Lankan IT and BPO industry: Expected to grow by 26 percent in 2011
Sri Lankan IT and BPO export industry is currently estimated at US $ 390 million and expected to grow by 26 percent in 2011. During 2009 the industry grew 25 percent from US $ 312 million.
The direct workforce engaged in the IT and BPO industry is estimated to be 35,000. For every IT and BPO employee, there is indirect employment for at least three more people. With indirect jobs, the industry contributes to over 100,000 jobs currently to the economy.
The total workforce with IT and BPO skills is approximately 63,000 people. This includes IT professionals working in non IT industry organizations such as banking, Government and others, The Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) General Secretary Madu Ratnayake said.
The total output of the potential ICT workforce in the country comprises approximately 6000 graduates and about 83,000 diploma holders. In addition, there are about 120 IT and 30 BPO companies operating in Sri Lanka.
“On cost, Sri Lanka is 25 percent to 30 percent cheaper compared to many other sourcing destinations. This is one of the main advantages among our niche focus to build global centres of excellence in several targeted areas,” Ratnayake said. He said English is one of the primary language skills required for a successful career in IT-BPO.
There are many initiatives taken by the companies and the Government to improve IT skills and relevant authorities have to keep at this vigorously.
“There is a large number IT/BPO training institutes in Sri Lanka. The country needs to improve the quality and quantity significantly in the training institutions in the country. As the apex, industry body for IT-BPO, SLASSCOM plays a cartelising role in capacity building. The north and the east areas are considered as key focus areas for SLASSCOM to develop.
As the demand picks up, we need to ensure there is enough people ready to take advantage of the opportunities that comes up. SLASSCOM endorses programs which are of value to get in to a job,” Ratnayake said.