Outsourcing in Sri Lanka
As the business processes are getting more complicated and diversified, more and more companies are looking to outsource their work. Outsourcing enables companies to venture into new avenues quickly and easily. It also helps companies to operate with a small staff. Another very attractive option for most US, UK and European countries is offshore outsourcing. The main reason for this is the quality but cheap labor available in Asian countries where you can do the same task but for a less money. Another reason is the time difference , so for companies that needs reporting of their daily activities by next day they can outsource the report creation part to an Asian country where it is still day time. Another reason is to avoid the high taxes in there countries. India has being a favorite offshore outsourcing destination of many European and US based companies but with the end of war Sri Lanka is looking an attractive place to outsource your work.
What makes offshore outsourcing to Sri Lanka attractive
- Cheap Labor
Compared to US and European countries the cost of labor in Sri Lanka is very low so you can save an considerable amount of money by outsourcing to Sri Lanka. Also Sri Lanka specializes in skill based outsourcing activities making it more attractive than India,Philippines for specialized work.
- Work Ethic and Quality
Sri Lankans are known for the good work ethics and also for producing quality work.This is one of the main reasons some European companies have started up there research and development centers in Sri Lanka. Also Sri Lanka has carved its own niche in financial accounting and making huge strides in search engine optimization and web design. Also the number of BPO certified professionals in Sri Lanka are rising with organizations like Lanka BPO Academy providing certification in partnership with BPO Certification Institute based in Texas.
- Time Difference
There is a 12 hour time difference between Sri Lanka and US making it an ideal location for continued operations. Even for most European countries there is a 6 hour time difference making it attractive to a wide audience.Few large companies are opening call centers in Sri Lanka for continued 24 hour operations.
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Drawbacks in outsourcing to Sri Lanka
Although Sri Lanka is an attractive offshore outsourcing locations there are some drawbacks you should consider.
- Low resource pool
Although there are very qualified people around the resource pool is limited and definitely not as large as India. If a company wants to start a call center with 1000 people in Sri Lanka in six months that is not possible.Sri Lanka has a literacy rate of 93% which is best in Asia and one of the best in the world as well. But there is a shortage of English literate people and people who are capable with computers.
- Lack of Infrastructure
Internet facilities are not that great and they are usually limited to city areas. High speed Internet connections cost a lot and mostly used by companies. Also there is the problem of finding large space to accommodate 500-1000 people, especially near the city areas.
- Lack of experience
Countries like India have many years of offshore outsourcing experience so for some specific tasks like medical transcription or legal transcriptions you will find it hard to find suitable workers. The good thing is companies that are providing outsourcing are opening training centers etc here in Sri Lanka so in the near future Sri Lankans will also have those qulifications.
Going the extra mile
Instead of just outsourcing there work to Agents some companies have preferred to setup call centers and research and development centers in Sri Lanka. HSBC is one globally recognize company that has built a large call center here in Sri Lanka. When it comes to IT industry many globally recognized companies at least have a small presence here. IFS is one of the leading ERP companies that has a large development center here. The Sri Lankan branch is responsible for close to 70% of research and development done at IFS and they are expanding by opening another branch in Kandy
What type of jobs you can outsource to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka as a country can never compete with India and Philipines when it comes to numbers, so Sri Lanka is mainly focusing on outsourcing activities based on high skills. Tasks that can be done by few but highly qualified people are some of the best things to outsource to Sri Lanka. In general financial accounting, IT related work have a good chance of succeeding.
- Financial Accounting - This is an area where Sri Lanka has carved out a niche. With plenty of people with CIMA and CIM qualifications finacial accounting is an area where Sri Lanka can meet the demand of the market, one big reason for the growth of that industry.
- Web design/Web site maintenance
Sri Lanka is one of the cheapest places to get your web site designed and maintained. Relatively low cost hosting available in Sri Lanka make is an attractive option
- Tedious tasks related to blogging
Tasks like blog commenting , submitting to social media sites and to some extent writing articles to blogs are done here.This is one of the areas which is very popular with university kids.
- Data Entry Jobs
Simple data entry jobs , typing hand written documents are another type of work that is popular in Sri Lanka. This is ideal for people who have some certification related to computers.