Spotlight Sri Lanka

Articles on doing business in Sri Lanka

Articles on doing business in Sri Lanka

Discovering Opportunities

Why You Should Invest in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, known is a nation that has been steadily emerging as an attractive destination for international investors despite the many setbacks it has suffered in its recent past. With its strategic location, abundant natural resources, improving infrastructure, and an economy full of potential, Sri Lanka presents a compelling case for those seeking investment opportunities in South Asia. In this article, we will delve into the reasons why you should consider investing in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s geographical location offers a unique advantage for investors. Situated in the Indian Ocean, it serves as a vital maritime hub connecting Asia to Africa and the Middle East. Its proximity to India, the world’s largest democracy, and the rapidly growing Southeast Asian markets, makes Sri Lanka a strategic gateway for trade and investment. The Colombo Port, one of the busiest in the region, further enhances its role in facilitating global commerce.

Sri Lanka’s economy has been on a consistent growth trajectory. The country has made significant strides in diversifying its economic base, moving beyond traditional sectors like agriculture and textiles into technology, tourism, and services. This diversification has not only increased resilience but also attracted foreign capital. The government’s commitment to economic reforms and infrastructure development initiatives is further bolstering this growth.

Sri Lanka’s infrastructure is rapidly improving, providing investors with a solid foundation for their business operations. The government has been investing in transportation, energy, and telecommunications infrastructure. Major projects like the Colombo Port City and the Southern Expressway are testament to the nation’s commitment to creating a modern business environment. To attract foreign investment, Sri Lanka offers a range of incentives and benefits. The Board of Investment (BOI) provides tax holidays, exemptions from certain duties, and streamlined approval processes for foreign investors. These incentives, combined with the country’s strategic location, make it a cost-effective choice for businesses looking to establish a presence in South Asia.

Sri Lanka boasts a well-educated and skilled workforce, proficient in English, which is widely used in business and commerce. This makes it easier for international companies to set up operations and communicate effectively with local talent. The country also offers a competitive labor market, which can be a significant cost advantage for investors.

Sri Lanka’s breathtaking natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture have been attracting an increasing number of tourists each year. The tourism industry is a significant contributor to the country’s GDP and offers multiple investment opportunities, from hotels and resorts to eco-tourism ventures and infrastructure development.

Bilateral and Multilateral Agreements

Sri Lanka has entered into various bilateral and multilateral agreements to promote trade and investment. These agreements provide access to international markets and strengthen economic ties with partner countries, offering investors greater market reach and opportunities for growth.

Sri Lanka is on the cusp of a transformative period, poised to become an economic powerhouse in South Asia. With its strategic location, robust economic growth, improving infrastructure, investment incentives, skilled workforce, and growing tourism industry, the country offers a wealth of opportunities
for investors. As global businesses increasingly look for alternative markets and diversification, Sri Lanka’s potential as an investment destination becomes even more appealing. Investing in Sri Lanka not only provides a chance to capitalize on its many opportunities, but also to be part of its promising future as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean.”

 

SLASSCOM Events

Sri Lanka is rapidly emerging as a dynamic hub for technology and innovation. At the forefront of this process is a calendar of events hosted by the Sri Lanka Association for Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM). These events, including the National Ingenuity Awards, EmTech Conference, Quality Summit, and IT and BPM Fairs, serve as catalysts for innovation, knowledge sharing, and recognition of excellence within the nation’s tech sector.

Ingenuity Awards: Recognizing Innovation
The SLASSCOM Ingenuity Awards is a celebration of innovation and creativity in Sri Lanka’s tech industry. These awards recognize and honor outstanding achievements in various categories, such as software
development, artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship. They provide a platform for individuals and companies to showcase their groundbreaking innovations and contributions to the tech ecosystem.
The Ingenuity Awards not only highlight local talent but also inspire future innovators by setting high standards for excellence. Winning an Ingenuity Award is a prestigious accolade that fosters innovation and motivates tech professionals to push the boundaries of what is possible.

EmTech Conference: A Global Tech Gathering
The EmTech Conference is an annual event that brings together thought leaders, innovators, and experts from around the world. This conference is a platform for discussing the latest technological trends, disruptive innovations, and their impact on industries and society. The EmTech Conference provides attendees with insights into emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and quantum computing, and their potential applications. It encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing, paving the way for innovative solutions that can address global challenges.

Quality Summit: Promoting Excellence
Quality and excellence are paramount in the tech industry, and the SLASSCOM Quality Summit is dedicated to promoting and enhancing these values. This event focuses on quality assurance, best practices, and methodologies that improve software development processes. The Quality Summit brings together quality assurance professionals, software engineers, and industry experts to discuss quality standards, testing methodologies, and the importance of delivering top-notch products and services. It reinforces Sri Lanka’s commitment to delivering high-quality IT and BPM solutions to global clients.

