilled team, acquiring all the necessary tools and equipment, and a number of “misc” expenses. With the Build-Operate-Transfer model, the partner company assumes responsibility for acquiring all of these or already has much of what is needed at their disposal. This presents an immense savings opportunity for the client company, not only in terms of money but also time. 

Probably the most significant asset a business can gain access to via the BOT model is human resources. Hiring and training a team alone takes up a great deal of time and a hefty budget. Partnering up with an experienced business with an established company culture, the client company gets a skilled team with processes already in place, which makes for a highly efficient business kickoff.

Risk mitigation

Starting a new venture is never completely risk-free; however, outsourcing operations through the BOT model can help businesses significantly reduce the common risks connected with establishing and running a successful company.

Whether is regulatory compliance, inherent market risks, or potential operational hurdles, a local partner is a significant asset in risk mitigation. 

The partner company is typically an expert in their field. They have the experience and the know-how that in itself decreases the risk of problems in the operation. Responsible for all operational activities, they are in a position to quickly and effectively address any challenges before they can cause significant damage. 

And even in a less desirable situation where not everything goes according to plan, neither party bears the full burden of potential financial losses associated with the business. In that regard, BOT is considered a substantially safer outsourcing strategy than other options. 

Knowledge transfer and skill development

Access to specialized expertise and technologies is crucial for businesses and organizations in today’s highly competitive and rapidly evolving market. Sometimes, a company wants to expand its offering, start a new project, or introduce a new product but lacks the internal capabilities and resources to do so.  

The Build-Operate-Transfer model is a great opportunity to complement one company’s strengths with those of another. Rather than going through a lengthy hiring process or upskilling an existing team, companies can tap into specific skillsets of existing teams. Specialized expertise providers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. What’s more, they can offer a fresh perspective and insights that can be instrumental in driving business growth and success. 

Once the BOT partnership runs its course, the outsourcing company may partly or fully integrate the new team into its workforce or simply part ways, depending on the contractual agreement. 

Whichever the case may be, combining teams creates the perfect surroundings for knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer. Working alongside knowledgeable and experienced experts enhances the skills of the client company’s teams, which is a benefit that extends far after the contract period expires.

Scalability and flexibility

If the Covid-19 pandemic taught us anything, it is the importance of the ability to adapt to changing business needs. Companies looking for efficient market entry and strategic growth can benefit greatly from the flexibility and scalability inherent in the BOT model.

With the partner company handling initial setup and day-to-day operations, companies gain a far quicker time-to-market, a critical factor in today’s fast-paced business landscape.

With the local partner handling initial setup and day-to-day operations, companies gain a far quicker time-to-market, which is a critical factor in today’s fast-paced business landscape. This not only speeds up the path to revenue but also gives the client company the opportunity to “test the waters” of a new market before committing to long-term investments. 

Utilizing local expertise also contributes to operational flexibility – the partner company comes with a deep understanding of the target market, its nuances, and consumer behaviors. That way, a business can more easily tailor their strategies to local preferences. 

Finally, the model also provides a simple approach to scaling. Companies can expand or contract operations without incurring all the upfront costs usually connected with establishing and maintaining a local presence. And the transfer phase offers additional flexibility – it can be accelerated or prolonged, once again in alignment with the business needs. 

Long-term sustainability

The BOT model is, by definition, employed for a limited time duration. However, the effects of building such a partnership contribute to long-term sustainability and business growth. 

A sustainable business can withstand challenges and continue to function effectively in the long term. With the hassle of company establishment removed and the risks inherent in running operations reduced, the client company maintains stability. It has more space to focus on its core operations, innovation, strategic initiatives, and long-term growth. 

Further, the knowledge and skills acquired during the Operate phase don’t go away when the partnership ends. They remain a constant asset in the client company’s toolbox, making it well-equipped to manage the same type of operations on its own.

Build, Operate, Transfer, and Prosper

Overall, the BOT model offers a structured approach to tech outsourcing, providing a clear path for building, operating, and ultimately transferring ownership of the new entity to the client. It brings significant benefits for companies seeking to enter a new market or upgrade their product offering, including cost savings, lower risks, access to specialized skills, better scalability and flexibility, and a sustainable perspective. 

As the tech industry continues to evolve and expand, the BOT model is likely to remain a valuable tool for companies looking to innovate and grow.