The Growth of ICT /BPM Sector in Sri Lanka
Ranked at 14th in Global Services Location Index 2016, by AT Kearney and among the Top 20 Emerging Cities by Global Services Magazine, Sri Lanka recorded an over USD 800 million in export revenues in the BPM and ICT sector.
The commendable improvements in the local telecommunication sector and in local infrastructure, as well as country's success in maintaining high literacy rates as well as a workforce highly skilled in IT education, have been the main reason behind country’s success as ICT/BPM destination.
However according to local as well as international specialists, Sri Lanka’s success in becoming a sought after global outsource destination, largely rests with the country’s ability to develop software products and customized software as higher value-added segments in the market.
While neighboring India, another global giant in ICT outsource, plays a game of numbers by offering a wider scope of service at a comparatively low-cost price, Sri Lanka has approached a different perspective of maintaining a higher legacy in ICT engineering and software development. By offering customized and innovative solutions for small and medium enterprises, Sri Lanka has a leg up on India with a number of strong internationally focused local organizations, which has risen to success in the recent years.
Yet Sri Lanka’s greatest asset can be the rising number of IT graduates and other skilled workers reaching the local job market. According to Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the number of IT graduates increased from 3800 in the year 2007 to 7000 in 2014, almost all of them finding employment with local ICT and BPM service providers.
In addition, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development in collaboration with National Youth Corps established the Institute of Business Process Outsourcing (IBPO) in Colombo, the first government institute that awards an international certification for entry level specialist, managerial level and team leaders in the BPM industry.
The Institute provides its students with the required skills and training to face the certification exams conducted by the BPO Certification Institute Inc, of USA. (BCI). BCI plans to empower the 40-center island-wide National Youth Corps network with BPO training and certification capabilities aligned to HCMS21 standards, Release 3.5.
While the country’s upward movement by two points in the year 2016 on A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index (GSLI) with a score of 5.54, is mainly due to the workforce and infrastructure development, the Sri Lankan government has launched a plan to bring about an inclusive growth to help the spread the ICT sector to every part of the country.