20 IT SMEs in EDB’s first Jaffna Export Forum today

Daily FT

05/12/2014

20 IT SMEs in EDB’s first Jaffna Export Forum today

  • ‘30 more would be entrepreneurs too’: SLAASCOM’s Sekaram
  • ‘$ 5B IT exports by 2020’: EDB’s Egodage
  • ‘Cloud tech helping regional IT’: SLAASCOM’s Sekaram2103 IT exports at $ 719 m

Sri Lanka’s apex export facilitator EDB’s first IT event in Jaffna has been boosted by an influx of Jaffna based operators and would be ICT entrepreneurs on 4 December and the event also packs in-depth industry presentations from no less than seven top Lankan IT firms.

“Almost 20 SME IT operators in Jaffna region have registered for 5 December’s IT/BPM Export Forum in Jaffna. Another 30 prospective IT entrepreneurs from Jaffna who are looking to set-up, too have joined making it a total of 50 players,” said SLASSCOM Vice Chairman Mano Sekaram on 4 December in Colombo.

Sekaram was discussing in Colombo on the progress of first ever IT/BPM Export Forum and Entrepreneurship Workshop to be held in Jaffna on 5 December at Jaffna’s Tilko City Hotel. Held on the theme of ‘Accelerating IT Exports and Fostering Entrepreneurship’, the one day, one-of-a-kind session is scheduled for presentations from seven Lankan IT leaders – Ruwindhu Peiris (Managing Director of Stax Inc), Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana (Founder, Chairman and CEO of WSO2), Mangala Karunaratne (Founder and CEO of Calcey), Dr. Harsha Subasinghe (CEO & Chief System Architect of CodeGen), Dr. Arul Sivagananathan (Managing Director Hayleys Industrial Solutions and Hayleys BPO), Mano Sekeram (Co-Founder and CEO of 99X Technology) and Madu Ratnayake (Head of Digital, SVP & General Manager at Virtusa) – as well as top two public sector agencies (presentations by Saman Maldeni-Director–Export Services of EDB, Reshan Dewapura (CEO of ICTA) and Fayaz Hudah (Program Head of ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA).

“Almost 20 SME IT operators in Jaffna region have registered for 5 December’s IT/BPM Export Forum in Jaffna. Another 30 prospective IT entrepreneurs from Jaffna who are looking to set-up, too have joined making it a total of 50 players,” said Sekaram, and added: “What is important is that not only we already have 50 registrants, but they are SME operators in both hardware and software with entrepreneurial side. The old way of doing IT exports is that being a domestic producer in Colombo, you enter the export market but with the cloud powered technologies and overall online connectivity across the country, its different today.”

The IT/BPM Export Forum runs in parallel to ‘Jaffna IT Week’, that began on 3 December and ends on 6 December in Jaffna. The event comprises of Future Careers Program (on 3, 4 December at the Vembadi Girls’ High School), the 5 December’s IT/BPM Export Forum and Jaffna IT Conference (at the Kailasapathy Auditorium of University of Jaffna on 6 December). The Export Development Board (EDB) is partnering SLASSCOM in this initiative with Information and Communications Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), the Ministry of Education, the University of Jaffna and the Yarl IT Hub.

EDB Chairman and CEO Bandula Egodage said: “SLAASCOM, ICTA, EDB and all the IT/BPM firms are setting up a new milestone. EDB is a facilitator in this event. The Government is focusing on IT/BPM sector since it is the future. When it comes to non-traditional exports development, IT plays a major role. Huge improvements are seen and also needed for us to achieve $ 5 billion IT/BPM exports by 2020. In 2013, IT exports stood at $ 719 million. Currently IT is concentrated in Colombo but the way forward is taking them to regions starting with Tier 2 cities. Jaffna is the third city after focusing on Kandy and Galle. When it comes to EDB, we have conducted IT related events, conferences, trade exhibitions, both locally and foreign. We also conducted export coaching programmes for IT.”