Despite challenging market conditions brought on by the prevailing pandemic in 2021, technology company 99x saw organizational growth across the board while maintaining top-line performance and recording strong profitability for the financial year ended 31 December 2021.
Some notable achievements for the year were the $ 20 million investment from a Scandinavian private equity company, and the acquisition of Norway-based Seeds Consulting AS, to increase its presence in Europe and strategically position 99x to build new offerings to the enterprise market. The company also diversified its customer portfolio by expanding into new markets last year, and on-boarded new clients, spread across Norway, Sweden, Germany, and Singapore. This growth was supplemented with a notable increase in talent at 99x’s Sri Lankan offices, with over 100 employees recruited virtually in the last year alone.
“2021 was a challenging year. We expected greater mobility across borders, which was finally not the case and not what we hoped for. However, our people continued to deliver through it all while working from home for a second year. We see the trend of digitally onboarding customers and employees in our business, which we believe will be the ‘new normal’.
“Our customer satisfaction scores have in fact increased over the past two years, which is a testament to the dedication and resourcefulness of our teams, and I truly appreciate their commitment – our accomplishments in 2021 would not be possible without them,” observed 99x Founder/CEO Mano Sekaram, when commenting on the company’s performance.
He added that despite the ongoing pandemic, the company hopes to have more people in office this year.
“Our work has been cut out for us in 2022, with various macro-economic factors weighing in – being a good employer is no longer enough. However, I’m confident we will continue to find new ways to engage and retain our people.”
99x also strengthened its leadership with the appointment of legal professional Shalini Ratwatte as its Chief Legal and Governance Officer, to play a tactical role in company’s plans for expansion in international markets.
Keeping in line with its people-first approach, the company made it a priority in 2021 to extend the maximum support to employees and families affected by COVID, providing logistical and financial assistance at every stage.
“Our HR, facilities and administrative teams rose to the challenge in extending this level of support to our employees in a difficult time,” Sekaram noted.
99x continued to be recognized for its people practices, and business and export excellence.
It was listed as a ‘Best Workplace in Asia’ for a fifth year, and ‘Best Workplace in Sri Lanka’ for a ninth consecutive year by Great Place to Work® Institute.
Uplifting the community continued to be of the highest priority for 99x, and the company focused on aiding hospitals during a time when the healthcare industry has been inundated. This included contributions to the Kalubowila HDU and setting up of a PCR testing facility at the Wathupitiwala Base Hospital.
99x’s university relationships initiative ‘Dotitude’ continued uninterrupted in 2021, with numerous workshops, trainings, mock interviews and more conducted online for universities and higher education institutes, empowering thousands of undergraduates across the country. This culminated with the launch of ‘Hacktitude’ in December, an inter-university hackathon geared at grooming talented undergraduates to be industry-ready upon graduation.
Understanding that remote working is now here to stay, the company partnered with ‘VMware’ to implement its Workspace One platform across the organization, which bolstered the company’s work-from-home strategy and enabled it to deliver seamless, uninterrupted product engineering services to global clients, even during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.