Virtusa says will continue to skill up Lankan IT graduates

2018-02-21 10:02:23

  • Says working with disadvantaged to bridge the country’s digital divide
  • Points out gamified environment key to harness talent of future IT engineers
  • Set to cross US$1 bn revenue milestone with completion of fiscal 2018

Global business consulting and IT outsourcing firm Virtusa, which has Sri Lankan roots, said it will continue to work with Sri Lankan universities to equip the country’s future IT engineers with the right skills.

“That’s our significant opportunity where we can contribute to the country, as we march towards the fourth industrial revolution and we need to get ahead of the digital transformation,” Virtusa Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer and General Manager Madu Ratnayake said.
He said Virtusa’s focus with the local universities is to build the right kind of skills and provide them with support- whether it is curriculum development or mentoring of students.

“For the last 20 years we’ve invested and continued to help the local universities. A lot of our people go and spend time in universities teaching and mentoring students.”

Ratnayake said that with IT engineers with the right skill-sets, Sri Lanka is well poised for high-end transformational digital work.
Virtusa Chief Operating Officer Keith Modder said creating a gamified environment at universities and workplaces will be the key in harnessing the talents of future IT engineers.

Sri Lanka produces around only 8,000 IT graduates annually. But Lankan IT students have been taking part and winning global student IT competitions held by tech giants such as Google and Microsoft.

Sri Lankan student teams have won big at Microsoft’s Imagine cup and since its inception in 2005, the Google Summer of Code global programme focused on introducing students to open source software development, has had the most submissions from Moratuwa University.
Ratnayake further said Virtusa is also working extensively with the community, specially with the socially and physically disadvantaged people in the periphery to bridge the digital divide in the country.

Meanwhile, Virtusa recently announced its 3Q results for the fiscal year 2018, where the company said its revenue increasing 6.3 percent sequentially and 21.5 percent year-on-year (YoY) to US$263.8 million.

Virtusa Chairman/CEO Kris Canekeratne said the company is expected to cross the one billion US Dollar mark in revenue for the first time in fiscal year 2018.

“We are forecasting fiscal year 2018 revenue to be in the range of US$1,013 to US$1,019 million. The one billion US Dollar forecast is coming faster than we expected,” Canekeratne said.

He noted that Virtusa is growing significantly faster than the industry and seeing growth across its top 10 client portfolio.

“The impressive thing is this is organic growth as we did not make any acquisitions during fiscal 2018,” he said.

Majority of Virtusa’s revenue - about 65 percent - comes from Americas, 25 percent from Europe and UK and 10 percent from the rest of the world. The highest revenue contributor to the company is banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry, where Virtusa serves 12 of the world’s top banks.

With the 3Q18 results Virtusa also announced the successful delisting of Polaris, paying a premium to minority shareholders as per the rules of the Bombay Stock Exchange.

To fund the Polaris delisting Virtusa had entered into a US$450 million credit agreement with a syndicated bank group jointly lead by JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith Inc, which replaced the firm’s existing US$300 million credit agreement.

On March 2016, Virtusa acquired a majority interest in Polaris Consulting and Services Ltd for US$270 million. 

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