Six Sri Lankan ICT companies, Brandix I3 Ltd., hSenid Software International, Microimage Ltd., Negete Ltd., Pyxle Ltd. and AP Lanka Ltd. are exhibiting their software products and services at ‘GITEX Technology Week’ from 12 to 16 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) organised the country pavilion in coordination with the Sri Lanka Consulate General in Dubai.
As Sri Lanka’s IT exports topped $ 719 m, a business journalist from world’s fourth largest selling newspaper was taken by surprise by the country’s inroads into one of the most demanding niche software markets in the world. “I am really surprised by your ability in our platforms. This is news!” exclaimed Yuichi Kiriyama, business journalist of Japanese language Mainichi Shimbun, the world’s fourth largest selling newspaper.
Yuichi was addressing a special gathering of the software interest group for the Japanese market held on 5 September in Colombo facilitated by the EDB.
Local IT and business process management (BPM) exports have grown “significantly” from US$213 million in 2007 to an estimated $720 million in 2013 and a projected $850 million in 2014; according to the recently issued “Sri Lankan IT-BPM Industry Review 2014″ report, which was commissioned by private sector body SLASSCOM, and prepared by PriceWaterhouseCoopers Sri Lanka.
Further, the report also added that “(total) employment grew from 33,700 in 2007 to an estimated 75,100 employees in 2013, and the number of companies in the industry grew from 170 in 2007 to over 220 in 2013″. At the same time, the report also projects employment for 2014 as reaching 82,850.
SLASSCOM says untapped potential lies outside Fortune 500 firms Sri Lanka has witnessed a brisk growth in export revenue in the field of Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT/BPM) with revenue for 2013 estimated to have increased to US$ 720 million from US$ 605 million in 2012 and projected to rise to US $850 million by end this year. According to a recent industry report by the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM), the primary IT/BPO business association in Sri Lanka, the industry has shown an impressive revenue growth trend of about 238% since year 2007 whilst total employment grew from 33,700 in 2007 to an estimated 75,100 employees in 2013, and the number of companies in the industry grew from 170 in 2007 to over 220 in 2013.
Sri Lanka is leveraging ICT exports to achieve its $20 B goal of 2020. And a new support initiative by the Netherlands is set to elevate Lankan software exporters to latest tech developments. “The government is highly focused on ICT sector as a forex earner and export driver. We cannot ignore ICT if we are to achieve any progress” said Bandula Egodage (Chairman/CEO of EDB) on 19 June in Colombo.
Chairman Egodage was addressing the two day-hands on interactive session “Website Enhancement and Online Marketing ITO/BPO” organised by the EDB for Sri Lankan software manufacturing and export firms. The first ever such hands-on initiative moved by EDB was facilitated by Netherlands’ CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries)-an agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Joost vander Kooij and Onno Roukens, the two CBI professional consultants who specially arrived from the Netherlands to train the companies in the session helped the more than 25 Lankan participants of the session on a one-to-one basis. Among the ICT giants taking part were John Keells Computer Services, hSenid Business Solutions, 99X Technologies, Cyber Concepts, SewEasy, E-Nowave, InfoMate, Calcey Technologies, Pyxle, Allion Technologies, Dinota Information Technologies, Sanje, i-Context Content Convergence, Four Corners, Akio Information Technologies, Data Management Systems, Lanka Communication Services, E Marketing Eye, and Perfect Business Solution Services.
As the consumer end of digital convergence in the country continued to develop, Sri Lanka has officially begun assessing the promise of the "next big thing" in digital frontier-and Sri Lanka's first Advanced Electronics Design Centre is now on the cards. "This is the first ever initiative for Sri Lanka's ICT sector on the emerging "Internet of Things". There is no doubt that this advanced and novel concept will be useful for everyone" said Sujatha Weerakoone Director General-EDBrecently. Weerakoone was addressing the first ever IoT session held in Sri Lanka, organized by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) .