Building a digitally inclusive Sri Lanka

Thursday, 21 January 2021 01:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Enterprise Business Intelligence CEO Dr. Prasanna Lokuge


In an era where the global digital transformation market is expected to grow from $ 470 billion to $ 1,010 billion, with a CAGR of 16.5% in the next five years, one Sri Lankan company is capitalising on the global coronavirus pandemic helping local and foreign businesses integrate technology to deliver diversified business applications. 

The company focuses on the next generation of tech, utilising Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data analytics and IoT, to create what they call a ‘digitally inclusive society’. 

EBI Director and CEO Dr. Prasanna Lokuge said that in line with the growth of this industry, EBI has taken initiatives to introduce this concept to Sri Lanka with plans to convert the island into a novel ‘smart nation’. The company delivers diversified business applications through mobile and web-based platforms prioritising efficiency, cost-effectiveness and customer satisfaction in all their projects.

In essence EBI specialises in the use of Artificial Intelligence. The technology, which has paved the way for machine learning, neural networks and natural language processing to be the future of industrial processes and corporate businesses alike. EBI is part of various sectors in Sri Lanka, developing apps and digital platforms for banking, insurance companies, health management, education programs and many more. 

With the concept of IoT, the company has made use of digital signatures tagged on machines, objects and even animals, to transfer data over a network. This has enabled businesses of all scales to have better control over their environment, and therefore enhanced productivity and business performance. 

One of the key focus areas of EBI is in agritech where the company developed the AI-based Smart Wagawa platform. Complementing this, the AI-based Smart Wagawa platform leverages several technologies to help farmers. These technologies include AI/ML, IoT, QR codes, GPS/GIS, image processing, drones and others to name a few. By utilising these technologies, farmers can more accurately plan their harvests, automate fertiliser management, monitor supply chain, improve resource management, etc. Ultimately, this allows farmers to ensure that necessary precautions can be taken to minimise potential financial risk – making the agriculture sector more attractive to investors.

A growing research area for EBI is blockchain. “It has the potential to create new foundations for our economic and social systems. Blockchain is an especially promising and revolutionary technology because it helps reduce risk, stamps out fraud, and brings transparency in a scalable way for myriad uses,” he said. EBI strongly believes blockchain will lead to shrinking supply chains, produces a better-quality product, saves product development time, and increases the customised offering to the customer.

The company is also looking at enabling the healthcare industry to utilise AI. What started out as a simple network connecting doctors, hospitals and nurses to patients, is now making its way to be one of the biggest game-changers in the field of medicine. EBI is in the process of developing an intelligent healthcare solution, capable of diagnosing patients remotely with the help of AI. This same system will also help healthcare professionals better predict the spread of diseases and to establish a more efficient monitoring platform through the concept of a neural network, data modelling and GPS technology.

Dr. Lokuge emphasises the importance of the proper utilisation of AI technology, and not to be merely viewed as ‘a solution to everything’ concept. Using the power of AI to solve simple problems is considered a waste of resources by the developers at EBI. Therefore, a critical part in the company’s success has been the recognition of areas that would reap the most benefits with the use of AI-inspired digital transformation; and EBI strives in search of opportunities that would benefit the most from AI in Sri Lanka, working towards their goal of converting the island into the next ‘Smart Nation’.