ICT sector mulls US $3b industry by next year | Sunday Observer

ICT sector mulls US $3b industry by next year

29 January, 2023
Fom left: Gnanam Sellathurrai, Naveen Kejriwal, Dilshan Rodrigo,  Dulani Nissanka, Indika De Zoysa at the event
Fom left: Gnanam Sellathurrai, Naveen Kejriwal, Dilshan Rodrigo, Dulani Nissanka, Indika De Zoysa at the event

Sri Lanka’s ICT sector and its sub-sectors including IT/ITES, and Telecommunications towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has planned for a three billion dollar industry by 2024 through export revenue and has projected to contribute $15 billion to the Digital Economy by 2030, said Vice Chairman Federation of Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka (FITIS), Indika De Zoysa. De Zoysa, who is also the Strategic Adviser at Huawei Sri Lanka, was speaking at the Technology Channel 4.0 conference at the Shangri La Hotel on Monday.

He said most countries have embarked on the road to a Digital Economy, at different stages and we stand at 3.4 billion USD (4.37%).

De Zoysa said the goal can be achieved by enhancing the Doing Business Index to attract FDI’s by providing a conducive eco system for engagement, network readiness index to help enhance the inter-connect and E-Government development Index to improve e-Citizen services with cyber security readiness to help protect against vulnerabilities and thwart threats and enhancing digital skills to help improve digital literacy.

“From an industry perspective, Sri Lanka will enter the third wave of technology during the digital transformation, with 750 tech companies, 1,000 IT and IT-infused startups and 500 other technology startups in place by next year. ICTA believes that this expansion and technology innovation would enable the industry to reach the 3 billion USD export revenue mark.”

Highlighting the importance of the digital economy and national digital transformation, President of FITIS’ ICT Infrastructure Chapter, Gnanam Sellathurrai said, “Economic prosperity, wealth creation, and the improvement of citizens’ lives are priorities for every nation.

As digital technologies are steadily intertwined with the way products and services are created and consumed, the digital economy is becoming a critical component of national transformation.

“It is crucial for national governments and policymakers to understand this new economic construct and facilitate its evolution by creating an enabling environment. To thrive in the digital age, organisations must also transform into digital enterprises, creating superior customer experiences by embracing digital business models, mastering data, and participating in industry ecosystems,” he said.

Sellathurrai, who is also the CEO of Forrtune Channels, said that ICT industry in Sri Lanka is expected to generate a revenue of USD 1.8 billion last year, but the prevailing economic crisis was a negative feedback from our stakeholders across the world and the acceleration of brain drain with many skilled ICT professional moving out of the country is a considerable loss to the sector.

Sellathurrai said that the purpose of having the Technology Channel Conference 4.0 is to educate and build stronger and qualified channel partner community in the country and to meet the changing challenges in order to establish a strong ICT Infrastructure supplier chain.

He said that he is so much happy to initiate the launch of this event for the first-time in Sri Lanka and will expect to conduct as an annual conference in the FITIS calendar while recognising and rewarding the senior contributors in the ITC industry.

Vice President, FITIS, Shanaka Fernando and Chief Marketing Officer, e-Wis EW Information Systems said, “Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a medium that will help us understand, localise and culturally fine- tune our systems to affect our lives positively and digital ideology can inspire our society to become more efficient and results- oriented, building connected communities with new skills and better control over their lives. Until now, integrated digitalisation was a distant reality for Sri Lanka.”

Fernando also indicated about the country’s aim to fulfill its Vision 2025 project that focuses on transitioning the Sri Lankan economy into knowledge based, highly competitive social market economic model will certainly strengthen Sri Lanka’s position as an emerging hub for IT/ITeS.

“The IT/ITeS industry of Sri Lanka has been performing at an accelerated rate for several years. Sri Lanka is the only country in South Asia to achieve a balanced development in the e-government development index driven by strong socio-economic pillars like institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labour market, the financial system, market size, business dynamism and innovation capability.

“However, he said the digital interventions have not resulted in system-wide changes or brought about scalable effects due to the lack of comprehensive strategies. Therefore, Sri Lanka’s digital economy strategy needs to look at using existing programs and all relevant partners in the ecosystem,” he said.

Other speakers at the conference were Chairman, FITIS and MD LankaBell Ltd, Dr. Prasad Samarasinghe, General Manager, Overseas Business, Lenovo India, Naveen Kejriwal, Director/COO of Hatton National Bank, Dilshan Rodrigo and Chief HR Officer of Abans Group, Dulani Nissanka.

FITIS recognised and appreciated 8 industry doyens who have immensely contributed to the ICT infrastructure sector for over 25 years with a good track record of best practices, with significant impact through their contributions to the IT industry, who have inspired and motivated the industry professionals being live exemplary and role models while still leading the role to the growth of the business.

Dr. Gamini Wickrasinghe, Dinesh Ambani, Ashok Pathirage, Ruwan Rathnathunga, Jit Warnakulasuriya, Sanjeewa Wickramanayaka, Moiz Najmudeen and Chinthaka Wijewickrama received recognition awards.