Sri Lanka is setting about reinventing its economy around outsourcing, particularly IT and Business Process Management (BPM) and has currently set an ambitious goal of $ 5billion in revenue to be achieved by 2022. The outsourcing industry has the potential to accelerate Sri Lanka’s socio-economic growth by delivering much needed foreign exchange and numerous high paying employment opportunities.

Whilst Sri Lanka remains well placed to win a big share of the IT/BPM business, a salient factor in achieving this is building a skilled workforce for the industry and expanding its pool of potential recruits.
With this in mind, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) Sri Lanka and SLASSCOM (Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies), recently hosted a breakfast forum titled ‘The Talent Management for Shared Services, Outsourcing and Global Business Services’ at the Kingsbury Hotel.

Speaking at the forum DhanushkaSamarasinghe, COO and Head of Research at Softlogic Stockbrokers and Vice President ACCA Sri Lanka said that ACCA supports in developing and harnessing the BPM industry and added that theywould work closely to promote the advantages of careers in this sector to students and universities.
SLASSCOM Chairman Jayantha De Silva stated that the industry had grown in leaps and bounds. Export revenue grew 238% from USD 213 million in 2007 to an estimated USD 720 million in 2013. Total employment grew 123% from 33,700 in 2007 to an estimated 75,100 in 2013. He added that their target was to have 1,000 new IT/BPM companies by 2022 that will also help achieve their vision of making it a USD 5 billion export industry by 2022.

The key note address was delivered by JehanPerinpanayagam, CEO of Informate Ltd, which is a 100% subsidiary of John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH). Key points outlined by him included the challenges in attracting, retaining and developing talent, whilst sustaining leadership in the global business arena and achieving best practices.

Perinpanayagam said the companies most successful at talent management are those who can successfully attract and retain the best talent and achieve better results for that talent. He explained that talent management has become a critical factor and challenge for the shared and outsourced industry that had to also manage costs and performance levels in a hypercompetitive environment.

He spoke of the current state of talent management practices in the industry, as well as the degree to which organisations are currently utilising these practices. He touched upon management delivery, challenges with staff motivationand the mobility of talented people across the organisation. He said it was important to clearly define the competencies and skills required for each role within shared services to help hire the ‘right’ people into the ‘right’ positionsand pointed out that these competencies and skills should reflect the required technical, soft, and language skills.
Participating in the panel discussion that followed was Aitken Spence Group Chief Corporate Officer/Director Vipula Gunathileke, WNS Global Services General Manager – HR Shanaka Fernando, HSBC Global Service Vice President – HR Lasantha Dassnayake, H Connect Director – Business Development Hariharan Padmanaban, Infomate CEO Jehan Perinpanayagam and Hayleys Shared Services Managing Director Ajith Dandeniya. SLASSCOM Executive Director Imran Furkan moderated the discussion.

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