By Ashan Kumar
PR Consultant â€“ Strategic Alliance PR
Exclusive Affiliate of Burson- Marsteller
The difference of FMCG and IT
FMCG companies use Public Relations and advertising to drive a primal response in their communications. They understand their customers and our habits, movements, motivators and urges. They use PR to weave their promotions into the fabric of our lives because they can step outside their own realities and view themselves through the eyes of the consumer. IT companies consider themselves too complex to stoop to this level thinking â€œit is too techy to talk aboutâ€. I have observed IT companies have not yet fully embraced the â€œemotionalâ€ element in promoting their brand. They are more technology solutions focused and lack the advantage of been a business solutions provider. The best example is the latest Apple iPhone advertisement where they connect to the public through the augmented product concept, the iPhone features are connected to our daily lives, combining functionality to the DNA of lifestyle.
Bharti Airtel Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, Asiaâ€™s leading integrated telecom services provider today announced that it had crossed the 1 million revenue earning customers mark in Sri Lanka.
Having achieved this remarkable milestone within six months of launch of its services in Sri Lanka, Bharti Airtel Lanka is now the fastest growing mobile services operator in the country.
â€œWe are happy to have led the affordability drive in Sri Lanka and we would like to thank our customers for their tremendous response to our call for action. We express our gratitude to the people of Sri Lanka for accepting brand Airtel and we are indeed humbled by the overwhelming faith entrusted upon us" said, Sanjay Kapoor, Deputy CEO, Bharti Airtel. He further added, â€œWe are delighted to have crossed this milestone within such a shot span of time. This achievement further underlines our commitment and strategic intent to the people of Sri Lanka to deliver a technologically superior network and world class services at very affordable prices.â€
ICTA and Intel Encourage Sri Lankan Government to Increase ICT Infrastructure Investment to Accelerate Economic Growth
The Sri Lankan government is keen on various stimulus initiatives to drive economic growth. An outline of the same was presented at a government stimulus workshop hosted last week by ICTA in association with Intel.
Currently in Sri Lanka, the growth and development of communication and informatics, particularly in the field of ICT, is one of the most important drivers of national development. Apart from its contributions to production and economics, ICT also plays a strong role as an enabler of social and cultural changes, including increasing the capacity and quality of the development sector.
Two islands, similar political histories, same determination to succeed. Entrepreneurialism well known and well evident in both countries, and a shared love of tea! This is the backdrop to SLASSCOM Sri Lankaâ€™s first foray across the seas to visit the ancient people of Ireland and to build on the already strong roots of business and collaboration between the two countries.
Sri Lanka is at last emerging from a prolonged period of conflict, as Ireland has done in recent years. The people of the two islands have a natural affinity and a similar cultural perspective on life. Both states face challenges, for different reasons, of overcoming economic challenges and there are obvious benefits of building and growing a process of partnering and collaboration with each other. Under the banner of â€˜Open for Businessâ€™ SLASSCOM, the catalyst of growth for the Sri Lankan IT and BPO industry, along with the Sri Lankan ICT Agency had a meeting of minds with a host of Irish companies and organisations this month in Dublin.
The IT/BPO industry in Sri Lanka has escalated to become the 5th largest export earner according to the EDB â€œExport Value Surveyâ€ which formulates the IT industry contribution to the national economy in the export earnings sector. The survey was executed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) summoned by the EDB and the industry ICT advisory committee.
The 1st ever study about IT export earnings, goes on to analyze the total export revenue from Information Technology/ Information Technology Enabled Services (IT/ITES) in 2007 was 213 Million US$, with an annual growth of 23%, compared to the 173 Million US$ in 2006.
Stepping up in a big way to support the need of the hour to take and empower rural Sri Lanka with ICT skills, especially during this Year of English and IT, Microsoft Sri Lanka has launched â€˜Gamata ITâ€™ â€“ a series of initiatives that focus on the central goal of taking ICT to the islandsâ€™ most remote rural communities.
Mr. Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Prof. P.W. Epasinghe, Advisor to the President/Chairman, Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka, Prof. Tissa Vitarana, Hon. Minister of Science and Technology and Mr. Reshan Dewapura, Director/Chief Operating Officer, Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka unveiling the Language Interface Pack at the event.
