Sri Lanka High Commission relaunches the ‘Island of Ingenuity’ – ITC/BPO brand in the UK market

The High Commission of Sri Lanka in London, jointly with SLASSCOM and Sri Lanka – UK Chamber of Commerce (SL-UKCC), organised the re-launch of the ‘Island of Ingenuity’ the Sri Lanka IT/BPO sector brand to promote Sri Lanka as a unique destination for Business Process Outsourcing/ Management (BPO/BPM) and Investments, including Tech Investments and the Colombo Port City Project held on 29 November 2023. The event followed by a networking reception was held at the Sri Lanka High Commission, London with the participation of close to 100 UK industry professionals and BPO/BPM company representatives and potential investors.

The event was graced by His Excellency Rohitha Bogollagama, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka to the UK who delivered the opening remarks. In his remarks, he highlighted that Sri Lanka in its journey, the country has been resilient amidst unprecedented challenges and the Government has prioritized the IT/BPM industry as one of the key contributors of foreign exchange with an aim to achieve a digital economy by 2030 which is essential to Sri Lanka’s recovery. He also stated that for decades, Sri Lanka has been producing a highly skilled labour force that is adaptable to modern technology and innovation and therefore, has become a global supplier of choice for the rapidly growing IT/BPO industry.

High Commissioner Bogollagama further emphasised that the UK has been one the largest FDI partners of Sri Lanka with investments in diversified areas such as textiles, garments, electronic products, security printing, tourism, IT, etc. While welcoming all the participants and the distinguished panel, he further highlighted that the attendees could assist in connecting Sri Lanka with the world at large by creating more connectivity in terms of trade and commerce. Through the leadership of Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President of Sri Lanka, the Government has put in place correct policy frameworks, measures, and synergies to encourage investments as guaranteed by act, deed, and equally by law.

Addressing the gathering Mr. Shehan Silva, President of the SL-UKCC and Head of Digital Solutions at HSBC, UK, gave an overview of the SL-UKCC and the role of the UK as a long-standing business and investment partner of the UK while stressing to grab further opportunities of the IT/BPO sector by the investors. He further said that the SL-UKCC is committed to conducting promotional events with the High Commission in the coming year.

Mr Jehan Perinpanayagam, Chairman of SLASSCOM and the CEO of Infomate (Pvt) Ltd, in his detailed presentation, explained Sri Lanka’s strategic advantage as an emerging global supplier of choice for BPO, which is its talent pool and he further elaborated the accolades that the country has achieved for the excellence in delivery, on the trends, success stories of Sri Lanka in the BPM sector and opportunities to penetrate new market segments.

Introducing the Port City Colombo Project, Mr Tulci Aluwihare, Deputy Managing Director of CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, explained the key development opportunities, the incentives packages, and facilitation provided for investments in Colombo Port City Project, as one of the most liveable city and an international business and financial hub in Asia.

Mr. Eranga Pathirage, Director of the SL-UKCC and the Vice President of Virtusa moderated the panel discussion of speakers representing leading UK BPO partners of Sri Lanka including Mr Anand Varma, Chief Information Officer at London Stock Exchange Group, Mr. Sal Laher, Chief Digital and Information Officer at IFS, Ms. Rathnakala Kumaragurunathan, Director, Equity Research at Acuity Knowledge Partners, Mr Mike Knowles, Global Head of Wealth & Personal Banking at HSBC and Mr Jeff Heusen, Corporate Vice President – F&A at WNS Global Services Ltd. The eminent panellists discussed and shared their testimonials on their positive experiences in working with Sri Lanka as a preferred sourcing destination, the resilient nature of Sri Lanka, and its delivery during the challenging times of COVID-19 with a special emphasis on the skills, capabilities, agility, and integrity of the Sri Lankan talent pool. The panel discussion was interactive and answered important questions posed by the audience mainly on the investment climate of Sri Lanka, Fintech, BPM and Colombo Port City Project, etc.

Sri Lanka has been a longstanding BPO/BPM partner for the UK with many successful projects including the London Stock Exchange, HSBC, etc. With over 140,000 employees engaged in the BPO sector in general, the total sector revenue is currently estimated to be USD 1.5 billion in exports out of which close to 25% is generated from the UK market.

High Commission of Sri Lanka

30 November 2023