IT/BPO sector defies pandemic to deliver best earnings on record in 2020

  • SL receives US$ 971 mn from IT/BPO sector compared to US$ 899mn in 2019

The broader Information Technology services exports sector emerged better than ever in 2020 as it recorded its highest-ever earnings reflecting that the sector stood remarkably shock-proof when almost everything else had to take a break due to COVID-19 pandemic.  

According to services exports data for 2020, which were finalised recently, Sri Lanka is estimated to have received US$ 971 million from Information Technology services such as business and knowledge process outsourcing carried out for off-shore clients, mainly in the West. This is an 8 percent increase from US$ 899 million in 2019. 

Emboldened by the recent performance and the climate favouring the technology industry, authorities have set an ambitious target of US$ 1.75 billion for 2021. 

The sector’s agile nature and the faster adaptability to remote working enabled it to operate seamlessly no sooner the restrictions were imposed on travel and in-person interactions, on fear of catching the virus.

A large majority of the sector staff is still operating from homes in what turned out to be a successful experiment for the sector to either consider remote working as their default way of working, or at minimum to provide the staff with the flexibility between in-office working and remote working during the work week. 

In 2012, Sri Lanka earmarked IT/BPO as an industry capable of becoming a billion dollar income industry in five years, doubling the US$ 564 million it then earned. But the earnings still teeter below the target after 8 years, as the sector is reeling from a huge skill gap, which prevents it from reaching full potential.

  Comments - 0

You May Also Like