" Sri lankan IT BPO industry grew at 23% even during the war time " - Madu Ratnayake General Secretary, SLASSCOM
Sri Lanka is relatively a new kid on the block in the IT BPO industry. BPO Voice had a detailed conversation with Mr. Madu Ratnayake, General Secretary, SLASSCOM on various issues including the post conflict business scenario, upcoming challenges and various initiatives taken by them. Here are the excerpts :
Tell us something about the Sri Lankan IT BPO industry?
Sri Lanka has a vibrant young IT-BPO industry which is poised for rapid growth. It is currently about 250 million dollars and grew at over 23% YoY prior to the global recession. This level of growth was achieved while a significant negative risk perception prevalent due to the LTTE terrorist activities in the north. We have sound basics in place for growth. Now that the war is behind us, as the global economy bounces back, Sri Lanka will take of on a significant growth trajectory. In fact right now, Sri Lanka must be the country with the highest growth potential in Asia.
By Clayton Locke, Managing Director Virtusa
A â€œLeanâ€ approach to business process improvement and information technology drives superior business performance
In the 1940s Toyota began implementing a new approach called Lean Manufacturing across its operations. Lean manufacturing helped to create a culture of excellence at Toyota and eventually revolutionised the automobile industry. Applying fundamental concepts of waste elimination, quality management, measurement and continuous improvement across its operations has helped Toyota to out-perform their competition and become the most profitable automobile company in the world. Lean manufacturing enabled Toyota to produce the highest quality automobiles at the right price, turning the old adage that there has to be a trade-off between quality, cost and speed on its head.
How IT changed my life- Sachith Kevin Fernandopulle, Assistant Vice President, Operations Epic Lanka Technologies Pvt Ltd
Anton Sachith Kevin Fernandopulle
PR Consultant Ashan Kumar met Anton Sachith Kevin Fernandopulle, Assistant Vice President Operations Epic Lanka Technologies Private Limited to understand How IT changed his life log on to prwire.blog.com for the uncut version At least quarter of the young generation in Sri Lanka dream of becoming either a doctor or an engineer and it is quite significant as to how some individuals dreams shift along the path of life. May be due to the influence I had from my parents, teachers and classmates my dreams did not deviated much from the common goal of being either a doctor or an engineer. These are the jobs which carry real pride, recollects young and enthusiastic Sachith Kevin Fernandopulle.
Aepona Acquires Valista; Creating a powerful, independent vendor of â€œNetwork as a Serviceâ€ solutions
Aepona, a global provider of telecoms software products and services headquartered in Belfast, Northern Ireland, today announced its acquisition of Valista, a Dublin, Ireland-based provider of payment, settlement and service lifecycle management solutions to mobile and broadband operators worldwide.
The acquisition, which comes into effect immediately, creates a powerful, independent vendor, operating under the Aepona brand, with a complete solution for the â€œNetwork as a Serviceâ€ (NaaS) business model now being embraced by Telcos globally.
With the NaaS model, mobile and broadband operators treat their network and informational assets as marketable resources that can be made available to third party application developers, upstream service providers and Enterprises. These organizations can then enhance their applications, services and business processes with Telco capabilities such as voice, location, messaging, profile, billing and so on.
By Gayan Kanchana
His Excellency, President Mahinda Rajapaksa accepted a Plaque incorporating the first copy of the Sinhala Language Interface Pack (LIP), from Microsoft and ICTA, paving the way towards making significant progress in Rural ICT adoption in Sri Lanka. Accompanying this was a special audio visual message from Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates, who commended the President for his visionary leadership in declaring 2009 the Year of English and IT.
H.E. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sriyan de Silva Wijeyeratne( Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka), Prof. P.W.Epasinghe( Chairman, ICTA), Channa De Silva( EPG Director, Microsoft Sri Lanka), Reshan Dewapura( Director/COO, ICTA), Messers. Lalith Weerathunga, Secretary to the President, Member of the Presidential taskforce for the implementation of the Year of English and Information Technology and Chairman of the National Administrative Reforms Council, Jayantha Fernando(Director, ICTA)
The BCS together with its sponsors is organizing a CEO power breakfast and panel discussion titled â€œSynchronizing Business Solutions for Businessâ€ on 21 July at Cinnamon Grand Colombo. Business success often depends on IT based Business Solutions in place to run your business, sometimes the business solutions in place are focused towards one area of the business like Finance and not synchronized with the all business functions. In addition due to changing market conditions and opportunities the business plans and direction change, these business changes bring misalignment with the business solutions already in place.
