In view of the Government’s recognition of the country’s IT-BPO industry as a thrust industry, the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) has taken steps to support IT-BPO firms to optimise the existing huge outsourcing market.
Elaborating on this huge IT-BPO market, a senior ICTA official said: “Growth in the industry has been accelerating which now employs a workforce of nearly 60,000. The industry operates in the domestic and international market with the latter being the more lucrative in terms of revenue. Further the IT-BPO industry is the fifth largest export revenue earner in Sri Lanka with estimated export revenues at approximately US$ 300 million which is aimed at reaching US$ 1 billion by 2016.”
Emphasising on the need to engage in rigorous business development activities in order to exploit the huge IT-BPO market, the ICTA official said: “This is only a small fraction of the global outsourcing market. Yet in order to achieve this target, companies will need to engage in rigorous business development activities. The country will also have to target a large captive clientele and other tier 1 players.”
Called the ‘Consultancy Grant,’ this grant is offered to export oriented local Information Technology/IT Enabled Services (ITES)/BPO companies by offering to improve local industry through exposure to international expertise.
So far 23 IT- BPO companies have taken up this grant aimed at providing export oriented domestic IT/ITES/BPO companies an opportunity to link with international ICT business development expertise. Several of these companies have explored opportunities in several countries including UK, US, Canada, Bahrain, India, Malaysia and Japan.
The ICTA official said that several companies had reported having benefited from the grants given in the recent past and were eloquent about improvement the grant had triggered in their companies.
Thanks to this grant John Keells Computer Services IT Sector had concluded more than 100,000 pounds worth projects and assignments while Eureka Technology Partners had engaged two enterprise level clients and trebled their income from consultancy services.
Pyxle’s sales had increased 25 per cent while the exposure gained through the grant had given Sabre Technologies the confidence to make a firm commitment to start an operation in the UK. Eureka Technology Partners views that through the grant the number of leads generated through the consultancy exercise has outpaced their previous years.
Similarly the grant had helped Micromage to improve business closer home by way of securing a number of project by successful market entry into two regional countries, namely Malaysia and Brunei.
ICT companies with at least one export sale at the time of submitting applications are eligible to apply for this grant, the ICTA official said. Due to the need and the demand from the industry, ICTA has called for more applications from interested companies now.
Applications can be downloaded from the ICTA website at www.icta.lk/icbp. Further details could be obtained by contacting ICTA Private Sector Programme Project Officer Sachindra Samararatne on 2369099.