Sri Lanka: Asia’s emerging IT/ITeS destination

The exponential growth trajectory and the key prospects of the Sri Lankan IT/ITeS market

November 16, 2021
  • Shazana Zarook

The majority of businesses today have acknowledged the inevitability of digital transformation in order to gain a competitive edge in the expanding global markets. Rapid technological and digital advancements continue to disrupt and revolutionise business processes, as the covid-19 pandemic forces businesses to minimize vulnerability to global economic volatility while remaining agile and flexible without sacrificing product quality.

Sri Lanka has been long known as a niche outsourcing market tackling complex business functions across various industries. The nation’s exceptional performance during the pandemic restrengthened the market’s reliability and the ability to ensure sustainable business continuity for global organisations.

Sri Lanka in the spiraling global IT/ITeS outsourcing market

The IT/ITeS industry of Sri Lanka has been performing at an accelerated rate for several years. ICTA, along with the industry stakeholders, estimates that the current IT/ITeS industry contribution to the economy is around USD 1.2 billion. In the recent past, this growth has accelerated further due to the knock-on effect of the pandemic, paving the way for higher acceptance of digital technologies at the individual, corporate, industry, and national levels.

Sri Lanka's strong position in the South Asian market is bolstered by a skilled workforce that is 85 percent comprised of graduates. Global ICT heavyweights have been steadily growing their operations in Sri Lanka to meet ever-increasing expanding global demands, capitalising on Sri Lanka's niche and future-ready, yet economical workforce.

The Sri Lankan government's primary focus on developing ICT infrastructure has resulted in the country hosting several state-of-the-art IT parks underpinned by cutting-edge telecommunications technology. Sri Lanka is the first country in South Asia to pilot 5G, and the country is slowly advancing toward smart infrastructure implementation. With a favourable business environment and robust infrastructure, Sri Lanka is well positioned to become South Asia's epicentre for IT/ITeS services. Through this report, we provide a comprehensive vision of what lies ahead for the IT/ITeS industry in Sri Lanka.

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