- Opportunity for global companies to set up Captive Innovation Centres in Sri Lanka
- Leverage Sri Lanka to be ‘digital gateway to Asia’ to test and service Asian markets
- Invest in global ‘digital disruptors’ developing domain-specific, transformative IP and business products
The national brand for the Sri Lanka ICT/BPM sector was launched in London yesterday.
The launch was held in the presence of Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, Department of Commerce Director General Sonali Wijeratne, Deputy Director of Commerce Alexi Gunasekera, Export Development Board Chairperson and Chief Executive Indira Malwatte, Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) Chairman Ruwindhu Peiris, SLASSCOM Executive Director Chrishan de Mel and Sri Lanka High Commission in London Commercial Counsellor Senuja Samaraweera.
The event also attracted many delegates from the Commonwealth Business Forum and was organised by the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC).
Launching the brand, Peiris spoke on the availability and access to top engineering talent, creativity and resourcefulness and a collaborative/partner mentality to co-innovate solutions to differentiate Sri Lanka from other locations.
He also stressed on the opportunity for global companies to set up Captive Innovation Centres in Colombo, to leverage Sri Lanka to be the ‘digital gateway’ to Asia and to invest in global ‘Digital Disruptors’ developing domain-specific, transformative IP and business products.
Sri Lanka’s IT industry has emerged and become globally competitive due to the unique talents of the workforce, the focus on high quality and reliability, but above all its ingenuity and creativity. Talented Sri Lankan tech entrepreneurs from around the world are returning from overseas to start innovative companies, and they are bringing with them global networks and global best practices. The sector has been supported by an advanced telecoms sector, which now boasts world-class digital infrastructure and competitive mobile and internet tariffs in the region.
There are leading IT companies from across the world already operating in Sri Lanka and successfully growing their business using local talent. Virtusa, the global IT services provider, employs over 3,000 staff in Sri Lanka. Other examples of global organisations with their captive centres in Sri Lanka include HSBC, the London Stock Exchange Group and Pearson.Increasingly, global companies are choosing to locate their R&D centres in Sri Lanka. Recently, Sysco, the world’s largest food service company, opened its innovation lab in Sri Lanka to prepare the company for disruption over the next several decades. It now employs over 600 people. IFS, the Swedish enterprise software provider, employs over 1,000 staff in R&D, product engineering, business consulting and product support roles.
These companies experience a type of ingenuity and creativity which is unique to Sri Lanka, a location for innovative software product development and ideal for captive R&D centres that produce creative solutions that are world-class but cost-effective. While Sri Lanka may be small in size, the industry has proven its ability to deliver high-value in each of these areas.
Sri Lanka has continuously increased ICT exports and maintains an impressive upward trend in annual figures. More than 300 companies and 85,000 technologically-savvy professionals are employed in the sector. The annual exports last year reached $ 1 billion and targets to achieve $ 5 billion of exports, provide 200,000 direct jobs and catalyse 1,000 start-ups by 2022.