SLASSCOM positions Sri Lanka as a key destination for IT/BPM services at SLIF

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The Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) was a key partner at the recently concluded Sri Lanka Invest Forum (SLIF) 2021. They brought in a team of renowned global keynote speakers that gave positive insights into their experiences of investing in Sri Lanka, outlining success stories of their ventures and providing their expertise of the diverse investment portfolios available in Sri Lanka.

“The exposure the event gave to Sri Lanka as a unique country to invest was immense,” shared SLASSCOM Chairman Channa Manoharan, with SLASSCOM Board Director and Global Trade and Investment Forum Lead Shiraz Lye adding that “events of this nature help to boost the ‘Sri Lanka’ brand as an IT/BPM destination of choice”. 

Keynote speaker Ministry of Technology Secretary Jayantha de Silva who initiated the Government’s plans to build five Techno Parks in the coming years to encourage investments into the IT/BPM industry said that under the Government’s plan for technology diffusion, they will be going into health, education, tourism and many other areas.

The panel of global speakers cited their testimonies on how Sri Lanka has evolved greatly over the last decade and is rich in capability development, investment infrastructure and skilled talent. 

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Global Sourcing Association CEO and Global Technology and Business Services Council Chairperson Kerry Hallard mentioned how encouraging it was to have partners like SLASSCOM working towards initiating best practices and standards for the future of the global technology and business services industry. 

Discussing Sri Lanka’s talent potential HCL Technologies Corporate Vice President Srimathi Shivashankar said that they were well educated and have a high level of digital literacy when compared to regional peers, with no disparity in terms of gender and other factors.

Axiata Group CFO Vivek Sood, highlighting how the country’s IT/BPM sector is highly sophisticated and is strongly supported by the Government noted, “In 2018, when Axiata evaluated regional destinations to locate the nucleus of our software strategy, Sri Lanka stood out in terms of excellence in innovation capacity, demonstrated by Dialog. This is a testament to the quality of the country’s software development service industry.” 

London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group Global Head of Corporate Services Dee Liyanwela, showcasing how Sri Lanka is highly lauded by global companies, stated that Sri Lanka is a strategic global hub for the LSE Group, explaining that the company has 1,800 colleagues working in Sri Lanka with plans to increase this further. “Throughout our presence in Sri Lanka, we benefited from technology, expertise and access to world-class talent,” he said.

Endorsing these sentiments, IFS CEO Darren Roos added that Sri Lanka is a key contributor to IFS’s growth strategy and has proven itself as an enabler of competitive advantage, on top of its ability to offer scalability and accelerated growth potential. 

An investor in Sri Lanka since 2016, 99x Chairman Dag Honningsvag spoke of the attractiveness of Sri Lanka and emphasised that the country has a strong culture and good values and that the quality of the destination’s investment ecosystem, including its effective banking system and favourable taxation policies for investments, makes Sri Lanka an attractive investment site. 

The key takeaway from these in insights were that Sri Lanka is firmly positioned as a key destination for companies looking at talent recruitment, operations expansion and growth drivers. The country having accumulated a gamut of experience in playing host to leading international and local companies in the IT and BPO sector, is slated to become a preferred location for investments in this domain. 

Counting 300 member companies accounting for 90% of the IT/BPM industry export revenue, SLASSCOM is determined to drive the industry to realise its potential of becoming the number one export revenue earner for Sri Lanka. They will continue to partner key events of this nature, working closely with both government and relevant public and private entities to drive this agenda forward.

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