SLASSCOM Explores Business Opportunities In the African Market For IT/BPM Companies

| 23 February 2023
Category: Initiatives
Subject: Global Trade & Investments

SLASSCOM, the national chamber for the IT/ BPM industry in Sri Lanka, held a knowledge sharing session on April 26, 2023, focusing on the opportunities for IT/BPM businesses in the African market.

Industry experts and leaders shared insights on the African market’s potential, entry strategies, and challenges for Sri Lankan IT/BPM companies at an event. The opening remarks were given by Mrs. Shanika Dissanayake, Addl. Secretary/Economic Affairs, Protocol, and Ocean Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighting Sri Lanka’s strong diplomatic ties with African countries. The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs aims to encourage and support IT/BPM exporters to expand their market share in Africa. Sri Lankan companies, including hSenid, Hitachi Digital Payment Solutions, Bileeta, Boardpac, and Arimac, have successfully entered the African market, as have Fortune 500 IT companies in Kenya and Egypt.

Mrs. Ruvini Fernando, Deals Leader – Sri Lanka and Maldives, PwC, led the main session of the event, where she presented research and insights on the market potentials, entry strategies and challenges that Sri Lankan IT-BPM businesses may encounter in the African market.

She identified South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and Kenya as African economies with high potential, which currently has a trained talent pool of 716,000. She also shared that there has been $494 million in Venture Funding in 2020, with the African internet economy projected to account for 8.5% of the continent’s GDP by 2025, reaching 600 million mobile subscribers and growing by $180 billion.

She further indicated that top African markets for Sri Lankan IT/BPM companies were projected as Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Potential industries for growth in the African market were highlighted as E-commerce, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, Ed Tech, Fin Tech, Agri Tech, Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare. To enter these industries, suggested entry mechanisms were exports, managed services, partnerships and alliances and through development finance agencies.

The webinar showcased success stories of Sri Lankan IT/BPM companies that entered and succeeded in the African market. Mr. Sampath Jayasundara, CEO of hSenid Business Solutions, shared his experience and insights on the African market’s potential, entry strategies, and challenges. He highlighted the increasing technology adoption in Africa, a young labor force, and expanding middle class. According to the IMF, Seychelles, Mauritius, Gabon, and Botswana have the highest GDP per capita. Despite slow decision-making processes, the African Business Community has a positive perception of Sri Lanka and is open to establishing reliable and long-term partnerships.

The event also featured Dinesh L Rodrigo, Managing Director/CEO of Hitachi Digital Payment Solutions Ltd, and Sanji De Silva, CEO of Bileeta (Pvt) Ltd, who shared their success stories and insights on doing business in the African market. They discussed their experiences and strategies for entering and establishing themselves in Africa, offering practical advice on key aspects such as building local partnerships and understanding cultural differences. Their success stories were a source of inspiration and guidance for Sri Lankan companies looking to expand their businesses in Africa.

The event concluded with a Q&A session where participants could seek clarification and ask questions about the African market’s potential for IT/BPM businesses. The webinar was a great success in providing Sri Lankan IT/BPM companies with valuable knowledge and insights to expand their operations and establish a presence in Africa, creating new growth opportunities.

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