Come Now! Why Now? – SLASSCOM Explores how Sri Lanka could Innovate, Disrupt and Transform Global Business
The Sri Lanka Association of Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM) have become an enduring force that continues to empower innovation and technology in Sri Lanka. To that end, they have held and continue to hold a plethora of developmental, informational and market access programs including the program held recently titled “Come Now! Why Now?” .The event was held in order to “explore how this Island of Ingenuity can innovate, disrupt, and transform global businesses, now.”
Lead by an esteemed panel of speakers, the discussion revolved around what Sri Lanka has to offer as a one-stop-shop destination for IT/ BPM sourcing, trade and investment within the global market. Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Saroja Sirisena delivered the welcome address to the gathering, followed by an address from the Chairperson of SLASSCOM, Sandra De Zoysa.
A presentation titled “Why Sri Lanka and why now” was conveyed to the attendees by the Director General at the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, Pasan Wanigasekara. He discussed what Sri Lanka offers as an investment destination and how the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka helps companies to set up operations with a one stop shop approach that the board has adapted in order to ease the process of market entry in the country. He added further the ease of doing business within Sri Lanka and its conducive environment in order to achieve significant returns. Mr Wanigasekera went on to discuss what lies ahead in terms policy and regulatory frameworks, as well as plans for the improvement of infrastructure.
Thereafter, Sandra De Zoysa, the Chairperson of SLASSCOM outlined some key insights about Sri Lanka’s IT/ BPM industry. Appreciating and praising the resilience and persistence of tech-based SMEs in the face of the pandemic, she spoke of how the industry has grown and become more versatile over a relatively short term. Commenting on the ingenuity shown by companies within the industry she stated, “Despite the difficulties the world has faced in the last two years, we have seen, here on our Island of Ingenuity that through innovation and technological understanding we can do wonders. Investors or prospective clients, I’m sure, will find not just a conducive business environment but also a number of hidden gems.”
A Tech Investment Story, a case study on 99x was presented by Sherman Gunatillake, the Chief Financial Officer of 99x. Being the CFO of one of the island’s leading software product development companies, spoke about the organization’s journey through receiving investment. His presentation covered the initiation of major tech investment activities and how they were facilitated.
The title “Why Sri Lanka or Rather Why Not Sri Lanka?” was one that caught the eye at the event. This inspiring discussion was led by Nuwan Weerasinghe, Director at Nagarro Sri Lanka. He spoke of how Sri Lanka was chosen as Nagarro’s 26thdestination and the investment that the company decided to make in the country. Having been instrumental in its beginnings, the Director also spoke of how Nagarro established operations in Sri Lanka.
The exploration of Sri Lanka, the Island of Ingenuity that SLASSCOM guided the participants of the event through, was widely received as inspiring and educational by all of its participants, including many tech companies, SMEs and entrepreneurs.
The Webinar which had an engaging list of participants from Europe, Middle East, Asia and India was supported by the Sri Lanka High Commission in UK, Council for Business with Britain and Association of Sri Lankan Professionals in UK.
SLASSCOM’s vision to develop the IT/ BPM industry of the country and elevate it to the global stage as an export-based economy worth over USD 5 Billion by the year 2025 will continue to drive their efforts as more developmental and educational programs are due to be announced and held in the near future.