IT and BPM Fairs: Showcasing Sri Lanka’s Capabilities
The National IT-BPM fairs are a key component of the National Future Talent Initiative (NFTI) – an industry, academia, government joint collaboration to develop future ready talent at scale. The objectives of the National IT-BPM Week is to create awareness, provide career counseling, career opportunities, and promote entrepreneurship in the IT-BPM industry.

SLASSCOM events, including the Ingenuity Awards, EmTech Conference, Quality Summit, and IT and BPM Fairs, play pivotal roles in fostering innovation, promoting excellence, and showcasing Sri Lanka’s tech capabilities on the global stage. These events provide valuable opportunities for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and recognition of outstanding achievements in the tech industry.
As Sri Lanka continues its journey toward becoming a global tech and innovation hub, the contributions of SLASSCOM events cannot be overstated. They inspire the nation’s tech professionals, connect them with international experts, and create a vibrant ecosystem where innovation thrives. With the unwavering commitment of SLASSCOM and the dedication of Sri Lanka’s tech community, the future promises even greater accomplishments and a more prominent role on the global tech stage.

 

Sri Lanka's Thriving Start-up Culture

Nurturing Innovation and Growth

Sri Lanka, the teardrop-shaped island in the Indian Ocean, is not only renowned for its natural beauty and cultural heritage but is also making waves in the world of entrepreneurship and innovation. In recent years, Sri Lanka has emerged as a hub for startups, attracting talented individuals and fostering a dynamic ecosystem that encourages creativity, technology-driven solutions, and economic growth. This burgeoning start-up culture in Sri Lanka is shaping the future of the nation.

The Genesis of Sri Lanka’s Start-up Culture
The seeds of Sri Lanka’s burgeoning start-up culture were sown in the early 2000s when the country witnessed a steady growth in the information technology and outsourcing sectors. The government, recognizing the potential of the knowledge-based economy, introduced policies and incentives to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. Initiatives such as the ‘Startup Sri Lanka’ program and the establishment of dedicated incubators and accelerators like SLINTEC (Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology) and Hatch helped lay the foundation for a vibrant start-up ecosystem.

The Rise of Sri Lankan Start-ups
In recent years, Sri Lanka has witnessed a surge in the number of startups across various sectors, including technology, agriculture, healthcare, and finance. These startups are not only focused on addressing local challenges but also aim to make a global impact.

1.Technology and Software: Sri Lanka boasts a pool of highly skilled software engineers and IT professionals, which has led to the emergence of innovative tech startups. Companies like PickMe, a ride-hailing service, and WSO2, an open-source integration platform, have garnered international attention.

2.Agriculture and Agri-Tech: Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector has also witnessed a transformation, with startups leveraging technology to address issues such as crop management, supply chain optimization, and sustainable farming. Agribuddy, for instance, connects farmers with markets and provides valuable agricultural insights.

3.Healthcare and MedTech: Startups in the healthcare sector are working towards improving healthcare access and quality. oDoc, a telemedicine platform, has gained popularity for its convenience and accessibility.

4.Finance and FinTech: The financial technology sector is rapidly growing, with startups like PayHere, a payment gateway, facilitating e-commerce transactions and financial inclusion.

5.Sustainability and CleanTech: Sri Lanka’s commitment to sustainability has given rise to startups focusing on renewable energy, waste management, and eco-friendly products. Jetwing Symphony, a sustainable luxury hotel, is an example of a startup that combines hospitality with environmental responsibility.

Sri Lanka’s thriving start-up culture is bolstered by a supportive ecosystem that includes government initiatives, private sector involvement, and academic institutions. The government offers various tax incentives and grants to startups, making it easier for them to establish and grow their businesses. Additionally, partnerships with international organizations and investors have provided access to funding and mentorship opportunities.

Incubators and accelerators like Hatch, Venture Frontier Lanka, and Yarl IT Hub provide budding entrepreneurs with the necessary resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to bring their ideas to life. These organizations also host events and competitions to encourage innovation and collaboration.
Challenges and Opportunities

While Sri Lanka’s start-up culture is on the rise, it still faces some challenges. Access to early-stage funding remains a hurdle for many entrepreneurs, and the bureaucracy can be cumbersome at times. However, these challenges are gradually being addressed through continued government support and the involvement of angel investors, venture capitalists, and impact investors.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also presented both challenges and opportunities for Sri Lankan startups. Many have pivoted to address pandemic-related issues, such as remote work solutions, healthcare technology, and e-commerce platforms. Sri Lanka’s start-up culture is on an exciting trajectory, with a growing number of entrepreneurs and innovators pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. The country’s diverse ecosystem, ranging from technology-driven ventures to socially impactful startups, reflects the broad spectrum of opportunities available.