Mr Dhanushyantha Hettiarachchi, CTO, Aeturnum Inc, USA speaks on how the company is moving towards becoming one of Sri Lanka's first hybrid companies in which young and dynamic individuals with big potential are making waves.
Q. When Aeturnum was started what was your Vision for the company ?
A. When we started Aeturnum we wanted it to be a place where individuals could reach their true potential without any limitations, sure, becoming a market leader in the IT off-shoring business was part of this plan but moreover we wanted to make an organisation that genuinely helped people to achieve their dreams. We have always believed that if one focuses on improving one's self and strives for what is beyond ones reach, collectively we all push the organisation forward. In the IT industry today many organisations fail to identify and leverage people with true talent, we have always endeavored to make Aeturnum a place for people who have talent but had never
P&O Ferries, the worldâ€™s largest cross-channel ferry operator and one of the best known and most trusted brands in the travel industry, selected Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ: VRTU), to automate and optimise their core business processes within P&O and their supply chain, through an innovative IT project code named â€œJanusâ€.
Andrew Reeves, Chief Information Officer, P&O Ferries UK
Andrew Reeves, Chief Information Officer, P&O Ferries UK said, â€œThrough this system transformation we will be able to introduce and market more customised products and also initiate a novel online booking system, resulting in a richer user experience for its customers. It is a pleasure working with a highly motivated and dedicated team at Virtusaâ€.
eMarketingEye one of Asiaâ€™s most renowned Online Marketing specialists in the Travel and Hospitality sector attended the Travel Distribution Summit â€“ Europe 2009 as part of its expansion strategy.
The eMarketingEye team with Rajitha Dahanayake, Founder CEO of eMarketingEye third from Left
The Travel Distribution Summit â€“ Europe held in London this year, attracted close to 2000 attendees, where industry leading strategists and innovators discussed the future of travel distribution at several conferences and discussions held during the event. A spotlight was held on the prevailing economic crunch and its impact on the travel industry.
Ashan Kumar met Balathasan Sayanthan, Solutions Architect hSenid Mobile Solutions to understand how IT changed his life...
Having been born in Jaffna and brought up in the hill capital, Sayanthan is definitely a humble individual with an ambition and force to be a respected person in this industry one day. â€œMy family and my alma mater are my greatest sources of energy, he said. As a child my dreams and ambitions were circumspect, I wished I travelled the world like Ian Wright, the host of the Discovery Channel program Lonely Planet I forever used to dream about travelling around the globe. I didnt dream of having anything to do with computers as I wasnt aware of the opportunities available in the IT sector and the ICT domain. Secondly I thought that others around me were much better than me, when it comes to handling machines and gadgets, he said. He explained why he selected Information Technology as his future, After I completed my advanced level exams I experimented with web development and was enthralled by my work and what I could do through coding.
By Dr. Kumar Rupesinghe
Local Investment promotion minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says a number of Thai and Singapore based investors have shown their willingness to invest in Sri lanka after completion of 30 year war.Speaking to media in Colombo he said he led an investment delegation to Thailand and Singapore and it was highly successful programme .The visit from June 22nd to 26th was organized by the Board of Investment (BOI) in co-ordination with the Sri Lankan Embassies in Thailand and Singapore and received tremendous interest from potential investors.
The highlight of the programme in Thailand was an Investment Forum, Emerging Peace and Business Opportunities in Sri Lanka, organized by the Thai-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce. More than 125 companies attended the seminar, double the number initially expected by the organizers.
Virtusa Corporation with a strong client base in USA and Europe, announced its foray into the Indian market.The Company has recently started exploring India as a revenue geography. The Company believes that the Indian market, especially now, offers exciting opportunities for growth and expansion, as many Indian enterprises are driving significant changes in their existing IT systems to support their growing customer needs in a globalized and connected environment.
