By Kushlani De Silva
Dinesh Saparamadu, Chairman hSenid Group of Companies, says the IT industry could very well be the silver bullet to help Sri Lanka overcome its present spate of challenges. Saparamadu, also a former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Association of Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM), explained the Association had hoped to become a billion-dollar industry by 2016, which it did.
With the industry aspiring to earn US$ 5 billion by 2025, this could be done he avers, as for every IT export from Sri Lanka – services and products – 100 percent value addition takes place locally.
hSenid Business Solutions will launch its Initial Public Offering on the Colombo Stock Exchange later this month, as the company aims to raise Rs. 700 million offering a 20 percent stake. hSeind will become the first Sri Lankan enterprise IT company to be listed on
“As a pioneering company in this industry, by going public and into equity, I would like to see another seven to ten companies coming into the stock market. Then we could create a segment in IT, and we could even look at an IT index. If you look at the IT industry itself, I see for Sri Lanka the silver bullet to overcome these challenges we currently face, including the foreign exchange crisis.”
“Currently we have about 115,000 employees and by 2025 we want to be at around 200,000 employees. So, at average earnings per employee of US$ 25,000, we will make five billion, and that’s we want. This is just the services perspective. The intellectual property of our products is owned by us here in Sri Lanka; hSenid is a product company. So, by creating that environment in Sri Lanka over the next couple of years, I think we could easily become a US$ 5 billion industry. What we need is skilled resources,” Saparamadu asserts.
With its initial public offering, hSenid Business Solutions seeks to serve three primary objectives. Currently present in 40 countries and serving 1,300 customers, hSenid is present in over 20 industries and is market leader in several countries with its HR business solutions.
The company sees potential for sustained growth in the Asia-Pacific and African regions for the next two-to-three decades, and the IPO is primarily aimed at developing its partner network, developing new products and the acquisition of a number of smaller players.
“The acquisition of these players will provide hSenid with greater reach and flexibility in the regions. They have established customer networks and processes there, hSenid will enhance their service and reach with its technology and solutions.
This will provide us a platform to engage new customers with greater solutions”, explained Sampath Jayasundara, CEO of hSenid Business Solutions.
“When we started in 1997, we knew Sri Lanka was a small market. So, we were always looking to go out. Going into new markets has now become second nature and it’s in our DNA now. But it was not like that at the very beginning. We went into some markets and we failed.
It provided a lot of learning that made us hone into what worked and what didn’t. So now going into a new market, we have a little bit of an advantage because we have done that, and that DNA is within the organization,” Saparamadu says.