SLASSCOM partners with Invest Sri Lanka 2021 to position Sri Lanka as a key destination for IT/BPM services in Asia
The national chamber for knowledge and innovation, The Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) was a key partner at the recently concluded Sri Lanka Invest Forum (SLIF) 2021 organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) and the Colombo Stock Exchange.
SLASSCOM brought in a team of renowned global keynote speakers, who gave insights into their experiences of investing in Sri Lanka and outlined the success stories of their ventures.
“The event was a great success and the exposure it gave to Sri Lanka as a unique country to invest, collaborate and do business with was immense; it re-elaborated the trajectory of the country’s IT/BPM industry,” shared SLASSCOM Chairman Channa Manoharan. Shiraz Lye – Board Director of SLASSCOM and Lead for Global Trade and Investment Forum added that events of this nature boost the ‘Sri Lanka’ brand as an IT/BPM destination of choice.
Among the key speakers were Jayantha de Silva – Secretary to the Ministry of Technology who initiated the government’s plans to build five Techno Parks in the coming years to encourage investments into the IT/ BPM industry. “Under the government’s plan for technology diffusion, we are going into health, education, tourism, and many other areas,” he said highlighting the work planned by the ministry in tandem with the Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has evolved greatly over the last decade and is rich in capability development, investment infrastructure, and skilled talent. Kerry Hallard – CEO of the Global Sourcing Association and Chairperson at Global Technology & Business Services Council mentioned how encouraging it was to have partners such as SLASSCOM on board to work towards “painting a clear vision of best practices and standards for the future of the global technology and business services industry.”
Srimathi Shivashankar – Corporate Vice President of HCL Technologies discussed Sri Lanka’s talent potential. “The talent pool is well educated, they have a high level of digital literacy when compared to regional peers and there is no disparity in terms of gender and other factors,” she said. The government’s plans to enhance the entire education system were also brought to light, as a gateway to attracting more skilled talent to the IT/BPM sector in the near future.
Vivek Sood – Group CFO of Axiata noted: “In 2018 when Axiata evaluated regional destinations to locate the nucleus of our software strategy, Sri Lanka stood out in terms of excellence innovation capacity demonstrated by Dialog, and the quality of the country’s software development service industry.” He highlighted how the country’s IT/BPM sector is highly sophisticated and how investment is supported by the government.
“Throughout our presence in Sri Lanka, we benefited from technology, expertise, and access to world-class talent,” said Dee Liyanwela – Global Head of Corporate Services at London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group, highlighting that the company has 1,800 colleagues working in Sri Lanka with plans to increase this further. A strategic global hub for the LSE Group, Sri Lanka is considered a hotspot for trained talent.
“Sri Lanka really is somewhere that IFS has put a lot of focus and investment into over an extended period,” averred Darren Roos – CEO of IFS. A key contributor to IFS’s growth strategy, Sri Lanka has proven itself as an enabler of competitive advantage, on top of its ability to offer scalability and accelerated growth potential.
An investor in Sri Lanka since 2016, Dag Honningsvag – Chairman of 99x spoke of the attractiveness of Sri Lanka from a cultural perspective, mentioning that “Sri Lanka has great people who share a strong culture and good values.” He also highlighted the quality of the destination’s investment ecosystem, including its effective banking system and favorable taxation policies for investments, which makes Sri Lanka an attractive investment site.
The key takeaway from these insights was that Sri Lanka is firmly positioned as a key destination for companies looking at talent recruitment, operations expansion, and growth drivers. The country has accumulated a gamut of experience in playing host to leading international and local companies in the IT and BPO sector, leading to it becoming a preferred location for investments in this domain.
With over 300 member companies accounting for 90% of the IT/BPM industry export revenue, SLASSCOM is determined to drive the industry to realize its potential of becoming the number one export revenue earner for Sri Lanka and will continue to partner with key events of this nature, and work closely with both the government and relevant public and private entities to drive this agenda forward.