Leveraging Virtusas Lean IT approach to simplifying complex IT environments through software platforming, Virtusa plans to assist Indian companies consolidate, modernize and rationalize core business processes.Ã‚ As a result, customers are able to extend market reach, improve their customers experiences, improve time-to-market and reduce overall costs.
Q&A with Doug Mowâ€“ Senior Vice President, Virtusa Corporation
Q: What are your targets this year FY10? How you prepare for the next year?
A: As Sr. VP of Marketing I am responsible for all marketing activities worldwide. This includes global branding and lead generation well as local marketing requirements.
The marketing team is globally distributed as are our delivery capabilities. This creates an interesting multi-dimensional dynamic - supporting the specific requirements of many regions with resources that are spread all over the world.
Sri Lankaâ€™s very own Moratuwa University has gained the distinction of becoming the only university to produce three of the four teams from Sri Lanka or, for that matter, it is the only university amongst all the Asia Pacific universities to have three of its teams qualify for the finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2009 world finals, reflecting the superior level of its ICT curricula and instruction.
In all, 20 teams have qualified for the world finals from the Asia-Pacific region, out of which four teams are from Sri Lanka, four teams from Singapore, three teams from Korea, and one each from Australia and New Zealand. The Imagine Cup is the most sought after technology competition globally and Sri Lanka has once again proved its passion for technology by increasing the number of entries year on year with more sophisticated applications. There are nine categories in all for the Imagine Cup and, creditably, three of the Sri Lankan teams have entered in the most technical categories: Embedded Development, Mash Up, Robotics and Algorithm.
Open University launch a new Bachelor of Software Engineering (BSE) programme With industry backing to expand the IT workforce
From Left: Madu Ratnayake, General Secretary, SLASSCOM, NS Abeyawardena, Project Director, DEMP, Prof. Upali Vidanapathirana, Vice Chancellor, OUSL, Ranjit Fernando, Chairman, SLASSCOM, Dr. Janaka Liyanagama, Dean, Faculty of Engineering Technology. Dr. KAC Udayakumara, Head Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL) and The Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies, SLASSCOM have entered in to a corporation agreement to design and conduct an innovative degree course in Software Engineering for students of the Open University.
In 2007-8, a record number of IT-BPO jobs will go unfilled or will be fulfilled by professionals who do not have the necessary skills. Less than 10 per cent of those who sit their A/Level examinations will receive a place in university. Awareness about the IT-BPO industry and the career opportunities it offers is low or nonexistent in most of Sri Lanka.
These three facts led ICTA in 2007 to run the NICS 2007 IT-BPO career fair, at the BMICH in Colombo, for schoolchildren. This fair organised to spread awareness about the IT-BPO industry and provide individual career counselling by Ministry of Education counsellors along with IT-BPO industry personnel was a significant success with over 5,000 schoolchildren from all over Sri Lanka attending.
This report sheds light on the findings of the market analysis of IT industry of srilanka. The ICT industry of Sri Lanka is one the fastest growing and has the potential to emerge as one of the leading revenue generators for the country, says Sri Lankan ICT Market Analysis, a new research report.
MINISTRY APPLAUDS STUDENT CHAMP: Education Minister Felicitates First Lankan Winner at Intel ISEF 2009
E. Chandula Padmasiri, the first local student to win a Grand Award at the recently concluded Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2009 was felicitated today by the Minister of Education, Hon. Susil Premajayantha at Isurupaya. Chandula, one of five students who represented Sri Lanka at this event, was adjudged third in the Electrical and Mechanical category for his mobile phone based microscope and received US$1,000 in prize money.
Standing from left to right â€“ Mr. Indika de Zoysa, Country Business Manager, Intel EM Ltd, Sri Lanka Liaison Office, Mr. Navin Shenoy, Vice President, Sales and Marketing Group, General Manager, Intel Asia-Pacific, Hon. Susil Premajayantha, Minister of Education, Sri Lanka, Mast. Chandula Padmasiri, Intel ISEF 2009 Grand Award winner from Ananda College, Colombo, and Mr. Anura Dissanayake, Director, SEMP of the Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka