IFS celebrates 21 years of operations in Sri Lanka; committed to excel further

Tuesday, 13 November 2018 00:29 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

From left: IFS South Asia Managing Director/Vice President Sales Shiraz Lye (standing), IFS Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa President Stephen Keys, Senior Vice President Research and Development Thomas Säld and Senior Vice President/Head of World Operations – Sri Lanka Ranil Rajapaksa


  • 1,100 strong Lankan team responsible for 60% of IFS global development and 80% of the support of its products and services


IFS, the global enterprise applications company, is celebrating 21 years of operations in Sri Lanka. Having initially established its presence in Sri Lanka in 1997, IFS now employs more than 1,100 employees who work from the company’s offices in Colombo and Kandy.

Last week, IFS showcased its significant milestones, unparalleled innovation, product development and support, and outstanding organisational culture that has made IFS standout since its inception.

IFS said it counts over 120 of Sri Lanka’s top companies as customers of its enterprise software. These customers use IFS solutions to manufacture and distribute goods, maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. The industry expertise of IFS’s people and solutions, together with its commitment to customers, has made the company a recognised leader and the most recommended supplier in the sector.

IFS Regional President Asia-Pacific and Japan, Middle East and Africa Stephen Keys commenting on IFS from a global and regional perspective, stated, “IFS has maintained a long-standing commitment to helping our customers unlock value through deployment of easy-to-use, quick-to-deploy, enterprise-grade software. Our 21-year presence in Sri Lanka is testament to the success of our business model. We recognise the importance of Sri Lanka as a vital source of skills and knowledge to support our regional and global business. We are committed to a number of corporate social responsibility programs in Sri Lanka, so we can give back to the community in which we operate. This has helped create a mutually beneficial partnership between our staff, our company, our customers, and the community.”

Giving an update on global success of IFS, he said in the 3Q of 2018, IFS saw a year on year licence revenue growth of 52% led by increase in win-ratio, larger deals and disciplined approach to going after growth opportunities. Across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, licence revenue grew 25% in 3Q. 

“Our performance also reflects the value our software brings clients and their organisations,” Keys said adding that a “partner driven growth strategy” as helped. 

IFS also saw its Cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) sales increase by six fold from a relatively low base as more customers are migrating to Cloud solutions.

Total revenue in 3Q was $ 143 m up by 28% year on year. Consulting business grew by 9%. 

Year to date, IFS has generated Swedish Croner 736 million in licence revenue, up 27% and net revenue of SCroner 3 billion (or $ 411 million), up 23% from the first nine months of 2017.

“Our business is growing quickly and IFS is outperforming industry peers,” emphasised Keys. 

The Regional President also reiterated that IFS is committed to investing further in Sri Lanka. “We intend to take advantage of growth opportunities in Sri Lanka and rest of the regions,” he added.

IFS Senior Vice President Research and Development Thomas Säld speaking about IFS R&D and new product initiatives said: “We develop, sell, implement and support world-leading solutions for customers who manufacture and distribute goods, maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. We would not be able to offer world class products and services without Sri Lanka and its team. This is our largest site with more than 1,000 people where we do around 60% of the development and 80% of the support of our products.” Citing an example, he said the IFS Applications 10, which was launched earlier this year, has, to a large extent, been developed here in Sri Lanka. 

“Why do companies choose IFS, one reason is user experience which is increasingly important as it is directly linked to business benefits,” he added.

Focusing on the IFS Labs, which is the unit within IFS that investigates new technology and trends, he said it does almost all development here in Sri Lanka as well. “Right now, one focus for them are different aspects of artificial intelligence. So Sri Lanka is of vital importance to IFS and we are looking forward to increasing our investment in Sri Lanka even further over the coming years,” said Sald adding IFS growing engagement confirms the dynamism of Lankans technical talent and universities.

He also revealed IFS Labs will continue to focus on new technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI) that brings benefits to organisations and society. 

“At IFS Labs the AI is a tool to reach a goal and not a goal in itself. It is about using technologies to make better solutions to our customers. To empower our users to do more with less, to become more efficient and effective and focus on value adding activities than repetitive regular work,” explained Sald. 

“Under AI the focus will be human-machine interaction, predictive maintenance and service and automation. So lot of exciting things are happening right here in Sri Lanka at IFS,” he added.

Senior Vice President and Head of IFS World Operations in Sri Lanka Ranil Rajapakse traced the origins of IFS in Sri Lanka when the beginning was with 26 software engineers. “It was early days of IT industry and IFS has grown to become an integral part of the ICT eco system of Sri Lanka with local operations making a major contribution to IFS globally,” he added.

“Apart from being the largest product research and development centre for IFS, we have grown to become the hub for providing consulting and support services to our customers around the world. With 1,100 of IFS’s global staff of 3,500 based in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan business is an integral part of the global IFS group, which is a testament to the great pool of talent we have. Being a knowledge-based company, the importance we place on our people, the great work culture, and the long and fruitful collaboration with local universities in building capacity and creating talent, have been key factors in our 21 years of success in Sri Lanka.” 

IFS South Asia Managing Director and Vice President Sales Shiraz Lye said: “Our growth rates are very impressive compared to similar companies in the country and some of our peers within the group. We had a fantastic double-digit growth for Q3 2018, recording an impressive 44% overall revenue growth with license up by 53% compared to last year. Maintenance revenue grew 13%, indicating more and more of our customers are on boarding the Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) plan.”

He revealed that year to date overall revenue was up 23%, licence revenue by 47% and maintenance revenue by 9%.

Shiraz recalled that the IFS sales initiative in Sri Lanka began with three customers, two of whom still rely on IFS solutions for empowerment during the past 21 years. He said the 150 customer base in Sri Lanka and South Asia hail from industries such as automotive, manufacturing, construction, power generation, retail, food and beverage.

“IFS applications largely developed by Sri Lanka have been well accepted in the South Asian regional countries Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan,” he said.

Explaining how IFS is ready to drive the next phase of business growth in South Asia, he went on to say, “IFS in South Asia is transforming into a bigger, faster and even more customer-centric business and I am personally proud to be part of that journey. This transformation comes at a time when IFS has real opportunity to increase momentum in the sector and extend its leadership position. A strong ERP heritage and exemplary customer satisfaction provide the perfect platform to position IFS in new markets. We at IFS would like to thank our customers and partners for their valued loyalty during the past 21 years.” 

Pix by Sameera Wijesinghe