BPO Industry in Sri Lanka

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While Sri Lanka is renowned as the ‘Wonder of Asia’ for its exotic culture, panoramic landscape views, and leisure, the country’s growth and development in the technology and services sector highlights a drift towards its GDP model. Thus, Sri Lanka is renowned for yet another exciting advancement, as Asia’s favoured ICT Centre of Excellence. According to Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM), the national chamber for the BPO industry, Sri Lanka is already home to more than 300 IT and BPO companies. WNS, Aviva, CMA-CGM, IFS and Virtusa are some of the global BPO firms currently operating in Sri Lanka. Moreover, large multinationals such as the London Stock Exchange, Microsoft, Google, JPM organ and HSBC – have set up offshore business support and shared service centres in the country.

The broader Information Technology and business and knowledge process outsourcing (IT/BPO) sector defied the pandemic in 2020 whilst delivering the recorded best earnings via showcasing the resilience of the industry when almost every other industry had to take a break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.

According to services exports data from Sri Lanka Export Development Board, for 2020, which were finalised recently, Sri Lanka is estimated to have received US$ 971 million from Information Technology and business and knowledge process outsourcing carried out for off-shore clients, mainly in the West. This is an 8 per cent increase in comparison to the year 2019. Inspired by the recent performance and the climate favouring the technology industry, authorities have set an ambitious target of US$ 1.75 billion in revenue for 2021.

Services Offered in the Industry

The industry extends well beyond the traditional practice of software development centres, large-scale call centres or transaction processing centres. With an impressive concentration of internationally certified accountants, Sri Lanka-based firms have taken a lead in providing sophisticated financial analytics and accounting services to clients around the world. Offshore legal services, medical diagnostics, and architectural drawings are some of the other long-standing professional services which are already tapping into the country’s BPO market. Inarguably, Sri Lanka is a knowledge hub, exporting its human capital and skills to the world; the country has been exporting managers, engineers, doctors, and other technicians to run tea plantations, apparel factories, medical clinics, and other complex operations for many years. Currently, with the blessings of IT, global companies and customers can tap into these professional skills from anywhere in the world.

Why Choose Sri Lanka as your Competitive Outsourcing Destination

A leading global management consulting firm, ‘AT Kearney’ ranked Sri Lanka 14th in the global services location index calling the country “one of the hidden jewels in the offshoring space”, by stressing the country’s potential as a rising star. The majority of these BPO jobs are based in Colombo, which was ranked among the Top 20 Emerging Cities list compiled by Global Services magazine. Hence, the country is identified as highly competitive for BPO investments from clients around the world due to several factors.

Strong Education System

Sri Lanka annually releases qualified young professionals through the vast structure of higher education. The list goes on from state owned universities, global professional bodies, vocational training centres to private and affiliated universities. Some of the young professionals harness their skills via foreign universities in countries such as the UK, USA, New Zealand, Australia and seek employment from the home country, Sri Lanka. Some of them are graduates from the finest Australian institutions, such as Curtin and Monash.

Amazing Work Culture

Sri Lankans are known to be supportive, friendly, and courteous. The professionals are eager to learn and innovate while working hard to meet goals. Employees support each other to make sure their colleagues are up to speed, while also maintaining healthy competition within to ensure the expected output is achieved beyond expectations.

Training on Organization Culture

Sri Lankan outsourcing companies respect and understand the importance of different organisational cultures of clients from varying industry and geographical backgrounds. All employees will go through comprehensive training to ensure they are acquainted with the values, expectations, and culture of their clients. The major focus would be on enhancing soft skills such as communication skills, emotional empathy, time management and leadership traits.

Up to Date on the Latest Technology

Foreign investments, the facilitation of advanced higher education and a strong telecommunication network have enabled Sri Lanka to keep updated on global technologies. Whether it is a simple update to existing software or the development of brand-new technology such as cloud computing, outsourcing companies in Sri Lanka keeps abreast with the latest developments in rapidly changing technology.

Large Talent Pool

Sri Lanka claims one of the best education systems in the South Asian region leading to a large talent pool consisting of young, skilled professionals. Having a literacy rate as high as 92%, which evidently cannot be matched except for a few countries in the region. Sri Lanka has the highest concentration of UK accredited accountants outside the UK itself, with 50,000 new accountants per annum. The number of IT professionals remains high, with over 30,000 new IT professionals graduating per annum. Such fresh graduates, as well as experienced professionals, prefer the exposure to an international working environment, make perfect candidates for outsourcing work.


We live in a world with a suite of options. Outsourcing has united and brought in exchange of skills and much more. There have been discussions with concerns raised on outsourcing projects to other countries. Nevertheless, making smart choices in choosing not only the best outsourcing partner but also the proper geographical country will add tremendous value to clients. The drastic growth of technology and more has been contributed significantly by people around the world doing what they do best. Sri Lanka is one such geography of a smart outsourcing destination.