Sri Lanka’s IT industry just added another feather to its cap.

Sri Lanka’s IT industry is dwarfed by that of its northern neighbour, but the island nation more than makes up for it by the imaginative solutions it is able to offer customers. The world-class talent pool available in the country has prompted firms such as the London Stock Exchange Group to acquire a Sri Lankan software company to run their core trading software platform. It is not surprising then, that Sri Lanka was crowned the “Outsourcing Destination Of The Year-2019” for the third time by the National Outsourcing Association of the UK. Previously, the country won the award in 2013, and 2014.

Sri Lankan software professionals are in high demand. A recent survey conducted by ICTA Sri Lanka has found that there is an annual demand of more than 20,000 software professionals. As the sector continues to grow, this demand for quality talent will only grow. And there is no sign of business slowing down. Day by day, more and more companies are flocking to Colombo in search of high quality IT expertise.

But why do customers prefer Sri Lanka for IT offshoring?

Culture

Sri Lankans are generally more in tune with cultural behaviours in the west. Sri Lanka lacks an outsized homegrown entertainment industry similar to Bollywood. As a result, Sri Lankans are exposed to western media and pop culture from an early age, which allows them to be comfortable with those from a different culture. Combine this with the legendary Sri Lankan hospitality, and you have the perfect ‘unfair advantage’. As a result, Sri Lankan software professionals find it easy to get along well with their Western counterparts, leading to faster execution and better collaboration.

Just ask the management of Nelly.com, a Scandinavian eCommerce player, who decided to deploy an extended development team at Calcey.

Flexibility

Except for a few large scale players who exclusively focus on multi-million dollar contracts for Fortune 50 or Fortune 100 companies, the bulk of Sri Lankan IT service providers are comfortable working with small to medium scale companies. Here at Calcey, we pride ourselves on our ability to work with both corporates and startups, even those trying to build an MVP.

Why?

Because we know that it is today’s small businesses that will grow into tomorrow’s large behemoths, and every elephant dominating the stock exchanges today was once a tiny ant.

Some of our large scale clients include CompareNetworks and Paypal, while some of the fast scaling tech companies that we work with such as FreshFitnessFood and Nutrifix, have gone on to shake up their respective markets in the UK.

Low Staff Turnover

Sri Lankan software professionals are well paid, and working conditions are world-class at many local software firms. The proof is in the details. Our friend Thomas Säld, Global Head of R&D at IFS AB, a Swedish software firm with offices in Sri Lanka, regularly tells the story of how nearly 20 years later, most members of the original Sri Lankan engineering team of 20 still work at IFS. This was one of the key reasons for IFS to expand their operations in Sri Lanka. Today, IFS’ global delivery center in Colombo houses nearly 1000 employees. 

Employers in Sri Lanka’s IT service industry don’t hesitate to invest in developing their people and as a result, tenures are long and turnover is very low.

Punching Above The Weight Class In Innovation

The team from the University of Sri Jayawardenepura which re-created Harry Potter’s sorting hat/ Credits: University of Sri Jayawardenepura

Then there is also Vega, Sri Lanka’s first homegrown electric supercar manufacturer. Their development center is located right next to our offices, and we consider ourselves lucky to be able to witness a dream to build a fully electric supercar become a reality.

It is truly astonishing how much potential Sri Lanka’s IT sector holds. Today, Sri Lankan software powers everything from stock exchanges to open banking platforms. Who knows what tomorrow holds?

But one thing is for sure. Sri Lanka fully deserves to be called the ‘Island of Ingenuity’!