As Sri Lanka continues to invest in nurturing its start-up culture, the nation is poised to not only address local challenges but also make a significant impact on the global stage. With the right support, funding, and a spirit of innovation, Sri Lanka’s start-ups are well on their way to creating a brighter future for the country and the world.

 

The SLASSCOM Academy

Inspiring Sri Lanka's Future Workforce

In an era where technology and digital transformation are rapidly shaping industries worldwide, Sri Lanka is positioning itself as a hub for IT and business process management (BPM) services. A cornerstone of this transformation is the SLASSCOM Academy, an institution dedicated to equipping the country’s workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in the digital age.

The Sri Lanka Association for Software and Service Companies, or SLASSCOM, established the SLASSCOM Academy as an essential initiative to bridge the skills gap in the country’s IT and BPM industries. Founded in 2015, the academy was created to address the growing demand for a talented and industry-ready workforce in Sri Lanka’s burgeoning technology and services sectors.

The primary mission of the SLASSCOM Academy is to nurture a future-ready workforce capable of meeting the evolving demands of the global IT and BPM industries. The academy aims to achieve this by:

Skill Development: Offering a range of industry-relevant training programs and courses that equip individuals with the technical and soft skills needed to excel in IT and BPM roles.
Industry Alignment: Collaborating closely with the industry to ensure that training programs are tailored to meet the current and future needs of employers, helping graduates seamlessly integrate into the workforce
Global Standards: Adhering to international best practices and quality standards, ensuring that the education provided is on par with global benchmarks.

Programs and Courses
The SLASSCOM Academy offers a wide array of programs and courses designed to cater to diverse skill sets and career aspirations. Some of the key areas of focus include:
Technical Skills Development: Courses in software development, data science, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and more are offered to prepare individuals for roles in software engineering, data analysis, and IT management.
Soft Skills and Professional Development: Recognizing the importance of soft skills, the academy also offers courses in communication, teamwork, leadership, and problem-solving to enhance graduates’ employability.
Certifications: The academy facilitates internationally recognized certifications, adding value to the qualifications of its graduates.

Impact and Success Stories
Since its inception, the SLASSCOM Academy has made significant contributions to Sri Lanka’s IT and BPM industries. It is supporting a pool of highly skilled and industry-ready personnel who have successfully integrated into the workforce, both locally and internationally. They have not only secured jobs in leading tech companies but have also initiated their start-ups, contributing to the growth of the local tech ecosystem.

The academy’s focus on industry relevance and collaboration has led to numerous partnerships with leading companies, ensuring that its programs remain current and aligned with industry trends. This has contributed to Sri Lanka’s reputation as a reliable outsourcing destination for global organizations.

The SLASSCOM Academy stands as a beacon in Sri Lanka’s journey towards becoming a global tech and services hub. By imparting relevant skills and fostering a culture of continuous learning, the academy is nurturing a workforce that can compete on the international stage. As technology continues to reshape industries and create new opportunities, the SLASSCOM Academy’s commitment to skill development and industry alignment will play a crucial role in positioning Sri Lanka as a prominent player in the global IT and BPM arena

 

Unlocking Opportunities

Why You Should Invest in Sri Lanka's Thriving IT Sector

Sri Lanka, known for its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality, is rapidly emerging as a hotbed for investment in the Information Technology (IT) sector. With a burgeoning talent pool, a supportive government, and a strategic location, Sri Lanka offers a compelling case for investors looking to capitalize on the global IT industry’s growth. In this article, we will explore the key reasons why you should consider investing in Sri Lanka’s IT sector.

One of Sri Lanka’s most significant assets is its well-educated and highly skilled workforce. The country boasts a literacy rate of over 92%, with a strong emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Sri Lankan universities produce thousands of IT graduates each year, making it a prime destination for sourcing talent in various IT fields, such as software development, cybersecurity, data analytics, and artificial intelligence.

Compared to many Western countries and even some neighboring Asian nations, Sri Lanka offers cost-effective labor without compromising on quality, making it an attractive destination for outsourcing and offshoring IT services, enabling businesses to reduce operational expenses while maintaining high standards of work.

Sri Lanka has made substantial investments in developing its IT infrastructure over the past few years. The country boasts a reliable telecommunications network, extensive fibre-optic connectivity, and state-of-the-art data centres. This robust infrastructure provides a stable and efficient environment for IT businesses to operate, ensuring minimal downtime and smooth workflow.

