Sushena Ranatunga owns and operates three software companies in Sri Lanka, namely Creative Solutions, Four Corners Lanka and Cambio Software Engineering employing over 400 software engineers and counts over 25 years in the industry.
He recently shared his views about the importance of nurturing the talent of our future generations to position Sri Lanka as an innovative software product development destination.
He stated that today Sri Lanka, while being best known as a destination providing resources to other software companies overseas, is still very weak when it comes to Software Product IP rights. “If you take most of the leading software companies in Sri Lanka, we are providing skilled resources to the developed world for a monthly rate. We basically have very few product owners and companies that actually own the rights to the software that they market. In my view to have a vibrant IT industry in Sri Lanka we must also have the ambition and the pioneering spirit to create and own products which will have a worldwide presence .This is where the real money is,” Ranatunga said.
He outlined some of the best examples of Software Product IP Rights such as Microsoft Office or SAP where companies generated an income whenever a licence of these products is sold to a client.
“Software is essential to all industries today. Thus, there is enormous market potential for the right software products or applications. Hence, in my opinion our younger generations should be encouraged to be innovators and entrepreneurs rather than simply become developers for a product owned by someone else. The best time to do this is when they have left school or completed an IT degree of their choice from a state or private university. If you take most of the successful people in the industry such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page, you will note that they have all started their ventures when they were very young. Today the world is getting smaller with the Internet. People in countries like ours get access to information just like any other person in the developed world. Therefore we must encourage our younger generation to make use of this information. Small ideas can make big changes in the IT field,” he said.
“Our best brains just after a university degree are wired to immediately look for the highest paying company. Unfortunately they don’t see the big picture and realise that their cumulative income from a paying job throughout their lifetime can be earned in just one month if they come up with an exceptionally good idea to develop a product,” he stressed.
“If you take majority of the founders of some of the largest software companies of today, you will notice that they started very small by developing a small application that has eventually reached greater heights in attracting multinational companies. All of them had the passion and the belief in their products and themselves which has lead them towards revolutionising industries and business landscapes. This is what we need to evoke in our young people. This is why we at Creative Solutions are willing to assist talented youth with an innovative but marketable software product idea to start their own entities. Recently we took the first step by launching our first such product called LayUP, an eLearning platform. This for us would be the best kind of CSR program that we could initiate to enhance and unleash the full potential of our youth that will also benefit our country in the long run.”