The Sri Lankan government has been proactive in promoting the growth of the IT sector. It has introduced numerous incentives, tax breaks, and investment-friendly policies to attract foreign investors. The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) offers various benefits, including tax holidays and repatriation of profits, to encourage foreign direct investment in the IT sector. Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean makes it an ideal hub for IT companies looking to serve both Asian and global markets. It offers easy access to the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, positioning it as a gateway for IT services in these regions.

Sri Lanka has seen a surge in technology startups in recent years, driven by innovative young entrepreneurs. These startups cover a wide range of sectors, including fintech, health tech, e-commerce, and more. Investing in Sri Lanka’s IT sector provides opportunities to collaborate with or invest in promising startups, diversifying your investment portfolio. Sri Lanka has a business-friendly environment with relatively low bureaucracy and a transparent legal system. The ease of doing business in the country is continually improving, making it easier for investors to establish and operate their IT businesses. English is widely spoken and understood in Sri Lanka, particularly among the younger population. This language proficiency simplifies communication with international clients and partners, eliminating language barriers commonly faced in other outsourcing destinations. Sri Lanka’s IT sector is on a trajectory of growth, driven by a highly skilled workforce, cost-competitive labor, robust infrastructure, and favorable government policies. Investing in Sri Lanka’s IT sector not only offers attractive financial returns but also positions you to be part of a dynamic and vibrant industry with significant potential for expansion.

As the world increasingly relies on technology, Sri Lanka stands ready to become a key player in the global IT ecosystem. By considering investment in Sri Lanka’s IT sector, you can not only tap into a skilled workforce but also contribute to the country’s economic development and technological advancement.

 

Women Pioneers in Sri Lanka's Thriving IT Sector

Sri Lanka’s IT sector has witnessed remarkable growth over the past few decades, and women have played a pivotal role in this transformation. While the technology industry has long been perceived as male-dominated, Sri Lankan women are breaking stereotypes and carving out their niche in this dynamic sector. This article explores the inspiring journey of women working in Sri Lanka’s IT sector and the significant impact they are making on both the industry and society.

The Changing Landscape

Historically, the IT industry worldwide has been marked by a gender imbalance, with men occupying the majority of roles. Sri Lanka has not been an exception to this trend. However, recent years have seen a noticeable shift, with more women joining the workforce and rising to influential positions. This change has been driven by several factors, including increased access to education and a growing awareness of gender equality.

Education and Skill Development

One of the key drivers behind the rise of women in Sri Lanka’s IT sector is the emphasis on education and skill development. The country boasts a strong education system, and women have been quick to seize the opportunities it provides. Many young women are pursuing degrees in computer science, engineering, and related fields, equipping themselves with the skills needed to thrive in the IT industry.

Government Initiatives

The Sri Lankan government has also played a crucial role in promoting gender diversity in the IT sector. Initiatives such as scholarships, mentorship programs, and gender-sensitive policies have encouraged more women to pursue careers in technology. Additionally, various organizations and non-profits are actively working to bridge the gender gap by providing training and support to women interested in IT careers.

Women in Leadership

Sri Lanka’s IT sector has seen a growing number of women taking on leadership roles. These women are not only breaking the glass ceiling but also serving as role models for the next generation. Their success stories inspire young girls to dream big and pursue careers in technology. Women leaders in the industry are advocating for gender equality and creating more inclusive workplaces.

Challenging Stereotypes

One of the major challenges faced by women in the IT sector, as in many other countries, is the persistence of gender stereotypes. Many women have had to overcome biases and prove themselves in a traditionally male-dominated field. However, their determination and resilience have paved the way for a more inclusive and diverse industry.

Work-Life Balance

Balancing career and family responsibilities can be a significant challenge for women in any profession. In Sri Lanka, where family values are deeply rooted, women in IT often face unique challenges in managing work-life balance. However, with the support of progressive workplaces and flexible working arrangements, many women are successfully navigating these challenges.

The Impact on Society

The increasing participation of women in Sri Lanka’s IT sector is not only transforming the industry but also benefiting society as a whole. Women are contributing to economic growth, driving innovation, and improving the country’s global competitiveness. Additionally, their success challenges traditional gender norms and promotes a more inclusive and equitable society.
Women working in Sri Lanka’s IT sector are breaking barriers and reshaping the industry. Through education, government support, leadership, and determination, they are challenging stereotypes and inspiring future generations. Their contributions to the IT sector are not only driving economic growth but also fostering a more inclusive and diverse society. As the industry continues to evolve, the role of women in Sri Lanka’s IT sector is set to become even more prominent, making it a beacon of progress and gender equality in the country.